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It was my intention to write this blog post for my very first email newsletter about how to outsource a logo on 99deisgns and get back the best designs for the lowest price packages.  Then it dawned on me that many budding business owners rush out and think they need a logo and website before they have done their homework and set up their business correctly.
I see it all the time and of course design and website agencies are happy take your money as it is not their concern whether you registered the business name correctly and then checked to see if anyone else was using it online and social media.
So what happens if you race ahead and sink thousands of dollars on deposits for designs and the business name you chose is not available? Or worse, you registered an official business name in your country or state and find out the domain name is gone and all social media platforms are taken. You are out of pocket and in hot water. Not off to a good start.

Step 1

So the very first step to save yourself time, money and headache is run a search first for the business name.

Step 2 

  • Go to a domain and hosting registrar e.g. In Motion Hosting, Go Daddy, Crazy Domains, HostGator to check if the domain name is available. Keep in mind if you want to register .com.au you must have a registered Australian company.
  • Search to see if the business name or the name you are going to use for your website and social media pages is available.  Your domain does not have to be exactly the same as your business name but they need to relate.
  • Don’t get all excited and register anything yet!
  • If available great, if not, time to think of alternatives NB: If you have skipped these steps and have gone to an agency or website company do not let them register your domain name and hosting as effectively they will own it, Always register your own unless when you have a problem you are willing to deal within their support hours instead of being able to contact support 24/7 yourself.

Step 3

  • Now you have a few business names written down and options most importantly in this day an age you need to check if the social media pages are available.
  • Go to namecheckr.com and input the business name and it automatically checks all platforms and will tell you what is available. A green tick means available and a round red circle with a line through it means not available.
  • Keep in mind as Twitter is limited to a certain amount of letters that you may need to shorten your social media url for that platform.
  • This is your biggest timesaving too
  • namesearch

 

namefullsearch

Take Action

Now you are in a race to get everything registered on the same day within the same hour if you can. Did you know that if you register a business name it goes on public record and there are people that check those records and buy up the domain names and social media names to then sell back to you at inflated prices?  Don’t believe me, read this story Meet the ‘Mann’ who registered 14,962 domains in 24 hours

Ready, Set, Go

  1. Register the business name online with the government agency
  2. Register the domain name e.g. www.businessname.com.au or .com  (you don’t need to buy hosting at this stage so save your money)
  3. The only thing I recommend spending the extra $10 or so on is making the domain private so you don’t get spammed in the future when you put up your website
  4. Set up a Gmail account as you need this to set up Google Plus and Youtube
  5. Go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/ to secure your Facebook page name (you have already checked to see if it is available)facebookcreate
  6. Go to https://twitter.com/ and click Sign Up to set up your account, use your Gmail address so you can reset your password if you ever need to
  7. Download the Instagram app on your phone and set up an account
  8. Set up your Pinterest business account https://business.pinterest.com/en/set-your-business-account
  9. Go back to Gmail and click on Google Plus and set that up as your business name, then click Youtube and set up your channel (note you can’t get your unique name until a number of factors have been established, for another post) but you can start uploading videos

These main ones will have you covered, you may not need to use them all straight away, in fact I would never suggest that, as setting up a business takes time as does learning new social media platforms and now you will need a logo but the advantage you have is that you own the domain, your competitors don’t, everything is there for when you need them and best of all the cost of a registering a business in Australia (I am not sure about UK and USA) is $34 a year, a domain name is less then $20 and it is free to set up all of the social media platforms.

Total spent approximately $54 and your time!  I bet that sounds a lot better than a $10,000 proposal from an agency on a logo, branding and website only to find out the domain name and social media platforms for your new business are not available and you have to start all over.

 

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