Today, even small businesses need to know how to make the Internet work for them. Having a strong online presence is essential to the ongoing success of your company.

The following tips will help you to build your brand and boost your business:

Get the basics right first

When you first envisage your small business it can be tempting to think too big and neglect some of the critical, fundamental details.

While they probably aren’t the most interesting or glamorous aspects of business ownership, things like legal and compliance issues, finances and cash flow management and operations and supply chain factors are essential considerations for any small business owner.

Government websites such as the NSW Small Business Commissioner and Business Victoria can be a useful starting point.

Develop trust and foster relationships

Integrity is essential for building trust and strong relationships, which are the hallmarks of a successful local business. Having a local domain name is one of the simplest ways to generate trust and confidence, and to encourage bonds within the community.

Extensive research has found consumers trust websites ending in country code domain names over .com or .net for two key reasons. One is the intrinsic connection with the country they are from. The other is that often there are eligibility requirements for these sites, meaning they feature trusted content. .sydney and .melbourne addresses provide owners with similar assurances so your customers will know they can rely on you.

Build your brand

According to entrepreneur and marketer, Sujan Patel, not understanding the power of branding is one of the biggest mistakes small businesses make. Defining your brand is a crucial step.

Think about your vision for your company and how it can be realised consistently through actual and virtual platforms. Features such as standardised logos, slogans, brand colours, fonts and typography, and tone are all critical for today’s small business owner. These elements make it easier for potential customers to recognise and remember your brand.

A new and innovative way to build your brand is to have a localised domain name that better represents your business to your customers.

Community focus

When you’re part of a community it’s important that people know what you stand for. You need to maintain the integrity of your company brand through the consistency of your real world and online strategies. In his Huffington Post article, co-founder and CEO of Magicdust, Ian Mills emphasises the importance of consistency in branding. He suggests that familiarity is essential to effective branding and that ‘without consistency businesses never have the opportunity to evolve into sustainable brands’.

A great way to demonstrate that you are community-oriented is through your web address. There is the opportunity for savvy small business owners to now take their web presence down to the local level with a .sydney or .melbourne domain name.

When you are a local business, you want people to know you are proud to be local and that they can trust you. What better way to demonstrate these things than by having a domain name that reflects both your location and legitimacy?