Under normal circumstances, people perceive large business as more established, successful, and having a good reputation, and thus develop a certain kind of trust. People tend to buy products and services more
Being a small business that is still growing with few reviews and small name recognition can be quite a struggle to survive with the high competition from big brands. Therefore, learning the art of creating a big impression in the market can boost your business and also accelerate its growth. Here are a few ways small business owners can create a big impression of their business to fit the marketplace.
1. Have a website/ Update your website
Many small business survive out there with no website, which in today’s world makes them nearly invisible to new customers and miss a lot on growth. The first thing a customer expects in a trustworthy business is the presence of a website. This is one of the first indicator that your business exists and is somewhat legit. You wont get as many customers if you exist without a website. The first thing a potential business customer thinks when you approach them and your startup has no website, is that you are a scam or you are not serious, and all you want is quick buck.
Today website designing has become so cheap that you can afford to have even a simple website to start with. Nowadays there are many tools for building a website that you yourself can build one. However to avoid the hustle, get a website developer or an agency to design a professional website for you. Just make sure the website is modern not looking like the 1900’s design. It should be clean, professional, beautifully designed, and easy to navigate. Then once you have it make sure you are updating it now and then. For example, most of these websites have a blog section where you can add content, articles, videos, and so on which helps you boost SEO, and get noticed out there. A website positions your company as an expert in your industry and assists customers relate with your business easily.
2. Use social media
Social media has become a necessity for every business looking to grow faster and build trust with customers and fans. Through social media you can create awareness and grow your business faster than ever before.
According to a twitter study, 75% of fans following a small business and reads its tweets, reported to feel better about the company. This shows that social media wins you trust and loyalty from customers. It shows you are a serious business, and that you exist. The more you engage with them the more the trust and likelihood of doing business or buying services or goods from you.
Using social media doesn’t necessarily mean you create a profile on all platforms, but just select a few platforms that suits your business. The main ones are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Google+, and Pinterest. For example, if your business sells a physical product like food or clothing using Instagram and Pinterest in addition to Twitter and Facebook will be a great fit for your needs. LinkedIn fits professional businesses that offer consulting services. Hiring a social media manager or a marketing agency to post and engage with your customers can help if you are not sure how to do it or are busy on other things. In addition you can use social media to market your products or services. It is significantly cheaper compared to other traditional advertising methods.
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3. Company email
Imagine yourself sharing your business contact email that bears a free webmail account like @gmail.com, @yahoo.com or @hotmail.com? This doesn’t sound professional right? A customer will not be confident about your business when it uses free email account. Registering an email domain for your business, while not free, will create an impression of a serious, rapidly growing business that can be trusted, and this can win over some customers to do business with you.
4. Plan and Budget for Marketing
A saying goes, you must spend money to earn money. As your startup continues to grow, you will need to set up some funds for marketing, maybe even a percentage of your revenue.
Every business even big brands do some kind of paid marketing. You can decide to go organic but it might take you years to grow or even get noticed, but with different marketing strategies in place your will grow your business very fast.
You can opt to start marketing on social media, as it is cheaper, then move to newspapers and magazines, and later you can have your ads run on television.
5. Get a business name
Always look into the future and imagine where you want your company to be in the next 10 or 20 years. Many business have changed their names as they grew and expanded their services. For instance Google was once called “Backrub” Starbucks was once called “Il Giornale.” Yahoo was called “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web.”
When coming up with a company name make sure you choose a name that will be fit for a multi billion company before registering your company. You might have started your small business using your name as you were just the only one offering the services. You might need to change the name if you want to win big contracts with other firms.
Other companies feel more secure and confident when working with a company that is big or sounds big. Having a funny name or a name that sound small might be disqualifying you from winning bigger projects. For example if initially your company was Simon Wellington graphic designing , you might need to change it later once you expand your services to something like “ Simon Wellington Group.” or “Simon Wellington and Associates” or “ Simon Wellington LLC” once you convert your sole proprietorship to LLC.
6. Get a business Address
Having a location for your business can be difficult especially when starting up as you may not have enough finances to rent out an office. You don’t have to worry, many business have operated from home, or at a garage or warehouse before getting a physical location. But this doesn't have to stop you from creating an impression of a big well established business, you can easily buy a business mailing address that you can place on your website or share on social media. That way any customer or contacts can get in touch via mail.
7. Have a professional company logo.
Just as having a website for your business, having a beautiful and professional logo can create a great impression of your business even if small. The sight of your logo should be serious and professional. Get a logo designer or a marketing agency to have a logo designed for you.
8. Hire a virtual assistant
A VA can make your company look bigger. Most people won’t expect the CEO of the company to be the one sending out emails or receiving calls all the time; however, your company may not be at a position to have employees working on different departments.
Therefore, hiring a virtual assistant can be your best options. Having someone answer emails and calls for you not only creates a bigger perception of your business but also relieves you as the owner off some tasks allowing you concentrate on growing your business.
9. Invest in Quality video
Apart from blog posts and other content that you use to market your services, video are also a great way to promote products and services. Videos are visual and many prefer watching and listening rather than reading.
Therefore as much as you produce other types of content don’t forget to include videos. To get quality edited videos you might be required to set aside a certain budget for that. Don’t just post unedited raw videos as they are not entertaining to watch, and they won’t deliver the message of quality. Act like a big brand, you can have a few videos produced but let them be of high quality. High quality content depicts what you company values and customers feel you will offer them similar services.
10. Become a thought leader.
Part of what make you successful is personally marketing your company’s expertise and this includes producing great content inform of articles and videos in your niche. Publish these articles and videos in magazines, industry websites, and on platforms such as LinkedIn, Medium, and YouTube.
Grow a following of people who like your content. Participate in events like conferences related to your niche, and also make sure you volunteer as a speaker. With time you will grow a reputation for yourself and your brand. You will be able to compete with bigger brands as the leads you get from such events reach out to you for consulting.
11. Have a business Phone services
As a startup, you might start off by offering your personal cellular services for your business, but with time this might not keep up with the demand and might lead to mistrust and lost customers. You will need to consider including a business telephone service to help serve your customers well.
This will help you take conference calls, set up voice attendants services, and process credit cards among other benefits.