Image is everything in the world of business. Whether you have an online startup, home-based business, or a brick-and-mortar location, how you present yourself to your target audience can have a huge impact on the success of your brand. A small business that presents itself as a professional organization will generate new leads and sales. Yet, an entrepreneur who puts little thought into their image will find turning a profit to be a challenge. Here, you can find some solutions on how to make your small business look more professional.
It may be tempting to try and save money on the cost of a phone service by using your personal cell phone as your company number, but this can do damage to your image. It’s not professional for customers to contact you and hear a personal voicemail. When they search for your contact information, it should be a dedicated phone number that routes callers directly to someone who can help them. There are plenty of telephone service options that are free and affordable for startups.
Just as no one wants to do business with a company that uses a personal cell phone number, no one is interested in making purchases from somewhere “unknown”. Even if your business is strictly online it looks more professional to have a physical address. Since you don’t want to give out your home address, you can opt for a P.O. box or a virtual mailbox.
Sending out a handwritten letter and envelope isn’t going to get you any points in the professional department. When sending out correspondence to customers, potential customers, vendors, etc., there are key elements that can give your otherwise ordinary letter a more professional look. The proper stationary would be one factor, but customized stamps are another. Have your address neatly stamped on an envelope or a signature stamp to make letters feel more official is a small investment with a huge payoff.
Your Domain Name
Many entrepreneurs opt to start their company websites on free platforms to conserve money. The only problem is, these types of sites don’t allow you to truly customize your domain name. So, instead of visitors checking for www.yourcompany.com, they’d have to find you by typing www.yourcompany.webhostcompanynamehere.com. Long and unrelatable domain names give customers the impression you don’t have many resources and, therefore, aren’t the best business to consider. Having an easy to remember domain name increases your online searches, visibility, and improves your credibility amongst online users.
You may have thought this was a lost art form of marketing, but it is still very relevant. When you’re out and about, having business cards on hand could be the difference between making a new connection and missing an opportunity. Chances are if you don’t have business cards, no one is going to remember your domain link to look you up when they have the time. Professionally designed business cards let others know you’re serious about your brand. They also provide a tangible resource to refer to later when they’re ready.
Believe it or not, your personal appearance has a lot to do with how customers view your business. If when seen in public you’re always dressed in lazy clothes, no one is going to take you seriously. However, if you’re always business casual or dressed in corporate attire, people will take notice and be more inclined to want to work with you.
Even on a small budget and limited resources, small business owners have to invest in the overall professional image of their brand. If they fail to present themselves as authentic, trustworthy, organized, successful, and professional, essentially the business will barely get off the ground. Whether your business is online, at home, in an office, or at a retail shop, remember to make a lasting and professional impression on your customers.