Create a Corporate Site for Your Business
A corporate site is a good idea if you are in a niche dominated by household name brands and you need to really impress the suppliers in order to get a dealer account and/or if you are going to build a portfolio of online projects and need a "headquarters" where you can host emails and refer other professionals to.
If you are simply building your first online store and aren't struggling to land any suppliers, we don't recommend taking the time and investing the effort necessary to complete a corporate website for your business.
How to Create a Simple Corporate Site
Having a professional-looking corporate website is a great way to make a good first impression on a potential supplier. Having a corporate website allows you to...
- show potential suppliers the online "headquarters" of your company
- use your business' domain name in your email address (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com)
- give potential suppliers the impression you are a well-established business
We used to own a company called Store Chain, Inc., which was an S Corp registered in the state of Idaho. We used this business entity to operate all of our e-commerce websites under. We got all of our services under that business name: our toll-free number, our merchant account, a free business checking account with a Visa debit card, etc. We also registered the domain name StoreChain.com and built a very basic corporate website there. This also allowed us to have email accounts that ended in @storechain.com. When we would reach out to suppliers, we could say...
"Hi, my name is Dave Hermansen, Vice President of Operations with Store Chain, Inc. We specialize in building specialty e-commerce stores focused around very specific niche markets. We have identified your market as the one we'd like to build our next niche store around, and we'd like to feature your products. Can we discuss how we may be able to work together?"
This sounds far more professional than approaching a potential supplier as "Joe Blow" who wants to sell their products! IF you also took the time to register a domain name for your "soon-to-be-launched" online store (in addition to building a corporate site for your business as outlined here), you can add the following statement to the dialogue above...
"We have already registered XXXXXXX.com and are ready to add your products and make your brand the focal point of our store."
Steps to Create a Simple Corporate Website
Step 1. Register a domain name
For only $6-10 a year, you can register a domain name for your corporate website. If you can't get the .com version of your domain name like we did, try a hyphen between the words or add a short filler word like "inc", "co" or "hq" to the end of it. The domain name registrar we personally use and recommend is NameCheap.
Step 2. Set up web hosting
If you haven't already done so, it's time to get a NameCheap web hosting account.
NOTE: Once you set up your hosting account, you will be emailed with your account details. Be sure to save this email or copy those details to a Usernames & Passwords spreadsheet on your project Master Sheet. You will need the hosting account nameservers to "point" (or link) each domain name to your web hosting account. You can point your domains at your hosting account by logging into your NameCheap registrar account and updating each domain's nameservers to whatever nameservers are given in your web hosting welcome email.
Step 3. Install WordPress
Installing WordPress on your hosting account is simple, fast and free. Just follow the steps in this tutorial.
Step 4. Add a logo
Create a logo and add it to your corporate website either by running a logo competition or creating one yourself with Canva. Of all the design factors on your corporate website, none is as important as the logo. It can truly make the difference between a mediocre and an amazing corporate site!
Step 5. Choose your theme
Once you have installed your WordPress blog, you'll want to choose a professional-looking theme. Click here to browse hundreds of free (and cheap) WordPress themes and to access step-by-step instructions on how to change your WP site's theme (it's really easy).
Step 6. Add your basic company information
Now, just use WordPress to create your home page, About Us page, Contact Us page or any other pages you'd like to create. (If you're not sure how to create pages in WordPress, here's a short tutorial. You can also find hundreds of video tutorials by searching for 'create website using WordPress' or 'create pages in WordPress' or something similar.)
A mission statement and some basic details about your company are ideal for this content. Once you feel that your main few pages have an adequate amount of content, you'll be ready to start reaching out to potential suppliers with much more confidence.
My corporate website is complete, now what?
Where to go from here really depends on where you were at in the process before you stopped to create your corporate website. You were likely in Task #5 - Create a Corporate Site of our Prepare to Work with Wholesale Drop-Shippers guide, or possibly in Section 3.4 - Secure Supplier Accounts of Module 3 within our free training course.