You need a domain name, now. This is Why.
Let’s get right to it.
You need to own your business name as your domain. PERIOD.
It doesn’t matter if you have other domains that talk about your business, or redirect to your business page. You need to OWN your business name online.
Say your business name is Business by Christina. (Yes, mine is.) I could own ChritinaRiosRoman.com (which I do), and christinasbusiness.com and christina.biz (which I don’t). When I hand someone my business card or tell them about my business, the first thing they see or hear is “Business by Christina”. What do you think they’re going to search for if they want to know more about me or my business?
One guess. “Business” and “Christina”, right after they go to businessbychristina.com. The next thing they might do, if they remember my name and can spell it, is search for me. No one’s going to look further.
Right there, I might have lost a potential customer.
Domains are digital real estate. When you own your business name online, you are saying “This is my place. Come visit!” You are saying “I am committed.”
You’re far less likely to give up in the early days if you have that domain out there. Even if you’ve shared it with no one!
Why? Because you know it’s there, waiting for you to build something magnificent.
Another reason you want to ACT NOW is you don’t want someone else to own your name. Do a web search for “sues over domain name.” Just look at the headlines. Do you think these large corporations are suing mom-and-pop businesses over domain names because they are unimportant. They are even more important in 2018 than they were in 1996, yet there has been domain name related litigation since the mid 1990s.
As a matter of fact, one of my clients was hesitant to register her business name as a domain name. She just didn’t want to spend the $12 Google charges for a domain with privacy included. (This post is in no way sponsored by Google.)
Guess what? She almost lost the chance. The domain had just been dropped by a previous owner and was available again. If she hadn’t taken it when I insisted, it might have been reclaimed. I didn’t give her an option though; now, all correspondence leaves from her domain even though she doesn’t have a website.
I believe many new business owners and self-employed people fail to see a reason to spend $12 on a domain name. Older Business owners are even less likely to do so.
Domain names give businesses credibility. In 2018, if your business is not online, it probably doesn’t exist. Someone tells me or you about a business and we go look for it online. Can’t find it, forget it. Even the best recommendation is worthless when you can’t find a digital fingerprint.
Domain names also give you an air of professionalism. I don’t care what your business is, if you are emailing me from Gmail or Yahoo, you just lost brownie points. At the first sign something else is off, you’re no longer in my contact list.
My previously mentioned client now has an email address at her domain, which is on her business cards, her business proposals, and everything else that goes out into the world, physical and digital.
She owns her business legally, practically and metaphorically. Since purchasing the rights to the domain name, she has further embraced her business and is more conscientious about growth. She wants to focus on how to make her business better and more profitable.
From not wanting to spend $12 to willingly spending on growth, what caused this change? Honestly, she saw her business name along side her domain name in a business proposal. I also might have pushed her to acquire a logo.
A domain name may seem like a silly, inconsequential thing. The reality is that it’s not. It might be one of the most important things you acquire for your business, after securing your name. More on that later.