How to Get Your Business Online (and some other useful self-imposed barrier breakers)

On this blog, we have discussed how ideas alone are not enough to make a business and also how to give those ideas a little juice to get them off the ground. Today I’m taking it a step further to discuss logistics in getting your company out into the world….aka the internet

yes, it is ironically on the back of a to-do list

To recap, at LaunchNET, we help Kent State students, faculty/staff and alumni with all types of businesses. For over four years, we have worked with everyone ranging from freelancers and consultants, to those looking to solve problems across the world, to those looking to literally leave the world via space. While we have our success stories, we have seen our fair share of entrepreneurs suffer from failure and discouragement. This is unfortunately typically the norm in entrepreneurship. Having said that, an incredible number of failures and discouragement come from self-imposed barriers.

What are self-imposed barriers?

Great question. Have you ever heard yourself say any of the following?

“I have a great idea and am ready to get started, but I cannot start until I have a logo.”
“That networking event sounds like it would help my business, but since I don’t have business cards I can’t make it.”
“We simply cannot move forward with this idea until it has a name.”
“I am going to start this business as soon as I find a programmer and get a website up.”
yes you did.

If you answered ‘yes’ above, then you have created a barrier for yourself. There is no reason that any of the above should have stopped or slowed your entrepreneurial hustle. Let’s revisit:

“I have a great idea and am ready to get started, but I cannot start until I have a logo.”

Why would this stop you? Keep doing the work you need to do and either use a stand-in logo, hire a designer, or ask a friend. A lack of logo or branding should not stop you from doing feasibility research.

“That networking event sounds like it would help my business, but since I don’t have business cards I can’t make it.”

Do you have a phone, social media, or a pen and paper? Great!

“We simply cannot move forward with this idea until it has a name.”

My keyboard still seems to be working even though I haven’t thought of a nickname for it yet. (Clicky?) You can still work on your business and attach a name later when you are ready to launch to customers.

“I am going to start this business as soon as I find a programmer and get a website up.”

Times have changed. You have options for a website, and depending on your business, there may be ready-made solutions.

Getting your business online

Most entrepreneurs self-impose a barrier because they believe that their options are to

  • hire a freelancer $
  • hire a company $$
  • give away equity $$$
the true start-up process.

Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Other entrepreneurs like yourself have been working on programs to address this issue. There is currently an absurd amount of online resources to help you get started online.

A few quick notes before I drop-in a list:

  1. This list is not exhaustive. Please research and explore both these options and others that I may have missed to find what works best for you.
  2. I am not recommending any one app or program over another.
  3. I am not being paid to mention any of these.

WEBSITE CREATION:

DIY Options

There are many websites that provide templates (with various pricing structures) for you to use. Here are just a few:

www.strikingly.com

www.weebly.com

www.wix.com

www.yola.com

www.squarespace.com

www.wordpress.com

Some of the above offer domain name registration also, but you can also look at independent registrars. Here are a couple:

www.namecheap.com

www.hover.com

E-Commerce (selling online)

www.etsy.com

www.bigcartel.com

www.shopify.com

This is just a start. We will continue to cover resources as we move through the business start-up process. In the meantime, don’t get caught up in your own barriers. If you have a business idea, prove it.