Starting your own business is an accomplishment, but it's just the first step. It's even more important to have a company that people take seriously. Everyone will have an opinion about your business, so it's important to be buttoned up — both online and in-person. If your website doesn't work properly, or if your business' number connects to your personal cell phone — you'll likely turn away potential customers.
Consider these five tips to give your business a more professional look and feel.
1. Invest in a great website.
Your website is often the first thing potential clients see, so it can make or break your business. Not only should it describe what your company does, but it also should be attractive, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly. Sometimes it's best to outsource this task — hiring a specialist to build a strong website is an investment with huge returns.
2. Get a toll-free number.
A toll-free number instantly boosts your company's reputation and offers customers a way to reach out with questions or complaints. With Grasshopper, you can get customized toll-free and vanity numbers. Grasshopper also provides unlimited extensions for each employee and lets you read voicemail via email, so you can run your business right from your cell phone. It's simple to set up, and there's no expensive hardware to install.
3. Keep up with social media.
Social media is more than just a way to spread the word about discounts and deals; it helps you engage with customers and show them that your business is relevant. But to be successful with it, you need to be consistent. Keep the same username across various social channels to build your brand and make it easier for customers to find you.
4. Keep on top of customer feedback.
On that note, taking more than a few days to respond to a customer's email is unacceptable. Even if you have a small team — or a team of one (you) — it's crucial to be communicating at all times. It's a key part of customer service, and it will let customers know that you value them. Investing in customer service will help you build a good reputation, which is crucial for looking professional.
5. Get media coverage.
It's smart to reach out to journalists and bloggers and let them know what your business is all about — and how you can be a resource to them. Sending a well-crafted email is one way to reach them; it could help you gain press and attract attention to your company. However, be tactful in your approach, and never spam them with irrelevant information (i.e. you're a tech company that is pitching a food writer). If you're an expert in a particular industry (e.g. marketing), offer to provide insights and thought leadership rather than blatantly ask for coverage.