Embarking on a new business venture can be an exciting and rewarding experience, and with the right mindset and strategy, small business owners can thrive in today’s economy. Although there will be challenges along the way, the opportunity to build a successful business is within reach. According to new research from GoDaddy, the company that helps entrepreneurs thrive, 83% of microbusinesses (defined as those with 10 or fewer employees) started their business due to opportunity versus necessity. They were inspired by the potential of being their own boss while pursuing their passion to create something innovative or unique. Moreover, 73% of microbusinesses have confidence in their prospects for the next six months despite the economic outlook.

Before diving in headfirst in their entrepreneur journey, prospective small business owners should consider these three key strategies: establishing a brand, choosing the right domain name and embracing digital marketing. These will greatly improve their odds of long-term success.

1. Establishing a Brand

If you’re one of these hopeful small business entrepreneurs, you’ll need to first analyze where your business goals, vision, and target customers intersect. Think of this like a puzzle – you need all the pieces to fit together to create the larger picture of what your company name and brand will become.

It is important to identify the key elements that will make your business unique. Highlighting the authenticity and what it may evoke in your customers is key. Determine what sets you apart from competitors and what specific characteristics define it, such as location, product design or pricing. Understanding those components can help you establish a clear and distinct image that will resonate with your target customers.

Branding is vital to the success and growth of a business. It serves as the first impression, sets you apart from others and establishes credibility. By taking the time to craft your brand identity, you create a solid foundation for your small business.

2. Choosing the Right Domain Name

Having spent over a decade and a half in the domain name industry, advocating for entrepreneurs and small businesses every step of the way, I can confidently say that choosing the right domain name is critical for the success of a business. Your domain is not just a web address for your website, it’s the online persona of your brand, and it is where your customers will be able to find you. It plays a vital role in your overall business strategy.

To create an effective domain name, it is crucial to prioritize brevity and recognizability. At first glance, a well-crafted domain not only adds credibility to your brand, but also authenticates and legitimizes your expertise in your industry. A domain that stands the test of time follows the 3 ‘S’ Rule:

  1. Short enough to be convenient to the customer

  2. Specific enough to intrigue your audience

  3. Special enough to be memorable

To make sure your business meets this rule, review your brand analysis and conduct a competitor audit of the current market. Examine which of your brand’s qualities fit the rule, and compare how similar businesses are either excelling or failing at it. Ask yourself if people could easily find your business online just by hearing your business name on a radio show (e.g., pamsgreatcakes.com versus pams-gr8-cakes.com). If not, you might want to reconsider your domain strategy.

It is crucial to choose a domain name that is memorable, easy to spell and relevant to your brand. Don’t rush the process, take the time to research and brainstorm ideas, and establish a few keywords that are simple and unique that will help your business stand out in the crowded online marketplace.

A great place to start is plugging variations of these words into a domain generator to see the various options available. An alternative approach is to leverage generative AI, such as Open AI’s ChatGPT or Google’s Bard. Using a prompt such as, “As a small business owner who bakes cakes for dogs, what are three simple, memorable and relevant business names I could use?” may generate some clever options you may not have otherwise considered. GoDaddy recently launched a Small Business Generative AI Prompt Library, where small business owners can access over 100 ready-to-use prompts that help address common issues fellow entrepreneurs commonly encounter. Soon you’ll be closer to choosing the right domain name and launching your business.

3. Embracing Digital Marketing

Digital marketing can be a great vehicle to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, generate leads and boost sales. Creating a strong online presence is key. This involves designing a website that is user-friendly and provides valuable information to your customers.

To maximize your digital marketing efforts and increase brand visibility, you should leverage search engine optimization(SEO) techniques to improve the positioning of your website. In addition, implementing and maintaining an active social media presence, as well as developing an email marketing strategy, allows you to engage and connect with customers directly.

Investing and focusing on an effective omnichannel strategy, which provides customers a seamless and integrated experience across multiple channels, can also help your business thrive. A Harvard Business Review study showed that customers spent an average 9% more in a business if they had four or more channels, compared to those who used just a single channel.

Embracing digital marketing tools enables you to remain competitive in the digital age, ultimately driving your business’ growth.

Starting a new business requires effort and dedication to turn a vision into a reality. By incorporating these three key steps into your business strategy, you can position your brand as authentic, build a strong and sustainable foundation to achieve long-term success, generate revenue and elevate your business to new heights.