Being a small business does have many advantages, whether by being more flexible and personal with clients in ways that big companies cannot be. However, there are times when making your business appear to be bigger than it actually is can give you credibility and win new customers.
How you project yourself and your business matters. People perceive big businesses to be more trustworthy and to offer greater value than smaller ones.
1. Invest in a Professional Website
In today’s internet age, when potential customers want to find out more about your business, they are likely to look you up through a Google search, and for many of your customers and prospects, your website is their first contact with your business. In fact, the majority of Small Businesses in the U.S had a website in 2014.
So with that in mind, you want to make your online presence stand out and make your business appear bigger and more established. Investing in a professionally designed website that makes a big impression will help you shine a positive light on your business and convey confidence, seriousness and professionalism.
2. Ditch Gmail / Hotmail / Yahoo
Do you send business emails? Chances are you probably do. If you want to look big, you need to stop using free email addresses and make sure you use your own branded domain. After all, your email address can say a lot more about your business than just the messages you send or receive through it. In fact, by using a free email service for your business communications, you could be damaging your credibility and missing out on potential marketing opportunities.
Read more: Small Business? You Should Ditch Gmail Now
Below are just 2 of the many advantages of using your personalized business email address:
- Build legitimacy: Your actions need to demonstrate your credibility; using free email services doesn’t look professional and can create suspicion. Sending an email from Joe.Norris@joesautoshop.com will help increase faith in your business and its products / services.
- Free Marketing: When your email address is your company’s name, everytime you send an email you are marketing your business by putting its name in front of everyone you send an email to (existing and potential customers, partners, suppliers etc).
As you can see, a business email address is a must for even the smallest home business because of the advantages it offers.
3. Use a Virtual Phone System / Receptionist
While some small businesses owners may believe that using smartphones for work purpose is more than enough; the reality is they are not suited to properly market and run your business efficiently in a way that a Virtual Phone System can.
Having a Virtual Phone System is particularly important for smaller businesses that want to show a professional image similar to that of their larger competitors. When customers call, they are greeted by a pre-recorded message that provides important information about your business such as hours and directions. In addition, it offers the following advantages:
- Sound more professional.
- Connect callers with the right contact at your company.
- Separate business calls from personal calls.
- Give your business credibility.
- Presents a unified face to customers and partners.
While this might seem like it involves buying and installing complicated equipment, it actually isnt. Thanks to the advent of the cloud, there are innovative online services that can get your virtual phone system set up in minutes with no need to spend a great deal of capital to do so.
4. Be Present on Social Media
The advent of social media has definitely changed the way businesses interact online. Creating an online brand image and building social communication channels have become indispensable for businesses big and small. Beyond their communicative dimension, Facebook, Twitter , Linkedin or Google+ can be real growth engines for your brand.
As a small business owner with big aspirations, you need to maximize your social media exposure and take full advantage of social media to amplify word of mouth about your brand. Each post or update on social media represents an opportunity to showcase your business, solidify your relationship with your followers and most importantly, attract new customers.