Starting your own business is a rewarding experience. You get to be your own boss, organise your own schedule, and dedicate yourself to something you really care about.
But as anyone who has ever built a business from-the-ground-up will tell you, the early stages are pretty tough. The first few years will be a lot of hard work, and it will take time to find your feet. Not least because as a small business, you’re competing against established organisations who simply have greater resources at their disposal.
So how can you help your small business compete against the household names, and give the impression of professionalism you need to earn your customers’ trust? If you’re looking for a few ideas, check out the list below.
Invest in a Stylish Website
In the internet age, your website will very likely be the first point of contact your customers make with your business. And as we all know: first impressions are extremely important.
So make sure to invest time (and money, if you can) in a clean, clear, stylish website which shows your business in the best light. It is also a good idea to secure your own domain name, as this will help direct customers to your site and can improve your online marketing.
Outsourcing The Little Jobs
One of the major disadvantages a small business struggles with is a lack of employees. At the start, you might find yourself so distracted by admin, or budgeting or whatever else, that you can’t pour the time and dedication into your service that you’d like.
A simple solution for this problem is to outsource these smaller tasks. And one of the most valuable in terms of saving your time and projecting a professional front, is an independent answering service. These guys can take the phone calls and the simple admin off your hands so you can focus on your job. So check out the best answering service for small business.
Use Social Media the Right Way
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are invaluable resources to help promote your business and communicate with your customers. So if you’re not already, it’s time to get acquainted with these websites and start using them to your advantage.
However, it’s important to remember a bit of social media etiquette when you’re online. It’s no good giving your customers space to talk to you and then not bothering to reply – or worse, replying in a way that seems rude and sloppy.
So make sure your social media pages are properly maintained, take the time to respond to people promptly, and avoid posting anything inappropriate.
Play Hard to Get (…Sometimes)
This does not mean turning down jobs (we’re not crazy!). But when starting out with a new business, it’s important to stay busy and treat every little job with the utmost professionalism. And that includes the days you’re not technically working.
When someone calls you, make sure you’re somewhere quiet, answer them formally, and take your time processing their request. Nothing is more off-putting than feeling like you’re the only customer this business has! So even if your diary is looking a little sparse, accept the job but don’t make it painfully obvious that you’ve got nothing else to do.