If you are at the helm of a small business, you are at a natural disadvantage compared to people who run larger companies, as customers often subconsciously believe that the latter offer the best products or services. While this belief isn’t always well-founded, it can prove an albatross around your firm’s neck. Fortunately, there are various things you can do to make your business look long-established.
1. Build your brand
Contrary to what you might think, your company’s brand is about far more than a logo and corporate colors and typefaces. “Branding is best defined as the experience customers have when they engage with your business,” Marketing Donut explains. Tech can play a big part in elevating that experience. For example, implementing a unified communications system can help you to notice and respond to customer queries more quickly.
2. Change your company’s name
What’s in a name? Well, your company’s could include initials followed by a surname, potentially giving the impression that your business is a one-man outfit. Think about it: it’s widely known that Steve Jobs co-founded Apple, but this particular company name is timeless largely because it is not closely tied to just one specific person.
3. Give your business its own website
You might be surprised by how many businesses don’t have their own website. As revealed in statistics shared by TechRound, 41% of businesses believe they do not need a website, while 35% of small businesses deem themselves too small to warrant a website. However, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has warned: “If your business is not on the internet, then you’re not in business”.
4. Spend time beefing up your website
If your corporate website is strewn with off-putting typefaces (like the much-maligned Comic Sans), low-definition photos, or badly written copy, you should consider overhauling your website to give it a much more professional appearance.
5. Get your business a trading address
In other words, even if you run that business from home, you shouldn’t just settle for publicizing your home address as your business one as well. That’s because the address could easily give away the fact that the business is run from a residential property. Fortunately, you could overcome this issue just by renting a trading address and advertising only that as your company’s address.
6. Include higher numbers on your invoices
This is worth doing when you send out these invoices to clients. Entrepreneur contributor Lucinda Honeycutt has warned: “If you use a small invoice number like 12 or 20, it may make the customer feel like you just opened your business last week.” Many ERP systems or other invoicing software have options to do that, but commonly it can only be done once when you configure the system initially.
7. Avoid using a formal title on your corporate publicity materials
On something like a business card, brochure, or leaflet, you might want or need to include your personal name. However, you don’t strictly need to include a formal title, like ‘CEO’, with it. In fact, it would probably be wise for you to avoid doing so for now — as, otherwise, potential customers of your business could wonder why the CEO seems to be running every single part of it.
You don’t have to adapt all of the mentioned pointers in this article, but it makes sense to think about the bullets and how each of these could have a positive impact on your business. If you think it sounds like a good idea, it probably is. Try it out and see what works best.
Photo credit: The feature image is symbolic and has been prepared by Federico Caputo.