It’s never been easier to start a business. Whether online or bricks and mortar, today’s commercial world is as varied as the people who run it. While this offers small business owners and entrepreneurs unprecedented opportunities, the disintegrating barriers to entry open the doors to fierce competition from around the corner and around the globe.
The old adage is true: You never get a second chance to make a good first impression, so it’s essential your small business convey a unique and professional vibe – even if you’re operating out of your mom’s basement for now.
1. Get a Serviced Office
Because today’s startup is usually flying by the seat of their pants, that prime, expensive downtown office building is usually not an option. This can make it a little tricky to find a professional location for important client meetings. Rather than invite your counterpart into your basement, consider one of the many serviced office solutions available.
Serviced offices give you an impressive workspace to conduct training, meetings, and brainstorming sessions without all the expense and hassle of a dedicated office and at a fraction of the cost.
2. Build a Professional Website
If you don’t already have a website, get one. If you have one, but it lacks pizzazz, do something about it. Stop trying to be a hero and hire a professional web agency to take the reins.
Sure, it’ll cost you a significant sum but ultimately, not having a professional-looking website will hinder your business goals and delay your success.
3. Get a Business Email and Phone Number
There’s nothing more unprofessional than asking a client to send you something at a generic email address.
Wait… yes, there is.
Answering the phone with a gruff, “hello” instead of a helpful, professional greeting.
Just because you run your business out of your spare bedroom doesn’t mean your clients have to know it. Get an email address that matches your domain (your website hosting company can provide one) and add a second phone line dedicated solely to your business, so you know when to answer the phone as a business owner and when it’s okay to be laid back. Visiting chalkboard would be the best option in this regard.
4. Build Your Brand
If you think branding is just for big business, think again. Every company, right down to the lemonade stand on the street corner, can benefit from a solid brand. When you build your brand, you:
- Make your company appear more established
- Build credibility
- Make your company more memorable, and
- Attract customers
A professional branding agency will help you turn your vision into a reality and give your venture the look and feel it needs to take off.
5. Engage with Customers Online
Social media isn’t just a place for friends and family to keep in touch. It’s become a big part of most business’ marketing strategy, as it’s where most people turn when searching for almost everything.
For your small business to compete and grow, you must be willing to build a presence on various social media platforms. This isn’t to say that you need to be on all of them. However, it pays to spend some time investigating which will work best for your products or services. Find out where your audience hangs out and be there consistently to engage with them, answer questions, and offer expert advice that they can turn to when needed.
Your small business can compete with almost anyone if you devise and implement smart, sophisticated strategies. Even if you’re just starting out, you can project an air of professionalism by applying some or all the tips listed above.
Featured Image by rawpixel on Unsplash