Can your business website have an impact on your business positioning, branding and marketing? Yes, absolutely!
It has happened with you, as it has happened with most of us, that there is that perfect brand name in your mind for your business but when you search for it to register a website, you get the message, ‘That domain name has already been taken!’ It can be quite disappointing and as a result, you’d have to settle for domain names with hyphens, too many characters or numbers, wrong spellings, meaningless word fillers, etc.
The problems with choosing a long and complicated domain name are:
The good news is that you don’t need to choose a complicated domain name for your brand. You have a simplified solution because of the availability of 1200+ new domain extensions such as:
.TECH, .ONLINE, .STORE, .SITE, .WEBSITE, .FUN, .HOST, and .SPACE.
Thus, instead of settling for a mediocre name, you can utilise the massive opportunity and be disruptive with your branding and positioning right from the start.
Let’s say you have a ‘food tech’ business in Portugal. Wouldn’t it be great if you get the exact match domain name in the localised language? So, going with the Portuguese word ‘comida’ for ‘food’ and combining it with a new domain extensions, such as .TECH, a food app business got ‘www.comida.tech’ — a one word, meaningful domain name that describes who you are.
What are new domain extensions?
Some of the most popular domain extensions are .COM, .ORG, .GOV, .EDU. Technically, all of these extensions are similar but each of them mean something different linguistically. So, .COM means ‘commercial’, .ORG means ‘organization’, and so on. Since 2012, many new domain extensions have been introduced and today we have over 1200 of them. So, you can be sure that there’s one that’s most relevant for your industry. Some of these extensions include .TECH (technology, startups), .STORE (eCommerce), .FUN (media and entertainment), .PRESS (news), .SPACE (outer space), .HOST (Internet hosting), etc.
The most obvious benefit of these domain extensions is that they add a layer of meaning to your website and brand positioning. Some of the most popular brands use new domain extensions to brand their specific initiatives. For instance, Cisco has pirl.tech for its innovation and research lab and Google My Business uses BUSINESSNAME.busines.site as a subdomain for all the small businesses that are registered on it.
A startup is a venture that is initiated by its founders around an idea or a problem with a potential for significant business opportunity and impact. Often the actual development starts even before that with a search of an idea or a meaningful problem worth solving and building a committed founding team aligned with shared vision to make that vision into reality.
Aim of the initial founder(s) is to establish a committed co-founder team with necessary skills and abilities to be able to validate the initial problem/solution fit and product/market fit, before scaling it to significant company and self sustained business.
So in addition to innovation process itself, from idea to value generating product and business model, startups also need to have a strong and committed founding team and develop both of these together into a real growing business and organization that captures the value being created as a great company.
A great company is a self sustaining entity that is no longer dependent on any single individual or other organization, where all necessary knowledge, values, strategies, IPR etc. are permanently embedded to its existence in a way that it can continue to operate, improve and build value for customers, shareholders and other key stakeholders, while remaining financially stable by the value of solutions and products it creates.
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5 tips for buying and selling domain names for profit
Here are some tips to get you pointed in the right direction when trying to buy or sell a domain name for profit:
Let’s dig into each of these tips.
1. Narrow your focus
There are millions of domains already registered by someone and endless combinations of available domains to register — especially when you consider the hundreds of new domain name extensions like .app and .club.
If you plan on buying a domain to resell it, start by narrowing your focus.
What do you know about already that can make this easier?
Think about some of the spaces you are most familiar with and start your domain name search based on the related keywords.
It is much easier to sell a domain you know would be valuable to someone in a particular industry.
What not to do
Here’s what you DON’T want to do: Target prospective buyers based on their perceived economic status, without any insight into the industry you’re targeting. “Lawyers seem to do well,” you think, “maybe I should start selling names to them.” So you rush out and buy a bunch of domain names you think would appeal to the law firms you’ve identified as potential buyers.
Without knowledge of the space, you may not know that the American Bar Association and other industry-specific organizations set rules that govern some aspects of legal advertising. You’re not going to strike gold selling names your target buyers can’t use.
Understand your audience, and the sales will eventually follow.
You can keep a domain for 10 years and still sell at a considerable profit. While you are waiting for it to sell you can monetize the domain and throw in some SEO, which in turn can justify the cost to the buyer.
Most domains end up paying for themselves so your portfolio won’t really cost you any money out of pocket.
Remember to focus on the areas you know well and you will be much more successful than buying and selling domains you think would benefit someone in an industry you know little about.
2. Find names that offer real value
Think of ways that the domains you buy would be a valuable asset to the buyer.
Picture someone who would benefit from buying the domain in a space you are very familiar with. If this was you and someone was trying to sell you this name, would it be beneficial for you to own? Be honest. If so, why? If not, why?
Use those answers to refine your search for names.
Let’s play this out with a real example. Say you’re familiar with the real estate market in Tempe, Arizona, and you have the opportunity to purchase tempeapartments.com for $200. This might be a good deal. Tempe has a lot of rental property; it’s a competitive market; and there’s ample turnover in the apartment space because the city is home to a major university. Ask yourself:
If you can answer these questions with confidence and know this niche well, you probably already have an idea of who to contact and how to make a compelling case for how this domain could help their business grow.
3. Check domain availability
Now that you have narrowed down what names you should probably be buying, how do you find them?
