Level the playing field with these tips to help you match up to your biggest competition
Small business is big news. Increasingly, U.S. consumers are choosing small businesses because of the personalized experiences they can offer—providing a sharp contrast to the impersonal approach of bigger companies.
But while small businesses can be more agile and forward-thinking than bulky corporations, there are times when a small business can feel just a little too small.
Bigger companies still have the edge over small businesses when it comes to trustworthiness. Economies of scale mean that larger businesses are also perceived as offering better value for money, more efficient processes, and better customer support.
What size are your competitors? You know that what you offer leaves them in the dust, but to land those larger customers you may need to make yourself look as big as your rivals.
So how do you get started making your small business look big?
Set up a professional email address and website
Still using your Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail account to communicate with clients? A business email address will make you look a whole lot more professional. You can register a website domain name very inexpensively, then use it to create an email address with that domain as the email extension.
Now you have a domain, you should also establish a website for your business if you don’t have one already. If you are starting out and don’t have the budget for a professionally designed website, there are plenty of online website building tools to help you get started. Keep in mind that your website is your online storefront, so make sure it represents your business well.
Don’t put your title on business cards
This one might not make sense at first, but keep reading. When your business is small, everyone on the team has to wear many hats. If you arrive to provide technical support for a client and your business card reads ‘CEO’, the customer might be a little confused. What’s more, you run the risk of them losing confidence in your company’s abilities to handle increasing demands.
By not including a title on your business cards, you can introduce yourself any way you like—whatever makes sense for the situation. An added bonus: as your business grows your team’s roles may also evolve, so you’ll also save money by not having to reprint your business cards.
Make friends with social media
Online presence is everything. Regularly posting informative and useful content on social media can help your small business in several ways. It’ll keep you top of mind, set you up as an authority in your industry, and help to boost brand awareness.
If you’re a company of one, you can still use social media to your advantage. Use your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles to announce company news and share articles relevant to your industry. A professional headshot works best as your avatar on your personal LinkedIn profile, and be sure your Twitter handle is professional, rather than being too personal.
Use a professional phone system
A comprehensive phone solution is essential for even the smallest business. Choose a VoIP phone system that will be able to scale as your company grows. Look for features like a professional greeting, a bespoke switchboard to direct calls, and vanity and regional phone numbers.
Implement these ideas and you’ll be well on your way to making your small business look big. You’ll beat out even the biggest competitors when you show you can offer the personalized service of a small business, backed up by the capabilities of a larger company.
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