Don’t Skip This Step When Launching Your Small Business Online

So you’re ready to get your small business online: what’s the very first thing you should do?

Whether you’re just getting started or creating an online presence for an already established business, there are many things to think about:

  • Domain names
  • Social media handles
  • Which social platforms to use
  • Web hosting
  • Web design
  • Branding
  • Ads
  • SEO

Before you get too deep into any of these areas, there’s one simple step that we’ve seen too many small business owners skip when getting ready to get their business online:

Create a business-only email address

Setting up a business-only email address that’s not tied to your domain name (and preferably free) is a quick and easy step that can be easily overlooked when you’re taking on these many tasks yourself. In our experience, small business owners will frequently use personal email addresses to set up critical accounts, leading to lots of headaches down the road.

We understand why this happens so often: starting a business is hard! You have a million things to handle and juggling multiple inboxes and creating lots of new accounts online can be overwhelming. Whatever the reason, separating your personal and business emails is just as important as separating your personal and business finances.

Why you need a business-only email address

You need a business-only email address to:

  • Create accounts on social platforms, domain name registrars, web hosts, etc
  • Separate business from personal 
  • Share with anyone who might need to manage your online presence (i.e. a company like Ridge Road Media)
  • Use until you have a domain email (i.e.
Photo of email apps on an iPhone screen including Google and the iOS Mail app.

Use your business email address for all of your online accounts

This business email is the one you should use to:

  • Register your domain name with a company like Namecheap
  • Create a web hosting account with a company like Cloudways
  • Start social media accounts
  • Add your business information and website to search engines like Bing and Google and recommendation site like Yelp and Nextdoor
  • Set up online banking, accounting and other accounts you need to run your business
  • Provide a backup for the custom domain email you should create later on

This makes it easier for you (and anyone you might hire) to handle your online presence. Logging into accounts, adding them to new devices or making changes to key settings will often require more than just the password. 

If two-factor authentication and other security measures are enabled (as they should be), this email will be one the ways to allow that to happen. We have lost count of how many times we’ve had to call or text a client to wait for a code that was emailed to an account we don’t have access to (and often had to resend the code because too much time had passed before they were able to respond). It’s wasted time and effort for everyone involved.

What service should I use to create a business email address?

We would recommend whatever free email platform you like best, but since you’re going to need a Google account anyway (for Google Business Platform, Search Console, Analytics, Ads, etc) you might as well use a Gmail account as well. We love Gmail’s interface, and their service is fast and reliable, but that’s just one of many options out there.

No matter which platform you choose, the key is to set up an email that isn’t tied to payment methods, domains or anything else that might interrupt your service or access. 

Should I share this business email with my customers?

We would recommend keeping this email reserved for managing the online accounts and services directly related to the operation of your business. That’s already going to be a lot of emails to manage!

The domain email you should set up after this one (i.e. would be best for sharing with customers and as your publicly available email. It looks more professional and keeps the many messages you are sure to get better organized.

For example, you might want to keep emails with online orders (if you take them) separate from the email you use to manage your Instagram and TikTok accounts, especially if you have a third party like Ridge Road Media handling digital marketing for you. 

Of course, you should go with whatever makes sense for your business!

If you need help launching your business online, from setting up this initial business email account to social media, Google Business Profiles and more, Ridge Road Media can help. Contact us today.