When you start a small business like a coaching business, your dream is to coach athletes and assist them in their goals. The reality is, unless you have a stash of cash to fallback on, you have to not only be good at coaching but also business It’s true, you don’t need an MBA to start and run a business. It might help, but you’re not going to be taught how to build your website or market yourself.
Your website is an extension of your business and processes
You don’t need to spend anything more than $100-600 dollars on your website. Sure you can go big with “custom everything” but, it doesn’t make sense for small businesses when you can invest that money on equipment to teach your athletes skills.
There are two ways to go here. WordPress is the most flexible and widely used systems. There are thousands of themes our there that are perfect for your needs and even though it might not be exactly what you imagined, it takes care of 99% of the work.
In addition to themes, there are plugins that you can install that give you features like an event calendar, an e-commerce store, contact and order forms. You can even turn your site into a members site with a plugin. This is perfect if you have a team that you want to provide special content to.
The other option you have is something like Square Space. Square Space can you get you pretty far without a lot of headache. They are a hosted website solution which means, you don’t need to pay for hosting. You just purchase a domain, choose a template and you’re off and running. The drawback is you’re much more limited down the road if you have big ideas for your site.
If you go the WordPress route, I recommend contacting a service like wpsetup.co. They specialize in setting everything (domains, hosting and installing WordPress and themes) for you for a fairly cheap price. In addition, they have subscription plans to support your site if you need anything changed or updated.
If you still want to do it yourself, here’s a quick list of what you need. I’m in the process of explaining each section individually and will post links to those posts as they come.
Next, you need a WordPress theme. Not at all things are created equal. I recommend a few great themes like Hayden by ThemeTrust or Business Essentials 2. If I can make one thing clear, you DO NOT WANT A DRAG AND DROP THEME. Looking ahead, they can be a nightmare when you want to change your theme.
Lastly, there are a few plugins needed. I prefer Gravity Forms for forms. It’s kind of steep, but it is so powerful. You can connect it to various services like Mailchimp or Stripe (if you want to take payments). In addition to Gravity Forms, I recommend installing WordPress SEO and Google Analytics for WordPress to help bring people to your site and analyze what they’re doing on your site.
One last thing you may need is an SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. When you have one installed, it encrypts the connection between your user and your site. This way when someone makes a payment on your site, it’s not readable by hackers that might be monitoring transactions.
Again, this is a short technical overview about websites and using. I’ll dive into more of the details about hosting, purchasing domain names and install WordPress.