Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you have to think small. In a fiercely competitive market, you can give potential customers the confidence to call you rather than a competitor if you make your business look bigger and more professional. Here are a few tips on how to do business like a big player.
Build your brand
We all know how much time and money big businesses invest in creating their world-class brands, but you don’t have to be a multinational with a huge budget to punch above your weight. Branding is as much about your attitude as your choice of logo, font or catchy strapline (although those things matter!) Branding is about the experience customers have when they engage with your business, from your business card to how you answer the phone. If you think about all the details from your customer’s point of view and adopt as professional an attitude to your business as possible, you’ll be well on the way to outshining your competitors.
Work on your website
A website for your small business is an absolute essential, even if you don’t think it will drive business on its own. Nothing will let your small business down faster than a website that looks amateurish, with gaudy colours, the wrong fonts, terrible imagery or badly written copy, but the good news is it doesn’t have to cost much to make your website rival those of much bigger companies. It’s becoming easier and easier to launch an effective, professional web presence. The first step is to acquire a catchy domain name for your website. Go Daddy, the world’s largest domain-name registrar, can help you with everything from your domain name to hosting and even building your new site.
Check your email looks the part
One of the quickest ways to spot an unprofessional small business is your free webmail address from Gmail, Hotmail and others. People who work for larger businesses don’t use free webmail, so make sure you set up a professional email address when you acquire your domain name.
Get an impressive business address
Including your address on your website could immediately show that yours is a home-based business and customers can quickly search online to find you anyway. Investing in a PO Box address can fix that problem. Alternatively, you could rent a trading address in a business district or a location that’s closer to your customers than you really are.
Make sure you never miss a call
There’s nothing wrong with being the owner of a one-person business, but having to take care of all tasks yourself can be a strain, and it means not being able to answer phone calls you could convert into sales. There are several ways you can fix this problem without having to invest a lot of money.
First, you can look into getting a dedicated business line so you can stop your phone line getting clogged up with personal calls when you may have customers trying to reach you.
Second, you can work smarter. Innovation is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible and affordable. VoIP technology, where calls are carried over the internet, is revolutionising the way small businesses interact with their customers by lowering the cost of advanced calling features that were previously only available to corporate giants. For example, you can use VoIP to make and receive calls on your mobile as if from your business landline number, so you never miss a call and your customer thinks you’re in the office.