Sometimes it’s the little things in life that can have an impact on a business. When starting an online business, it is important to perform due diligence on every aspect of that business.  From domain name through hosting and on to web design, each component can be fraught with hidden dangers. As a business owner, you are responsible for any outcomes and your online business could suffer if don’t dig deep enough.

Take domain names, for example. You cannot take someone else’s offline business name or brand and buy that domain name (unless, of course, you have their permission). I know there are many that rub their hands with glee when they see a successful business’ domain name is available. The problem is, you can build that into a successful online business only to lose the domain name in a legal brawl with the offline business – and they do normally win. Before settling on a domain name, a little due diligence will ensure your selection is a safe selection.

The second area to check is your web hosting company. Cheap normally means just that. I say ‘normally’ as there are some good value hosting companies around. You need to be sure they are hosting your business here in the UK. There are many that, to all intents and purposes, are UK hosts, but their servers are in Ireland, Europe (including eastern Europe) and the US. Dig deep to be sure your hosts servers are here in the UK.

Finally, when it comes to your web design, the industry is pretty good at present. It still pays to have a second set of eyes run over your site’s code. In years gone by, web designers have included links to third party sites, sometimes hidden from view. These are often links that they have been paid to include, without your permission or knowledge. It’s not ethical and doesn’t appear that frequently today – however, it still pays to check. If you are using free or cheap templates, check the footers – you will sometimes be surprised to see where the links are actually going.

Due diligence is something we do to most aspects of our business. You need to include it in all aspects of your online business as well. Never make assumptions, always check to ensure that what is being stated is a fact. The online world is competitive and it’s the little things that can often make a difference.

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