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Why buying rival domain names can strengthen your online presence

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Most entrepreneurs who buy a business to strengthen their existing operation think long and hard about whether to expand organically or through acquisition and carefully compare a number of targets.

But sometimes simple serendipity can present the perfect opportunity to expand your business.

Denise Proctor, founder and MD of The Baby Loft, an online baby equipment rental service, recounts how she came to buy a web domain, despite having no plans to buy one.

"I had no plans to buy another business but sometimes an opportunity arises without you even looking for it," she explains. "This happened to us at The Baby Loft last month.

"A customer called me for help after being let down by another baby equipment hire company.

"I looked into this company only to discover they had ceased trading the previous week and the owner was offering the domain and website for sale.

"It was too good an opportunity to miss as their business model was much the same as our existing business."

Though integration of the new domain into her business is still in its embryonic stages, Proctor is confident in the wisdom of her acquisition.

"It is still work in progress while we tweak things here and there and play with the concept a little," she says.

"But we now have effectively two virtual shops on the same virtual high street, thus doubling our exposure and potential customer base.

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