Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links
If you’re a new business owner, it can be hard at first to compete. People like to deal with businesses that they can trust, and until you’ve proved yourself, earning that trust can be tough. When you’re just starting out, you need to work to seem as professional as you can, so someone will take a risk and deal with you.
- Look professional yourself. Start off on the right foot by getting your own appearance right. If you don’t look professional and arrive to meetings dressed like a student, nobody is going to take you seriously. Dress for success so people feel confident in you.
- Get your office or storefront right. When you start out, you probably have a small budget for your physical space. If you’ve had to rent an office or store space that is small, or not in the most desirable area, this can start you on the back foot. You can counteract this though by making sure your space looks smart. Keep the frontage tidy and well-maintained. Keep signage clear, sweep up any trash, and maintain your parking lot with https://www.keflatwork.com/parking-lot-paving/. A few plants outside can go a long way to adding some smartness too.
- Branding is essential. Strong branding is going to be your friend when you start out. If you’re not good at branding, bring in some help from a graphic designer. Start with your logo. It should communicate who you are clearly and not remind you of any other business. When you have your logo, work on other brand areas. Choose some brand colors, design your website, business cards, brochures, and any other print items you need. Keep your branding consistent across everything, so you are immediately recognizable wherever someone encounters you.
- Get reviews. If you can get some reviews or testimonials, this gives someone a reason to trust you. But if you need reviews to get customers and clients, how do you get those first reviews? If you can, ask your friends or family to act as guinea pigs to test out your services or products, and then ask to write those first reviews. When you start to bring in other customers, give them an incentive to leave a review. As soon as their purchase is complete, trigger an email with an invite to review, and offer something like a discount for next time of they complete an honest testimonial. This gets you some feedback which can be useful for improving, a review to show potential customers that you’re on the level, and hopefully some repeat business too.
- Change your contact details. When you have your website set up, get a business domain that you can use for email. An email address like email@example.com looks much more professional than a free email service. Get a dedicated phone line for your business, so you have a landline phone number for people to call you on that is only for your business. This is better than a mobile, or a calling your home where your kids might be the ones to answer.