It’s never easy to start a small business, but it’s easier than before with the advancements in technology and financial understanding. Society today is a lot more encouraging and empowering to aspiring business owners, as tools to start your own business have become very accessible.
With the proliferation of small businesses nowadays, one can assume that you need to start and work out the rest later. While there is truth to this statement, once your business is past the initial financial struggle and is in a relatively stable situation, you need to put your eyes higher. As a small business owner, you need to look at your business and how you can make it more professional, more appealing, and not reliant on the fact that you’re a ‘start-up.’
Achieving this can take a few but important steps that every company needs to go through in its development. Reputation will always be important, more so for a small to medium enterprise like yours. Looking professional and reliable is key to closing more business deals and making sure that you keep your head above the water.
Look the Part
It may seem that corporate clothing is going out of fashion as more and more businesses go for a ‘casual look.’ However, this doesn’t mean that you can run a business wearing a sweaty shirt and last week’s jeans. Looking like a professional is crucial in establishing a professional reputation, as you will always be a representative of your business.
You don’t have to require a suit and tie for everyone, but at the very least, clean clothing and smart casual should be the baseline. People trust those who look reliable, and nothing says reliable more than well-kept clothes. Setting an appropriate dress code will help make sure that everyone looks professional and can also motivate and empower your employees.
Have a Dedicated P.O. Box
At this point, you should be separating your personal identity from your business. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be taking a step back, but instead, this means that you’re letting your company be its own personality. A company P.O. box is a good way to establish your company’s presence, as your suppliers will be sending their supplies there instead of a personal address.
An interesting benefit to this is that having a company P.O. box marks you as a local business and makes you more appealing to local clients and customers. It evokes a sense of permanence as you’re a business with a permanent address that partners and clients can remember.
A Website with Your Own Domain
With social media’s popularity, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a Facebook or Twitter account is enough for your company. To some extent, your company’s social media account is a good idea, especially if your clients are frequent such websites.
However, having your own website will help your business develop a more professional reputation. You can also customise the website to let you sell your services or products directly. It can also house relevant information about your website, helping potential clients decide if they need your services.
It’s best not to skimp on a website and hire a professional web designer. Remember that first impressions are important, and your website can make an impression on your potential clients.
Have Brochures and Business Cards
In the age of the Internet, it’s easy to assume that you don’t need paper to make your company known. However, business cards and brochures are still an excellent way to market your company. This is especially good for word-of-mouth marketing, as they will have something to connect your services instead of trying to guess your company name.
Invest in good quality brochures and business cards, make them the types that are appealing and classy enough that even an undecided client will keep it for future reference. This is a comparatively small investment that can pay dividends, especially if you make your brochures accessible. Have a couple on your reception desk, and provide business cards to trusted employees.
Be Savvy in Your Marketing
At the start of a business, many business owners tend to take whatever marketing opportunity they can get. This is often done with accessibility in mind, as new businesses can’t exactly be picky with the advertising avenues available to them.
But as your company grows, you need to choose where you advertise. Not only will this make your company look more professional, but you’ll also be saving money if you advertise in channels where your demographic frequents. You won’t be wasting money advertising for people who have no use for your service, but you’ll also be closer to those who do.