Some of you already have a website for your business. For those child care providers still thinking about it, please heed this advice:
Stop by GoDaddy.com (a low cost registrar) right now and do a domain search on your business name.
If your business is "Harriet's Happy Kids," type "harrietshappykids" into the domain search box and see what comes up. Hopefully, harrietshappykids.com is available, in which case I urge you to waste no time in buying the domain before someone else does. Even if you don't need it now, it's worth $10-$15 per year to secure the rights to your business domain name. Otherwise, beware of the domain troll. He could be lurking under a bridge near you!
The domain troll caught up with me and this is my cautionary tale.
I started my tax business in 1995 using the name Taxes On The Net. Email was functional then, but the World Wide Web was not yet widely accessible. I never thought about buying taxesonthenet.com, or if I did, I was hindered by high registration costs. I satisfied myself with using AOL for email purposes.
Eventually, I did want my own domain. That's when I learned I was the victim of a domain troll - someone who registered the name of my business, presumably in the hopes of making a profit by selling it to me later. That certainly seemed to be the case. When I looked up the domain owner using Whois.Net, I found it was a long ago client of mine! This was a shocking and disturbing experience. It was also a lesson learned. I should have registered my business name a long time ago.
Luckily, I recovered from this betrayal and went on to register more useful domains. BUT DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! Domain registration is much cheaper now. You can't afford not to register your business name, if you haven't already. The person who snatched my business name still hasn't used it for anything and recently listed it with an intermediary sales agent.
When you are ready to build a website there are low cost options. A website can showcase your daycare program, attract new parents, and help retain your current childcare families. More and more people search the Internet to find local businesses and that's you!