You have just had the business brainwave of the century. This venture is going to help hundreds of thousands of people the world over and it’s poised to make you a fortune.
So what’s your first step? Get the domain. You jump on GoDaddy and there it is in all its glory and… it’s taken! Don’t worry, all is not lost. Here are some options.
1. Tweak the name
Without changing the name altogether you can tweak it slightly so it’s similar. You might add your city or country to the domain name or an ‘s’ or ‘ing’, for example. You can also use hyphens. However, doing this can be risky. It happened to Dropbox.com. They didn’t own the domain name and instead were using GetDropbox.com because Dropbox.com was already taken. People know the company for its name and not GetDropbox.com and so traffic was going to the wrong site. They used this domain for years before they eventually purchased Dropbox.com.
It’s not been reported how much they paid for it. Another ramification of this move is that you could be in breach of a trademark agreement, which could cost you a significant amount of time and money.
2. Get the other domain names and suffixes
Getting the .com on a domain name may be difficult because it is popular with so many global businesses evolving. You can get the other suffixes such as .com.au, .net, and so on. If you are a global company, look at a .com address as some search engines narrow their results to local markets based on the web address. However, a .com.au it is a great place to start if you are not launching a global company straight away.
3. Buy it from the holder
Everything is for sale, even a domain name. If it is being used it might be harder to obtain. Get in touch with the company holding it, go through a broker or contact the owner directly. Of course, this will be a more expensive option, but think about the future of your business. If you don’t get the domain name now, how will it affect your business in years to come? Spending the money now may be a small price to pay.
4. Deal with it later
Don’t make the same mistake Facebook by not buying the domain name. FB had to shell out $200,000 to buy facebook.com and $8.5 million on FB.com. Mark Zuckerberg is famously quoted as saying if he had to start again he’d get the right domain name. That’s how important it is to your business and that’s the repercussions of not buying it from the beginning. Think of it as an investment in your future.