This applies to any business or online start up business! So why dot com?
Let’s first look at the history of the dot com extension. The first registered domain was a dot com and was registered almost 31 years ago. Back in March 1985 symbolics.com was the first registered domain and over the course of the next 2 years seen the registration of the first 100 domain names. These included hp.com, apple.com, IBM.com and Intel.com. All 100 were all dot com. Surprisingly, there was even one domain with a hyphen, Bell-ATL.com (the 20th name registered) and also one with a numeric, 3com.com.
The first 100 domains were registered before I turned 8 years old. When I was 8 I had an Atari computer that only allowed me to play 2d games. Look where we are today! I’m typing up this blog on a laptop that has a screen only a few millimetres thick. Back when I was 8 if my parents wanted a phone number, it was in the yellow pages, a book that was 2 inches thick!
Anyway, getting back to the matter in hand. Every business is online these days, and if you’re not then you need to do so now. For your business to look professional you need a nice catchy straight to the point domain name. That domain needs to be a dot com. Why? Look at the Fortune 500 list. 500 companies, 498 all have a dot com. OK so you’re maybe a long way off the Fortune 500 but you want to look professional? You want to be trusted by your customers? You need a domain name and an email address that says you are both of these, that’s why you need a dot com. No one wants to contact or be contacted by a firstname.lastname@example.org/yahoo.com/aol.com, they want to contact or be contacted by email@example.com. The latter is so much more professional whereas the former is best suited to your personal emails and arranging drinks with the guys or a shopping trip with the gals.
As a domain name investor I monitor sales of domain names daily. I’ve seen domains sell for a few dollars and seen some sell for a few hundred thousand dollars. Internet savvy business owners know the value of a dot com and what it can do for their business going forward. I’ve seen companies who already have a dot com domain then they buy another as it’s shorter than the one they own already, why? So their customers can find them quicker and faster and it makes them look even more professional than they already do. That’s why just last week (15th Feb 16) TeslaMotors.com acquired Tesla.com. The fee has not been disclosed but I would say it is well in the 6 figure region, maybe even 7 figures! In 2010 Facebook.com bought FB.com $8.5m. 2009 seen ToysRus buy Toys.com for $5.1m. Check out the top 100 domain name sales of all time here.
Ok, so other extensions may work for you and your business. If you’re a small local company and your business is dedicated to one town or one country then your country code (.co.uk, .es, .us, .in) will be good for this but, if you can get your business in the dot com extension, then do it. If your customers or target audience are all over the world and you want to make a global presence, then this is when the dot com comes into play and you should look to acquire it ASAP. If obtaining the dot com is completely impossible then a great substitute is .co (company, corporation, commercial). Dot co is the ccTLD for Columbia but there are no restrictions on where it can be used. Some start-up companies may opt for the dot co as the dot com is out of reach when first starting out.
So there it is. Get your business online if you haven’t done so already, get a nice short dot com, a nice one or two word domain. Even short made up names work! Look at Zoopla.com and Zopa.com? Both made up names that are massive in the real estate world and the credit world! If companies can get away with made up names in credit and real estate then I’m certain you can do it to.