The perception of your business is often just as important as the business itself. There will be many people who get the wrong impression and clients that won’t use your services because they feel your business is too small or you don’t have the right amount of experience.
The only way to resolve this problem is to present your business as something bigger than it is. It’s not to look big and clever; it’s to change people’s perceptions. Here are a few ways you can do it.
Change Your Email Address
Changing your email address is one way to make it look as though your business is bigger than it is. If you’re using an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org your clients may work out that there aren’t many employees in the business. After all, it’s likely there would be a few more David’s in the office if the business had a lot of employees. So, making a simple change, like using surnames in emails as well as forenames, could make people think there are more of you at the office than there actually are.
Give Your Website a Makeover
People spend so much time on the internet these days, so it’s easy to identify the websites that are owned by small businesses. Perhaps they don’t look as well designed or maybe the content isn’t as fresh as larger business websites. It could be time to give your website a makeover. Try using professional web designers instead of attempting the job yourself. It’s also important to keep fresh content coming in regularly, so your customers can see you take pride in your website and you’re as involved as bigger businesses would be.
Prep Your Phone
Before you make your business contact details public, think about what they say about your business. Recent studies have shown that people are far less likely to contact a business or purchase from the business if a mobile number is shown as the contact number for the business. However, you don’t need to get a landline to solve this problem. Using a phone dialer you can get a business number for clients and customers to call and set up a business message as your answer phone, among other things.
The more connections you have the bigger your business will seem and the bigger it will get. Using sites like LinkedIn to add connections will present a trustworthy image to anyone searching for or looking at the business. If you have hundreds of connections on LinkedIn, it’s not surprising that someone would assume the business as being bigger than it is. You can also tell a white lie if you have two homes and state, they are both business premises so people think there are two business offices.
You may not be lucky enough to have an assistant that you can pass all the mundane tasks to, but that doesn’t mean others have to know that. Referencing an assistant while talking to clients or connections on the phone will make them think you have more on your plate than you do. Most CEOs have an assistant because they delegate tasks to them, leaving time for the larger projects. If people think you have an assistant, they may assume you have the time to focus on important tasks without smaller tasks dividing your attention.
Jack of All Trades
Small business owners are aware that they have to carry out many different roles all at once. However, that does mean you have the ability to tell people you can offer many things. So, if you’re able to offer web design, SEO skills, mobile app development and e-commerce advice, the outside world may automatically think you have an expert in each area in your office. The truth is, you have to wear many hats at once, but that doesn’t mean your clients necessarily have to know that.
Build Social Media
A small business will always seem small if it only has 500 Facebook followers. If you want to present your business in a different light, you need to put some time into targeting your audience. The more likes and followers you have, the bigger your business will appear. In addition, your target audience will always be able to see your posts and are far more likely to get involved with your page and content and visit your website. The more people who know about your business, the more trustworthy and reliable your image becomes.
Invest in Promotional Material
It goes without saying that your promotional material will present how big or small your business is. The better the quality, the more successful your business appears. In fact, in a recent study where businesses created a promotional video to explain their website, the majority found that potential customers automatically assumed that the businesses were past their funding stages. Promotional material like videos tells clients and customers that the business is making plenty of money and therefore has a strong customer base.
Many small business owners who work alone often use their own names as a business name. However, this can look unprofessional to clients. For instance, someone calling a potential client and offering services under the name Joe Bloggs may not get much of a response. But someone calling and saying ‘I’m Joe Bloggs from Queens SEO Company’ will probably gain a lot more interest. A business name has the potential to generate buzz, so it’s worth spending time agonizing over what the business name should be.
Play Hard to Get
Again, it’s all about appearances. If you instantly reply to every email, it may seem like you’re sat there with nothing to do. Even if your just amazingly organized, making yourself available for everything and everyone can put a bad light on your business. Even if you’re free, make clients wait a while before scheduling in meetings or conference calls. Make them think you have a lot on your plate.
Remember, it’s all about the way you look, not the way you are.