Nowadays, small businesses are springing up left and right. However, in this crowded market filled with huge corporations, it’s more difficult than ever to stand out and compete. And with customer expectations constantly growing, as a startup, your business practices might not yet be as polished as they want. However, a professional image is indispensable in order to appear credible and trustworthy. Thankfully, you can do a lot with relatively little. Here are a few simple ways to make your business look more professional.
1. Use a business address for your mail
Starting your small business from your own home is entirely valid. However, when the time for shipping goods and receiving mail comes, you will be in a tough spot. Surely, putting your home address as the return address will make your business look unprofessional. It will also endanger your privacy. No need to worry, though – all you need to do is open a PO box. It won’t cost you a lot, and this address will be able to function as your business address. Problem solved.
2. Find a dedicated meeting space
Another problem stemming from the same source as the previous one is receiving clients when you don’t have a dedicated office. There are several solutions to this issue and all of them will add to the level of professionalism your business is associated with. The most ideal solution would be finding a place you will use for meetings. A coworking space nearby would be perfect. However, if this is not an option, at least make sure your home office is fit for meetings and has its own entrance.
3. Create a solid website
No business can afford not to have a website in 2021. However, how your website looks and functions can also send a very strong message about your professionalism. Your website is often the first impression your customers get of your business. So, make it count. Hire professionals to design your new website, make sure it’s informative, easy to navigate, and above all, responsive. Create an “About Us” page and make sure you present your company in the best light possible.
4. Get your own email domain
Besides a business address, of course, you will also need an email address. Small businesses might start out by using Gmail, however, this might not make you look like a real, established business. Having your business’s name as your domain would, on the other hand, change people’s perception of your company. You might be able to find a deal at your website hosting company that comes with email hosting, but you can also purchase this on its own. Once you’ve acquired a domain, you can create email addresses for all of your employees/sectors with the same domain.
5. Keep your branding consistent
Branding is extremely important in the business world. It takes time to develop your brand, so your startup might not have the most consistent representation as of yet. However, working on this aspect should be a priority. You cannot expect to appear professional without a proper logo you can use on all platforms, company colors people will associate with your brand as well as a consistent voice you will use across all channels.
6. Mind your social media
Your social media is going to be one of the primary ways you stay in contact with your customer base, so what kind of image you create on these platforms will reflect on your company. First of all, it goes without saying that you should create profiles and stay active on these websites. Secondly, we talked about the importance of keeping your branding consistent. This applies to the way you formulate your posts as well.
7. Present yourself in a professional way
Don’t forget that you are representing your company at all times. This means that you should make sure that your online presence is impeccable. First of all, boost your image with exceptional corporate headshots to display on your website. Including high-quality photos on your “About Us” page will boost your credibility. It will also make your business feel more human to your customers. In addition to this, make sure you are keeping your personal and professional lives separate on social media.
8. Print quality business cards
You might think that in today’s digital era, business cards are no longer a necessity. However, business cards are still an important element of the word of mouth marketing and you can make a great impression on potential clients and partners with a well-made one. Make sure your business card includes your logo and all your essential information while still staying sophisticated and minimalistic in design. Instead of an extravagant design, make sure you use quality paper to make a great impression.
9. Take your product photos to the next level
Finally, if you are selling goods, how you present your product is paramount. Unprofessional photos will not only downgrade the quality of your product and your hard work, but it will also make your business seem lousy despite your best intentions. It would be best if you would turn to professional photography in this case, too.
Making your small business seem more professional is not difficult, but it does take some effort. Keep it consistent and you will see improvement in no time!