There are minimums that you have to have to be viewed as a serious businessperson as opposed to a hobbyist or part-timer: a phone, a mailing address, a company name, a domain name and a website.
Every company should register their company name or a related domain name. At minimum, you want to use the domain for your email addresses – Pamela@YourComputerLady.com. Why should you advertise for Hotmail or Gmail or anyone other than yourself? An email address is a small piece of advertising, granted. But every little piece helps. People see your company name over and over. The domain name email makes you look like a business person.
After the domain registration, every business should have a website. Not to have a web presence, puts a pall over your company implying that you are behind the times, out of date and not “leading edge.”
The site doesn’t have to be 100 pages with Flash animations, rotating banners and symphony music. Simple is just fine. Have only the pages you need to tell your message. The design should be pleasing to the eye but glitter isn’t required unless you’re competing against The Gap or Barnes & Noble.
The true beauty of a website for a small business person is that it can expand and grow as you do. If I print 5,000 brochures today and add a new product tomorrow, I have to throw away 4,995 brochures then order 5,000 new ones. With a website, I can just add a new page about the new product.
Yes, you can do your own web site! But read this info before you spend your valuable time.