By August 8, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Does your Email Address make your Small Business look Mickey Mouse?

Does your Email Address make your Small Business look Mickey Mouse?

Even if you're working in a small company or SME or are working on your own as an enterpreneur, you don't have to look small and unsophisticated. Image is important in business, particularly for those you want to do business with.

Recently, as part of my speaking engagements, I've met many small businesses and entrepreneurs and noticed a disturbing trend - using an email service instead of their business name as their email address.

If your email address is with yahoo, gmail, hotmail or something similar, you are telling your potential customers something about you, and it may not be good.
Professionalism is important no matter whether you are a large corporation or sole proprietor, or whether you are a management consultant or a cleaner. If you hand out cards or any other material, even if you don't have a website, which you should, you should have an email address that represents you well.

Drop the free web based email services and invest $10-$15 per year in your own email address, along with a domain name you can build your website with eventually. Then you will also be able to tie-in your overall branding strategy easily, even if you aren't quite there yet.

Yes, all it costs is $10-$15 for an email address per year. That usually includes webmail access, just like gmail, hotmail or yahoo as well as being able to use it on your smartphone or desktop email application. If you still need to maintain your old address, you can have it forwarded to your new email. For a modest incremental fee, you can add several email addresses for staff or bump the storage limits to a higher level if you send or receive large files.

All it takes is for you to find and register a domain address, which is easier than you think.

Even if you use an email address with your name in it instead of a company name, it looks better. I've seen a lot of business cards lately that even have a proper business name and even a website, but the email address is still hotmail, gmail or one of the many other free email services that are fine for personal use, but shouldn't be used as a business contact email. I've also seen email addresses on people's cards that start with sales@ or info@ instead of the person's name. Not a credibility builder.

Most domain registrars let you reserve your web domain and provide free email along with it. Or you can use a web host, which may also enable you to simply register a domain and get an email account. Others require you to buy an email package, which may set you back another $20 per year or you may need a hosting service (to add a website) for $5 - $10 per month. Examples are GoDaddy, Netfirm, Hostgator, hostmonster, bluehost, fatcow and more.

Do a Google search for "Domain Registrars" or "Web Hosts" to find them, check out their registration, email and hosting plans, and decide which one is best for you.

About Michel Theriault

Michel is the founder of Success Fuel for Managers. He is an author, speaker and consultant focusing on topics relevant to Managers and aspiring Managers in businesses of all sizes who want to get results, get attention, and get ahead. He is also a contributor to Forbes and AllBusiness Experts . Michel is available for speaking engagements, training and consulting. Connect with him or send an email.

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