We see you, small business owners! You bring character and diversity to your hometowns and spice to your niche on the internet. You create jobs. You build local economies and provide unique products and services with a personal touch big corporations can only try to replicate. Plus, you are living your dream: turning your passion into a money-making venture that improves the world and gives you the chance to be your own boss.
We know how hard you work to make this dream a reality. It’s never easy to run your own business, but the current COVID-19 global pandemic has been a particular plague on small businesses. Governments around the world have social distancing guidelines to stop the spread of this coronavirus, bringing global economies to their knees.
With people stuck at home, non-essential businesses closed, and millions out of work, the customers you rely on to stay afloat either can’t come to your shop or are short on cash for anything outside living expenses. None of this is your fault, and it is happening despite your diligent work and vision for your business.
Even National Small Business Week — an annual springtime celebration of your essential place in the U.S. economy scheduled for this week — has been postponed thanks to COVID-19. But we are going to celebrate you anyway! Here at DreamHost, we believe in small business, and we are proud to provide a platform and digital home for so many of you.
The pandemic will let up eventually, and we are still rooting for you. To help you get some ideas for how to build and boost your business, we’ve collected our best advice for small business owners — all in one place.
Read on to find essential tips about:
Feel free to use the links above to jump around to the most pertinent articles for you and your business — or read straight on through for an overview of all the advice we have to offer.
You Can Build a Website
Whether you want to start a blog or run a small business, DreamHost makes it easy to begin your online journey. Our shared hosting plans give you everything you need to thrive online at an affordable price.
Building a Small Business Website
In the small-business world, your website is everything. It’s your homestead on the frontier of the web. It declares your brand to the world and is often the first impression potential customers have of your business.
For many of you, your website is your business.
Even if your business is a brick-and-mortar operation — such as a restaurant or antique store — your company’s website needs to be helpful, optimized, and updated and maintained regularly. Your website provides valuable info, including where to find you and when, and drives customers off their couches and into your stores.
The internet is where your customers spend most of their time, especially right now. Use these resources to learn how to get going on WordPress, build a beautiful website from the ground up, and tailor it to fit your own business.
Related: 16 Ways to Stay Focused When You’re Working from Home
Building an Online Store
If you have an online business — or if you want to start selling your products online in addition to your physical store — a reliable and attractive online shop is what you need. Your customers want to browse, find the products they want, and check out without a glitch. To make that happen, you need to build an online store with a trusted platform in addition to your business’s WordPress website.
It’s surprisingly easy to get an online shop up and keep it going — you just need the right tools and tips. We love WooCommerce and Shopify, and you’ll learn about both, plus more tips and tricks for selling online, in the helpful guides below.
Small Business Advice
You small business owners are a scrappy bunch, and much of what you know you learned through good, old fashioned experience. There’s no education like the one that comes from getting out there and making your own mistakes.
As valuable as mistakes and failures are, we want to set you up as much as possible for success and triumph. In this section, you’ll find a roundup of our best advice for entrepreneurs — learn how to manage everything from your stress to your small business website and beyond.
Related: 10 Ways You Can Create ‘Watercooler Moments’ While Working Remotely
Small-Biz Tools and Resources
You want your small business to reach its full potential — and so do we! No person is an island, and the same goes for businesses. We all need a little help and support sometimes, and when we use available tools, we can get more done in less time.
There are so many tools out there to help you manage and grow your business, and to optimize the whole enterprise for success. Stop doing things the hard way. Here you’ll find all of our favorite tools, apps, plugins, and more for making the work of running your business a little easier.
Related: 20 Ways to Stay Social in an Age of Social Distancing
Ways to Make Money Online
Thanks to the internet, there’s never been a better time to start a side hustle. Money-making opportunities abound online, from blogging to affiliate marketing.
Whether you want to build up an extra income source on top of your full-time gig or are looking for ideas to build up your business, we got you. Let’s walk through our favorite — not to mention lucrative and legitimate — ways to make money online.
Small-Biz Marketing Tips
There are more than 1.5 billion (and counting) websites on the internet today. So how does your humble food blog or photography portfolio get noticed, by the right people, amid all the noise?
One word: marketing.
“If you build it, they will come” is an adage that doesn’t hold up so well when it comes to your business’s presence online. Merely having a website just isn’t enough; you need to draw people to it for it to do any good. You need some smart strategies to bump your website up to the top of search results, find and engage social media followers, and encourage positive reviews.
Do you want your brand to get noticed? Find your target market. Drive traffic to your website. Do some smart social media and email marketing. Create killer content and optimize your site for top search engine results. How? We thought you’d never ask: Learn or brush up on these skills with our handy dandy guides to marketing your small business.
Want More Small-Biz Hacks?
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You’ve Got This
There you have it — everything we’ve ever written to guide, inform, and inspire small business owners in one handy guide. We know that you’ve got what it takes to make it through this crisis, and we hope these resources can help you get there.
Now, we have a question for you: How can we help? What small-biz related questions are keeping you up at night? Holler at us over on Twitter to let us know which additional topics and resources you’d like us to cover for small business owners.
Are you wondering where to get started? You can easily build an online presence for your small business with shared hosting. Our plans, which start at just $2.59 per month, offer all the tools you need to build your business and reach your customers.