There are a number of different ways to set up an email account for your small business, all of which are relatively simple and inexpensive.
Your own business email address
You can get free accounts from various email providers like Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, AOL and Mail.com. Alternatively, you can set up a professional, branded business email address by purchasing a custom domain extension from a domain name provider or Web Hosting company.
The latter option is an effective way to establish a brand image and create a level of corporate prestige and professionalism. It’s not as easy to do this with a generic business email address like ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, for example.
Creating different email addresses with the same custom domain extension is also an effective way to organise your business internally. Rather than having just one address where all emails are delivered, you can set up different addresses for each department, such as:
How to register a domain name
Domain name registration will enable you to create a professional online presence for your company. A domain name is a unique website address that can also be used as a domain extension for email addresses. For example: our company name is Rapid Formations, and the domain name for our web pages and email extensions is rapidformations.co.uk. This kind of uniformity is a really effective way to establish a strong web presence and brand image, and it will impact the way your company is viewed by potential clients.
You can register a domain name with any accredited ICANN registrar in the UK. If possible, try to register your domain name before you register your company name. By doing so, you can make sure your domain name and company name are the same. You can set up your business email address when you register your domain name, and many domain registrars also provide Web Hosting services (Internet space for your website) and website building templates.
Free email providers
As far as free providers go, Mail.com is particularly good because you can choose from over 200 domains to create a personalised email address that is relevant to your work. Many of these domains are suitable for lots of different professions – @lawyer.com, @deliveryman.com, @consultant.com, which is a great option if you are not quite ready to establish a full web presence by registering a domain name and setting up a website. Sole traders will often use this kind of email account, particularly those who are just starting out.