Here’s my list of 10 things every online business must have. Your virtual assistant can help you with these or find the right vendor for you.
1. A simple, professionally made logo that is readable large or small. Take a look at the memorable, easy-to-recognize, famous company logos used by AOL, Coca-Cola, Nike, Microsoft, AT&T, Sprint, Chanel, Chevy, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s for inspiration. A screaming, large logo header on websites says “me, me, me” and takes up valuable above-the-fold screen space that should be used to describe what your business does. Remember, many users are viewing your website on laptops. Your visitors shouldn’t have to scroll down to see your business message. You have less than 10 seconds to capture a potential customer’s interest, don’t waste it with a large/tall header. Get your brand across with a well-designed, memorable logo and use it everywhere.
2. Banner ads in at least two standard sizes: 125×125 and 468×60; also 125×125 is still used. Offer the banners on your website for easy downloading.
3. The original PSD, AI or vector file for all logos and other graphics. You’ve paid for the work, you should have the original work files in your possession. This is one of the MOST important things you can do today for your business!
4. A simple tagline for your business. As Rhonda Abrams said in her post The right tagline can go a long way, “…it doesn’t take a multimillion-dollar advertising budget for you to create an effective tagline. In fact, a good tagline is one of the least expensive forms of marketing you can develop and use. If you don’t have a tagline for your company or products — and most of us don’t — it’s time to sit down and come up with one. That’s because a well-conceived tagline makes it easier for customers both to remember your company’s name and to think positively about why they should use your products or services.”
5. Professional, good-quality business cards. I have a fondness for the UV-coated cards! Don’t waste precious advertising space – put your social media information on the back side or other relevant information you want prospective clients to know. Carry your business cards with you at all times, leave a few in your car too.
6. A three-sentence statement AND a six- to eight-paragraph statement about your company. Why? Many online press release services, business directories and search engines ask for a brief description. Do you have one ready to copy and paste?
7. List of passwords and log-in information to give to your virtual assistant. I give my new customers a handy password log sheet that we keep updated.
8. And this is tied for THE most important thing you can do for yourself and your business today: Please, please, please use strong passwords everywhere, including your WordPress website log-in and email accounts. It’s easy to say “I can’t remember them,” but if it’s easy for you to remember, a hacker can easily figure it out too. Use this online password generator and change your passwords TODAY and change them every six months. It will save you heartache, website downtime due to hacking, and possibly money and identity theft, down the road.
9. Backup system – you can’t afford not to! There are several off-site backup systems such as IDrive, BackBlaze and others. A good backup system for your important files includes an external drive AND off-site backup in the event your computer goes down, fire, flood, theft, et cetera.
10. Scan all paper documents and save as PDFs. Why? Ink fades over time, paper rips, gets lost, PDFs can easily be sent to your virtual assistant or others, PDFs take up less storage space and can be saved in your paperless backup system (#9).
Join the conversation. What do you think every business should have? How many of the 10 things DON’T you have or do? Share your stories.