You’re ready to launch your online healing business and you know you want a website, yet you aren’t sure what else you should be considering. While launching a website is a big deal, there are some other things that you may want to consider as well. It’s one thing to have your website up, it’s another thing to have the tools and processes in place to manage it behind the scenes.
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Checklist for Creating Your Online Business
One. Establish the Business
In order to get your business online, you need to do the preparatory things of choosing your business name and setting up a bank account. Often people want to dive into the website without taking the time to define the container for the business to run in.
- Select a Name. This is the fun part. Many people are just using their name as their business, which works well if you are ready to brand yourself and confident that your name isn’t going to change. ?. If you do use your name, then having a tagline that clearly describes who you are is the first step to your brand.
- Reserve the Domain Name. While many of the online tools offer you a free domain name for the first year when you signup, I generally recommend that you use a 3rd party registrar. This allows you to move your site easily if you need to move it in the future and you will pay less than if you have it with the tool provider. My favorite is NameCheap. Prices are reasonable up front and for the renewals from year to year.
- Establish a Legal Entity (US). Years ago, I took a class on legal entities and spent several days learning about legal entities and the benefits of each and tax implications, etc. The main thing that I took away from that class is the benefit of having an LLC to protect your business. If you live in the US, this is a fairly simple thing to do and it protects your personal ‘stuff’ in the scenario that anyone ever sued you for something related to your business. I’ve set LLC’s up myself and have found that it’s easier to just have a company that specializes in this to do it for you. My favorite at this point is Zen Business.
- Obtain your Federal Employer Identification Number -FEIN (US). If you have a company like Zen Business setup your business, then they’ll do this for you. If not, you need to obtain one from the IRS. This allows you to create a business bank account.
- Open a Business Bank Account. While this may seem like overkill, it makes it so much easier to know what is business and what is personal. When you go to do your taxes at the end of the year, having everything in one place will make this worth it.
- Obtain Licenses and Permits. In the US, some states require that you have licenses and permits. Just make sure you check into this.
Two. Brand Yourself
This is where the online part comes in. It’s where you define your identity online and create your website. When I work with clients, I take them through a process to identify what they like and what they don’t.
- Identify Your Brand. When you launch your business, most people start with getting a logo. This becomes the beginning of their brand. It also allows you to start small and build the rest of what you want around the logo. A logo will have a feel to it along with colors and this allows the website to flow with that. Sometimes people want to create more of a brand, so that you have a look and feel for your social media and email marketing, etc. If this is you, then you’ll want to look for someone who specializes in branding. You’ll find some names on my referrals page.
- Define Your Content and Products to Sell. This is where you get to sell your services. For most, I suggest that they start with a list and a description. As you mature into your own brand and offerings, then you may want to consider hiring a copywriter or finding a business training program to invest in to help you more fully define your business model. There are more ideas on my referrals page.
- Launch a Website. This is where you are now ready to get online. You’ll need to know the look and feel you want, your content and images of yourself or other stock photography that you want to use. Selecting a tool and knowing if you want an online schedule or email marketing will also be part of this process. This is one of my specialties and I would love to help you out with this part of the process!
Three. Tell the World
Now that you have your site online with services to sell, it’s time to share and promote your business. This is an ongoing process and requires you to put some structure in place so that it’s easier as you move forward. If you’re like many, you might need some support to share your new creation.
- Create Your Social Media Accounts. Generally, you’ll want to create separate social media accounts for your business. On Facebook, this is a page. On Instagram, you create a business page. On Twitter, it’s a separate account. I always recommended starting with the social media platform you like most.
- Define Your Online Marketing Strategy. Unless you love social media, you’ll probably want to find some help with this one. I have a few referrals that can help you out.
- Network and Begin to Serve. You can find ways to network in person or online. Joining Facebook groups is a great way to network as you can simply reach out and help people. Focus on being of service more than you focus on promoting yourself. You promote yourself and create your brand through your service to others.
- Share. Writing to your friends and family telling them about your business can be one of the simplest, yet most productive steps you can do. I did this when I started the website portion of Limitlessly, I wrote to many people and shared with them how I had stepped away from Corporate America to start doing technology and websites. People loved connecting and I discovered many new clients. My friend Jacq has a great article on this.
Other things to Consider
- Business Insurance. In the US, litigation can be a bit crazy. You might want to look into some basic liability insurance if your business grows and you are serving a large number of people.
- Bookkeeping and Accounting. This is often something put off until tax time. Yet, if you do it each month and have a process in place, it will be much easier. The bonus, you can see how much money you are making. What we put our attention on grows!
- Email Marketing. This is the concept of building an email list where you can market to people. Every marketing class you take will focus on building your email list. There are many tools available. My favorite for people to start with is Mailerlite.
Online Scheduling. Many in today’s environment want to simply schedule their time to meet with you when they come to your site. This can save you a ton of time and allow you to have people pay upfront at the time that they book their sessions. Win-Win!