Competing online is easier and cheaper than you think

A recently conducted GoDaddy Global Entrepreneurship Survey 2019 found that 32% Indian SMBs that are online own a website as their primary form of online presence. Website adoption in India is fast approaching a tipping point, and Indian SMBs are raring to compete online

BRAND CONNECT
Published: Nov 8, 2019 11:35:42 AM IST
Updated: Nov 8, 2019 01:40:17 PM IST

g_123219_resizedimage_900x600_280x210.jpgIt’s no longer enough to be present online; your business needs to compete with a thousand others to be noticed and trusted in today’s anonymous digital marketplace. Small businesses worldwide have realised that true credibility and customer connect can only be built through a professional website and email address. Moreover, having a website increases the chances of your business being ‘found’ by customers searching online for similar products or services.
This understanding is critical for you if you’re an Indian small and medium business (SMBs) looking to make it big and survive in this dynamic and competitive market. Website adoption in India is fast approaching a tipping point, and Indian SMBs are raring to compete online. A recently conducted GoDaddy Global Entrepreneurship Survey 2019 found that 32% Indian SMBs that are online own a website as their primary form of online presence, while a significant 19% plan to start their own website soon.

With internet users in India expected to touch 627 million by the end of 2019, we foresee an even higher number of businesses coming forth to create their online presence. The challenge, however, is that most Indian SMBs still feel creating their own website requires considerable financial investment and technical know-how. This may have been true some years ago when entrepreneurs and business owners had to seek help from multiple vendors to design a professional website, set up their business email and finally manage operations and analytics of that website. But today, you can easily set up your brand online with a registered domain, a simple one page website, and a professional email, all in one transaction, in less than an hour, and for just Rs. 54/- a month. It really is that easy.

Start right, even if you start small
For any business, there are three essential elements to present a professional, competitive identity online: a website, a business email address, and a domain that houses both. Sometimes, early stage businesses, solopreneurs, and more often than not business owners from smaller towns who are new to the entire digital experience, may find registering a domain, designing a website and configuring business email to be too much hassle or too complex. Such businesses often find it easier to start off online through other platforms like social media or trade portals.

However, even emerging businesses need to start thinking early about protecting and creating their brand online. Investing in a presence online without registering a domain or creating a website may work against you later. For example, imagine that your business has social media and trade presence in the name of TirpurCottonThreads, and you realise that there is a good market for your product. When you want to create your own website and try and register a domain for it, what if www.tirpurcottonthreads.co.in is already being used by another business? You would either need to have your website under a different name than your other business identities, or use complicated variations like TirpurKottonThr3ads – in both cases, you would lose out on genuine buyers who want to visit your business website to know more about your products, but can’t.

In our previous article in this series, we explained that registering a domain (internet address) for your business website should be one of your first steps online. Even if you’re not sure what kind of website you want to create for your business, start off with a simple one-page website that lists your business name, address, contact details and offerings. You can always choose to change and grow your website later.

Finally, you must have a professional email address that matches the name of your business. Sure, Gmail is free, accessible everywhere, and easy to use. But you can never use a Gmail address to reach out to new customers or carry out marketing campaigns. There is a high chance your email will be sent to spam and your business will not be trusted as genuine. A professional email address lends your business immediate credibility, which can be very valuable when making a first impression. In fact professional email is now as easy to use as Gmail – you can choose a webmail app of your choice, and access your business email from anywhere and any device.

Bundled for your convenience
For emerging businesses, cost and speed are of great importance, and dealing with complicated online protocols is definitely not a priority. Which is why, a solution like the GoDaddy Online Starter Bundle is perfectly suited to help anyone easily start their online journey. In one sitting, and in one transaction, your business is equipped with:

  • A registered India-focused domain name (.in or .co.in)
  • A single-page starter website that requires only your business and contact information to be set up and go live in minutes
  • A secure professional email account that is set up in one click, and you can access anywhere, from any device
The Online Starter Bundle also comes with GoDaddy’s 24X7 expert customer care, and offers you seamless integration with all your social media handles in one place. It thus enables you to take your business online, with all the right essentials, in minutes. And as your business expands, you can simply update your website design or add more users to your email setup to reflect your growing success!

In our next article in this series, we take a look at website essentials for established SMBs, and everything you need to do to make your online presence work for your business. Stay tuned!

The author is Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India

Disclaimer: The pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.

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