Domain names are those things after the @ symbol in email addresses. My business, for example, has calldrdavekc.com as the domain name for DoctorDave Computer Repair Kansas City. I purchased this domain for about $10 from GoDaddy. I have lots of other email addresses though!
At the start of your business, when still deciding the name of your business, you may be tempted to use your personal email as your point of contact. It is crucial to avoid this! While this Oatmeal cartoon takes a rather tongue-in-cheek approach to the subject, it nonetheless is a good description of how others may perceive you simply based on your email address. A great presentation combined with a classy business card and a killer idea can be tainted when you correspond via email@example.com. An aol.com, att.net or kc.rr.com email address communicates the same unprofessional message as using a PO box. You want your email address to portray a professional image just like you want your address to. An example of this is what bizperc does in Kansas City for its tenants–this coworking space allows its tenants to use suite numbers at the location, thereby creating a more professional image. Image is what can be the difference between a great idea and a winning idea.
The most important domain name to purchase would be your name or, if already taken, a close variation thereof. Buy this now! This way, no matter where you decide to take your business, you have a professional message after the @ symbol. While .com is ideal, .net and other codes afterwards are fine. Other popular and professional domain names end with .us or .biz or .me. The goal of a domain name is to create a professional stake hold on the Internet. Since these are so inexpensive, it is recommended that you buy domains for all of your business ideas. There is virtually no limit to ownership.
Once you obtain your desired domain name, it’s easy to integrate it into your current email program. Almost all web-based (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL) or computer-based (Outlook, Apple Mail) email programs allow you to navigate multiple email addresses into one program. You generally won’t have to go to more than one place to check your email if you don’t want to. Integration with your iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone isn’t a problem either.
If you’d like to do this for your business and you are a bizperc member, you are in luck. On September 20th, we’ll be offering FREE consulting sessions. This is a great topic we can cover during your meeting and even set it all up while you are there. You’ll create that professional image you are looking for and you may even separate yourself from your competitors. Be sure to contact Sarah Snyder (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up. And we won’t judge your return address on that email. Or will we?
Written by Dave Greenbaum. Dave Greenbaum aka @calldrdave has been making his "mouse calls" in the Kansas City Metro area since 1990 and helps small office, home office, and residential customers with their computer repair needs.