General Business Framework
This is a critical step when it comes to launching a business.
The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time and money building something, only to find out someone is already doing business under a similar name or worse yet…the exact name.
Namecheap Business Name Generator
After we narrowed down our top list of business names, we ran those names through Namechk, which told us what social media account names were available.
The desire and need to procure the best domain name is pretty obvious.
What’s not so obvious (until it’soften too late), is the need to procure the social media accounts that are important to a business.
For example, if you want to build a photography-based website, having an optimally-named Instagram account is likely vital.
If you want to build a food recipe website, having a Pinterest account with the right name is ideal.
In the end, our process brought us to a decision to name our new business “PetFinders”.
We then jumped over to our preferred domain vendor, Namecheap to quickly snag up our domain names.
To avoid brand confusion, we procured many TLD (Top-level Domain) extensions (.com, .net. etc.) variations (thepetfinder, yourpetfinder, etc.) and region-specific options (charlottepetfinder, californiapetfinder, etc.) of our primary domain.
Tip: You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy up a ton of domains for your particular business. Take some time to think about your target audience, future growth, long-term acquisition/buy-out, etc.
Since we registered our domains with Namecheap, they were providing our DNS services.
As a best practice and for the best performance, we like to keep our DNS separate from our domain hosting vendor.
To accomplish that, we set up a FREE account with our preferred DNS provider, which just happens to be our preferred CDN provider…Cloudflare.
Tip: We have written a FREE, Cloudflare CDN for MyListing Websites guide to help you get started.
We like to set up a new Google account, to be used specifically for Google-related services and other areas we need to manage where we don’t want to “pollute” our business email accounts.
With our domain name in hand and DNS ready to go, we moved on to setting up our business email.
As a Microsoft Partner and users of Microsoft Office 365, setting this up was a breeze.
We simply set up our new domain within Microsoft Office 365 and added the provided DNS records to Cloudflare.
We create a paid email address for each c-level employee (e.g. [email protected]) for the purposes of conducting business, both internally and externally.
Employees are granted access (read/manage, send as, or send on behalf of) to shared mailboxes where applicable.
When you’re just starting out it’s very common to be the only employee and you’re by default, responsible for all email communication.
As the business grows and employees are added, you could then start to pull yourself out of various shared mailboxes, as responsibilities and focus changes.
The next step was to come up with our color scheme for use with all of our media, including our logo, favicon, illustrations, overall website, etc.
Choosing the right color scheme for your website is important for sending the right message and setting the overall mood.
Colormind is a tool we like to use when we start to think about a color scheme.
If you click on the Website Colors option, you’ll be taken to a page where you can auto-generate a complete color scheme and then plug in individual colors if desired.
If you then scroll down the page, you’ll see how your color scheme would look when applied to elements, such as backgrounds, buttons, navigation, etc.
Equally as cool, is the ability to upload an image and have Colormind auto-generate a color scheme off of that image.
Tip: When we think about a color scheme, we assume some colors as a given, such as shades of black, white, and grey.
Tip: Elementor provides an option to specify and dial in your color palette, as it pertains to working with Elementor.
This can be found by editing a post/page and open the Elementor panel at the left-hand side of your screen.
We use freepik for obtaining media (photos, graphics, icons, etc.) and use Adobe Illustrator to further customize media to match our brand and overall message.
For media branding, we like to keep things simple, clear, and consistent across fonts, color schemes, etc.
We then grabbed all of the Social Media Accounts that were going to be part of our online presence, filled in every bit of information we could, and applied our branding.
Next, we set up our Google My Business account.
We skipped setting up additional business directory accounts like Bing Places for Business, as those require a physical address, and they don’t really apply to our business.
We want to set up a solution that starts capturing emailing addresses, even before the website officially launches.
For this, we set up MailChimp.
- Signed up for the Free plan.
- Connected MailChimp to our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
- Profile > Settings: Set Time Zone.
- Profile > Settings > Domains: Verified our domain for sending.
- Account > Extras >API Keys: Create Key and document for use later in this guide.
Google Search Console
We set up Google Search Console for this website, using the Google account credentials we created above.