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Advertisement from CIRA: Research shows .ca works

Research shows the majority of Canadian businesses launch their websites within the first year. Find out how your new business could benefit.

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Even if your new business venture is a bricks-and-mortar affair, launching with a website makes good sense. In fact, research by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), shows over 60% of Canadian businesses registering a .ca domain (website) do it within the first year of operation.

“What we find is that new business owners are concerned about getting their desired website name at launch,” said David Fowler, director of marketing and communications at CIRA. “It makes sense for many businesses to secure their online identity at the same time they register the company.”

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Canadian small businesses are leveraging their websites as an important first step in reputation and brand building. A study by Pews Internet found almost 60% of those surveyed researched products and services online prior to purchase. It also reported that 24% posted reviews or comments online about things they purchased. This is even true of people purchasing locally – 97% of consumers search online first for items they purchase locally, according to a Kelsey Group study.

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Having a website allows customers, potential employees and future buyers to get a glimpse of what your company offers. It also gives your new business more credibility, according to Jordan Bamforth, creative director of Ontario-based brewery Beau’s All-Natural Brewing Company.

“We had as soon as we had the business name,” he said. “A website provides a certain level of authenticity. Today, if you don’t have a website, there’s a certain skepticism, like you won’t be able to deliver on what you say.”

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Today, location-based searches from PCs or mobile devices and review sites like Yelp, Facebook Places and Foursquare are the “yellow pages” of the new generation – even the iconic Yellow Pages has a mobile app.

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With your new business website, you have an opportunity to express your brand exactly as you want it to be known. At Beau’s, Bamforth is in charge of all aspects of the brewery’s brand, including the website.

“It’s important for the site to be simple and easy to navigate,” he said. “It’s a real resource, a sort of Wikipedia for your business. Your website is the brochure of the 21st century.”

Smart businesses recognize that having a website is a key part of their marketing and branding initiatives. It can be an important factor in how your company is perceived by customers, starting with the very first year of your new business.

Additional Resources

• Learn how to get your own website from CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.

Get your small business a .ca site today

• It’s surprisingly easy to get a website. CIRA makes it simple to search for available domain names, and connect with a list of approved registrars.

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