I Just Got My Business Online! What’s Next?
WRITTEN by: Jerrod Swanton |
I recently attended “Ohio Get Your Business Online with Google” — a Google-sponsored event all about running an online business and setting up a free website using Intuit products. I was curious to find out what Google has to say about running an online business and how the Intuit website set-up process works, so I signed up for the seminar in Dayton — one of five sessions in Ohio. Google divided the seminar into two segments: 1) running your business online and 2) setting up a free website … on the spot.
During the first session, presenters introduced Google Places, Google Analytics and SEO, Google+, Google Adwords [are we noticing a pattern, yet?] and a few other Google products. Though the speakers covered a lot of the basic information that you would need to run an online business, the pace of the hour-long session was break-neck. I sensed the room quieting as people began to fathom how vast the online frontier is.
I Just Got a Website.
With one session down, we turned to the main event — setting up our free websites. There were about 50 computers at the facility for attendees to use. After some brief instructions, the event broke from a lecture setting, and we were prompted to begin working individually while some employees roamed the room to help with questions and setup if needed. The setup was fast! In five minutes, I had completed the Intuit website wizard process, picked a theme and registered my domain name. The Google folks also announced that the setup, hosting and domain name were free for the first year. After the first year, my website will cost $6.99 per month — a.k.a., about as much money as I annually spend on gym socks.
As the session wrapped up, I sat at my workstation and stared at my new online presence. I still had a few questions: What if I want to move my site in the future? Who owns my domain name? What if I eventually want to add more content to my website than that three-page Intuit limit will allow? I was reminded of an anology we often share with our web clients at Upward Brand Interactions. Building a website is like having a baby. Just because the labor’s over doesn’t mean your work is done. In fact, it’s just beginning.
Did many small business owners at Google’s seminar just conquer one, major hurdle to getting their business online? Absolutely. But I can’t help but wonder: Are they all cognizant of the perpetual “care & feeding” this new web presence will require to be an asset to their business?