Most online start-ups start from the comfort of a bedroom or a garage, so it makes sense that you’re on your own when you start. There’s no IT department, marketing team, swish office space to start in. As a brand-new entrepreneur, you are likely in the ‘bootstrapped’ way, where everything is on a shoestring budget, but your ideas are bigger than your wallet. This should never get in your way, though, because some of the best businesses start out being cash-strapped and idea rich.
Once you finally get yourself some traction in your industry, you need to look at how you can start cleaning things up and looking more like a professional company than looking like a person having a hobby in the spare room. Standing out in a crowded market isn’t the easiest, but even the smallest fish have to start somewhere. Making your business more professional is what is going to get you growing into the big fish you want to be one day. So, how can you make changes to get taken as seriously as you need to be?
Contact Details. Not many companies have letter-headed paper anymore, but your company emails should be blasting with your brand, your logo and your office contact details. Having a separate phone number is one way to ensure that your personal and professional lives stay separate, and if you don’t want to put your home address on your business cards, you need to look into virtual offices like Grosvenor St Pauls. People need to have some faith in your company and a home telephone number may be intercepted by someone else in the family. Make sure this doesn’t happen!
Domain Name. Your company brand is one of the most important parts of your identity as a professional business. Buying your domain name is going to get you the recognition that you need for your company going from hanging on another company, to being independent. A free domain name keeps you attached to an impersonal platform, so purchasing your own is going to mean independence!
Email. Business email addresses are far more trusted for customers than the standard Hotmail or Gmail account names. Be creative with your email addresses but don’t make them too worthy. You want to be consistent with your branding and stay professional, and an email that mentions your company name is exactly how you can get there.
About You. On your business website, your ‘about us’ page shouldn’t just be two lines. You should talk about how you started and who you are as a business, as well as what you hope to achieve. Your page is your stage to announce to people what you can do and how you plan to do it. It’s also a good place to embed links to other parts of your website.
Professionalism means different things to different people, but these steps above can give your company some credibility and make your customers put their faith in you!