How to make your startup look more professional?
When a business is trying to build a reputation from scratch, looking the part is possibly the essential aspect of creating an excellent first impression. Depicting professionalism is an absolute must for any startup that wants to be taken seriously by prospective clients, investors, partners, and the general public. Conversely, in case you are a startup owner who does not care much about the brand’s image early on, you may find it hard to gain the type of attraction you were hoping for. In today’s highly aesthetically and competitive driven world, everyone judges a book by its cover. Having said that, here are seven sure-fire ways to make your startup brand look more established and authoritative.
Have a website
The most basic way you can depict to people that you run a professional business that you anticipate not only to be around for a long time but also to grow and become successful is to have a website. Without a website, you might come across as untrustworthy or that you do not care enough about your business to put effort into developing a website. These are red flags for potential clients. When you have it up and running, ensure your website is simple to navigate and that it is filled with handy information so that customers will find it informative. Above all, it should provide information that assists them in deciding to purchase from you. Having an online store will offer you an extra income stream, too.
Use branded checks to make your startup look professional
When you are dealing with contractors, suppliers, equipment retailers, employers, and other entities that you require to pay regularly, you might think that a professional look does not matter as long as they receive their payment. While that is true to a degree, having custom checks printed is one of those frequently overlooked strategies that can really make a difference in making your brand look like a power player.
Have employee uniforms
Having your employees dressed in uniform might appear like an overkill or an unnecessary expense, but it really does convey the type of disciplined culture that major corporations cultivate. In case you want to become a big business, you have to think big from the beginning.
Have a dedicated 1-800 number to help startup look
Although most people today are going to have a cell phone- and gone is the time when having just a mobile number on your website was frowned upon- it is still an excellent idea to have a dedicated landline number for your business, too. It gives you an added layer of professionalism and even though people choose to use your cell number, having it there at least offers them the choice. The easy perk of having a 1-800 number. Besides, professional customer support can make a result, consider allocating a budget toward outsourced customer service and toll-free support numbers. Both of those investments are relatively affordable and will offer a decent return in terms of projected professionalism.
Have a professional email address
Appearing professional has a lot to do with how customers can contact you, so having a professional email address is always a good option. This indicates not using services like Gmail and Yahoo but instead using an email address that is bound with your website address. It appears much more professional, and it tends to be more secure as well. This service should not cost too much to set and should only be a few dollars on top of your website hosting. Also, you can even divert your new email to a more generic email host if you prefer, although be cautious when replying to messages as you will want to make sure they come from the right sender.
Use professional tools
From managing your finances to managing your workload, there are several tools accessible online to make your life as a businessman more smooth and more professional. Applying these tools will also orient you on most of the outs and ins of business processes, which will, in turn, help you optimize your own operations.
Have professional communication, all the time
Avoid sending emails to your clients and other people with text messaging abbreviations and emoticons and smileys (use these like spices- sparing and occasionally). Before hitting the send button, reread your message and correct all the typos. Do away with the sent from my iPhone footer and compose a professional signature with all your contact information. These small, appearing insignificant details mean a lot when you are trying to communicate your professionalism to your clients.
Another small but significant detail is CC- ing all those involved in projects. These assist define roles and jobs in your company, even though your colleagues are your roommates. CC-ing, your team members, also depict your clients that you are not working alone, but rather you have a competitive group of people working to attain the desired business results.
Set a business address
It is perfectly fine these days to begin your business from home, a coworking space, or really from anywhere in the globe. However, using a business address can add a layer of professionalism and privacy. In case you are not ready to invest in office space, you can get a PO Box. You can then utilize that address as if it is a street address.
Invoice professionally and promptly
You will not stay in business long in case you do not get paid. Some seventy-percent of freelancers report customers have stiffed them. Two things will help you avoid this case: contact and prompt invoicing. Various programs make it easy to create and send professional invoices inexpensively. Many accounting platforms, for instance, make invoicing painless. You might even be able to accept payments online via them. Moreover, you may want to check out And.co, which offers a standard freelance contract along with invoicing.
Build business credit
Your suppliers, vendors, and even some creditors may be willing to advance your services and goods that you can pay for later. Getting supplies on terms like net-30 or net-60 can assist your business cash flow. But often, to understand terms, you will need a positive business credit history. Start building yours from when your business is young, and you can have strong business credit scores when you need them. Besides, anyone can check business credit- that incorporates future business partners.
Establish a strong media presence
Your business does not have to be on each social media platform; however, find out where your clients congregate and consider developing an essential presence on the most famous ones. At a minimum, grasp the social media handles for your business name before another person does.
Invest in quality advertisements and Signage
The quality of ads and signs that represent your brand play a significant part in the way people perceive your startup. This one of the investments that you should not cut corners on. In short, do not hesitate to go back to the drawing board in case you are not happy with the results the first time around.
Develop a visual identity
Visual identity is highly effective in the digital environment. The visual manifestation of the brand will amplify brand recognition and memorability. Therefore it is recommendable to invest in professional design. One of the original kind name, logo, or creative business cards will surely take the business to another level. Ensure your company looks like being worth a million dollars will more likely get people to perceive you as worth a million dollars. After you have established that you are indeed capable and trustworthy, the next step is delivering on your promises to your customers. And then comes maybe the most significant part: keeping your clients happy so that they will not only stay with your organization but also bring in more potential customers via word of mouth about your excellent services.