For a very long time it had been a dream of mine to own my own business. Then, in February, 2009, I filed my business, Blue Zenith, with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office online. It was an exciting day for me – and represented the culmination of years of hard work and education to get me to that point. My business was now official!

And yet, I soon realized this was just the beginning. Reading, studying, keeping up with new technologies, learning what services were needed by the small business community, and getting myself out there by meeting new potential clients all helped me expand my skills, services and understanding of what my clients needed.

Giving small business a voice in a level playing field – this is my underlying motto. I know how important is it in today’s highly competitive world to have a successful website representing your business, showcasing your products and services and defining who you are.

Yet, I realized, just as I soon learned after I filed my business name, that building a website is just the beginning. It is the start of building your online presence. A successful online presence takes continual, constant work just like any business. Keeping your website fresh is key. This can be accomplished using a blog associated with your website.

A blog means many different things to many different people, but a business blog allows you to define where your business fits into your industry. A business blog is a medium for you to talk about the personal side of your business to your followers, clients, potential clients. It gives you a way to set yourself apart from your competition. It’s a way to establish your expertise and tell your customers more about you and your business. It’s key to keeping your message fresh and relevant, to reacting to current events that happen in your industry and to showcase your values and mission. Done right, it gives you a way to build community.

You are the most important asset to your business. But, your website is your most important tool to help you grow your business. How people find information has changed. The internet is the first place people go to look when they hear about your business, where they go to learn more about you, your business hours, how to contact you, as well as serving as a way to search for your products and services. Given the proper respect that your website deserves, nurturing it over time, accessorizing it with social media and a business blog, builds a web presence that helps you to be found and respected – and ultimately to build your business.