Fortunately, or unfortunately for some, today’s economy is based on online activity. For almost every business out there, having an online presence is of the utmost importance.
Having an opportunity to sell your products or services online has led to people earning six figures in less than few months. And even if you are not selling any products online at the moment, potential in terms of getting traffic that will eventually convert into customers is huge.
A lot of business owners neglect internet marketing and do not consider having an online presence as an important thing. I’ve seen that countless times especially by taking a look at some of the coffee shops in the UK.
If these entrepreneurs would realize how Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram could actually benefit them and probably triple their profits, they would exploit them even sooner.
But we still have a lot of old-fashioned entrepreneurs having tough time adjusting to the new age of online marketing. If you are one of them, you are writing a death sentence to your coffee shop.
Does having a website cost a lot?
It doesn’t cost a lot, but it bears some expenses. When creating a business plan, these expenses can be listed as small in comparison to equipment costs or the cost of leasing.
When working on a tight budget, you will probably have to say “no” to a lot of things, but having a professionally designed website is not one of them.
Benefits of expanding your online presence will most certainly outweigh all the possible costs you’ll have.
What do you need to get started?
To create a website, you will need three things:
- A Domain Name
- Hosting Service
- A Professional Designer
If you are looking to design it yourself, purchasing a WordPress theme and learning how to design it yourself will cost less but it will take a good portion of your time. In this guide we will teach you how you can do it yourself.
What are the benefits of having a website?
As mentioned above, there are many benefits to owning a website for your coffee shop. Here are some of them:
- Establishing brand awareness
- Communicating with new customers
- Providing information related to Your coffee shop (working hours, menu, address)
- Opportunity to attract employees
- Opportunity to deal with negative reviews
- Ability to sell products related to your coffee shop (coffee beans, roasters, grinders, coffee mugs)
- Opportunity to leverage “social proof” by having customers write reviews, testimonials and post photos.
- Opportunity to share philosophy, your personal story, your business direction and be found in the business community in your city.
There are many more benefits you’ll experience. And we also listed out only benefits of having a website, and there are many more benefits of having a presence on social media.
So now that you know how a website can help you double your profits, it’s time to actually move on to making one. This should be the fun part and even though hiring a designer could help speed things up, we are going to show you how you can do it by yourself. You will see it is not that hard as long as you follow some basic directions and aim for simplicity rather than trying to have an extravagant and flashy website.
Step 1: Buy a Domain Name
First things first. Having a domain name is the first step to establishing an online presence. Nowadays, it is a little bit harder to come by an attractive, short and memorable domain name because each domain name can only be registered once.
If you decide to search for the business name you wanted in the first place, there is a huge chance someone already snatched it up. But do not be discouraged with this. You just have to use your creativity to come up with something cool and awesome that will represent your brand.
When I am searching for domain names, I am using Domize.com. It allows you to enter the name you want and you can see if it is registered before.
A lot of people will advise you to go with .com option, which indeed, is better, but if .net is available for the name you wanted in the first place, it’s not a bad choice either.
Step 2: Get a Hosting Service
Hosting service will allow you to place all of your website’s files in one place on a server provided by that company. You can find numerous web hosting services online all promising the fastest loading times.
This list was created with a goal of letting you know which hosting providers perform the best. If you choose any of the first 5 hosting providers, you will not regret your decision.
For a start, you should opt out for a basic shared hosting plan that costs only a couple of dollars every month. For someone who is investing into a coffee shop, this is an investment you will probably forget about having.
Once when you choose a hosting provider, you will have to choose a content management system. Content management systems became popular due to short learning curve. The most popular CMS is WordPress, which I personally recommend.
You will be able to learn the basics of WordPress in less than a couple of days, and almost every hosting provider offers WordPress for free. You can even ask them to walk you through the basics of setting it up and installing WordPress on your domain name.
Step 3: Choose a WordPress Theme
Once when you install your WordPress, you will have a basic, generic WordPress theme set up. Most people do not even look at it because those themes have a range of limitations and you won’t be able to design a quality website with it.
You will get an option to install thousands of free WordPress themes, which is awesome, but unfortunately, a professional business can’t rely on a free theme simply because they are limited.
Luckily for you, there are many WP theme marketplaces where you can purchase a professional looking theme. Themeforest is the biggest marketplace of WordPress themes. Another great framework you can use is one that Thrive Themes is offering, and it is called Thrive Architect.
The Thrive Architect gives you an opportunity to design a website from scratch just by using drag and drop option. There is a number of templates already available for you to use, and you can have a website ready in a couple of hours just by filling out data.
Step 4: Hire a Copywriter
Even though step 4 is far from necessary, it is highly recommended. A professional copywriter will assemble a good website copy that will attract people, intrigue them and convert regular visitors into customers.
You can find copywriters charging anywhere from $20 an hour up to $500 an hour, and quality will be noticeable. As you will be running a website with only couple of pages, there would be a small portion of work so hiring a more quality and more expensive copywriter might be a good choice.
Step 5: Get a Logo
Last but not least, to establish a brand online, you need a quality logo. A professionally designed logo will cost you a couple of hundreds of dollars, and you can get it done on 99designs.com.
I love the business model 99designs has established that allows you to post a listing, put out your thoughts and desires, and you get designers all over the world apply to its own ideas and solutions.
It’s great because you will get a lot of awesome ideas from different creative designers. It is a lot better than hiring an agency because you only get one or two creative minds working on your idea and there won’t be room for many solutions.
What 99designs can also offer is social media branding packages that gives you header photos for Twitter or Facebook and everything tailored to your business.
Establishing online presence should be a big part of your marketing strategy. Once when you buy a domain name, hosting and you start designing your WordPress website, you are set on a way to increase your profits.