First, check to see if the names are available to purchase as new registrations.
Though still far from mainstream use, cryptocurrencies continued to mature throughout 2017, and businesses are increasingly exploring the opportunities they offer to improve the efficiency of international payments. Yet key risks remain, including extreme volatility: Bitcoin, for example, the first cryptocurrency, surged past $10,000 in late November 20171 after briefly falling 15 percent in one day to a low of $5,507 in the middle of that month.2
International Payments, the Old-Fashioned Way
For centuries, international payments have depended on banks. Networks of correspondent banks enabled international businesses to transact with each other around the world. Until the mid-20th century, this process was very slow, since it depended on postal communications between banks and could fail if payment instructions didn't arrive or the correspondent bank lacked the funds to make the payment.
Technological improvements in the last half-century mean that international payments now take days rather than weeks to arrive. The SWIFT international messaging system has replaced faxes and postal communications, speeding up the transmission of payment instructions. And central bank real-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems such as Fedwire and CHAPS (in the U.K.), together with the Continuous Linked Settlement (CLS) system for FX settlement, have eliminated the risk that payments will fail to reach their destination due to lack of funds in intermediary banks.
However, there is still a trade-off between speed of settlement and price. Businesses can send USD payments intraday via Fedwire, but the fees are high. Meanwhile, using the cheaper ACH system means payments may not settle for several days. International payments in many other currencies remain slow and expensive.
Cryptocurrency Technology is Changing the Face of International Payments
Cryptocurrencies are sometimes described as the "Wild West" of the financial system, breaking new technological frontiers and threatening to disrupt existing financial service providers.3 Bypassing traditional bank intermediation, they can enable businesses to transfer funds anywhere in the world quickly and cheaply. Advanced cryptographic techniques protect funds from theft and hacking, and the underlying blockchain technology filters out fraudulent or duplicate transactions. Transaction fees are generally low compared to central bank RTGS fees.
The oldest and best-known cryptocurrency is Bitcoin. Other popular cryptocurrencies include Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash and Monero. The international digital payments protocol Ripple has its own native cryptocurrency. Both Ethereum and Bitcoin have "clones" – new cryptocurrencies created by a technical change, known as a "hard fork." Ethereum's clone is Ethereum Classic, and Bitcoin's is Bitcoin Cash. All of these can be used for international payments, though Bitcoin is by far the most widely used.
Cryptocurrencies can be particularly useful for cross-currency payments. For example, suppose an American business wishes to pay a Japanese supplier. The American business's main income is in U.S. dollars (USD), but the Japanese supplier wants to be paid in Japanese yen (JPY). Conventionally, either the American business must exchange USD for JPY before making the payment, or the Japanese supplier must make the same exchange on receipt. As the payment can take several days to settle, the USD-JPY exchange rate can move while the payment is in transit, causing losses for one or the other party to the transaction.
Typically, businesses use forward contracts or other FX hedging products to protect against this risk. However, if both parties agree that the payment will be made in Bitcoin (BTC), BTC's fast settlement can significantly reduce the risk of adverse exchange rate movements. The American business exchanges USD for BTC and sends BTC to the Japanese business, which exchanges BTC for JPY. If the two businesses use Ripple rather than BTC, conversion into and out of cryptocurrency is automatic.
Alternatively, if cash flow allows, both businesses can run BTC accounts, converting to and from their respective currencies when the BTC exchange rate is in their favor. Businesses that send and receive payments in multiple currencies could find using BTC for settlement streamlines cash flow management.
Key Risks to Consider When Using Cryptocurrencies for International Payments
However, using cryptocurrencies for international payments is not risk-free. Firstly, there is the problem of exchangeability. Cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase will readily exchange Bitcoin and Ethereum for major currencies such as USD, Japanese yen and euros, but other cryptocurrencies may only be exchangeable for USD or Bitcoin. Clearly, if a British business whose main income is in pounds (GBP) wishes to pay an Australian supplier in Australian dollars (AUD), using a cryptocurrency that can only be exchanged for USD or Bitcoin creates additional FX risk.
Secondly, cryptocurrency exchange rates are extremely volatile. Businesses can risk significant losses if they run cash positions in cryptocurrencies for any length of time, though they may of course also profit from exchange rate gains. Opportunities for hedging against adverse exchange rate movements are currently limited: some cryptocurrency futures and options are traded on specialist exchanges, but they can be expensive and volatile. There are also some over-the-counter derivative products, but these can be highly speculative: one such product, the "contract for difference", was recently the subject of a regulatory warning from the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority.5
However, there are signs that a deeper and more liquid market for cryptocurrency derivatives may be on the way, to the benefit of businesses looking to hedge cryptocurrency cash positions arising from international payments. Recently, mainstream derivatives exchanges CME Group and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) decided to offer, respectively, Bitcoin futures6 and options.7 The Nasdaq stock exchange and broker Cantor Fitzgerald followed suit, announcing plans to offer Bitcoin futures from early 2018.8
As cryptocurrencies challenge international payments protocol, traditional payments service providers are responding. They are looking for ways of helping businesses to benefit from cryptocurrencies' fast settlement, security and cost-effectiveness while minimizing the FX and cash flow risks. For example, American Express recently announced a joint venture with international payments protocol Ripple and a large British bank to provide fast, secure transatlantic payments for U.S. customers.