Small Business, Big Dreams: How To Appear More Professional

A business has to start on the bottom rung of the ladder and work its way up to the top. The problem with this is attracting customers. Sadly, consumers don’t want to take a gamble on SMEs with no reputation or status in the industry. Until they do take a punt, the company cannot grow. It’s a vicious circle, and the chains need breaking if the firm is going to expand. Professionalism is the key and is it makes the company seem larger than it is in reality. Here's how you can appear more professional to customers. 

Virtual Reality Is Better Than Real Life
Every business owner wants office space in the centre of the city with hundreds of employees. Unfortunately, it takes time to achieve this dream, and it isn’t going to happen for awhile. So, until real life is attractive, it’s better to live in a virtual world. Why? It’s because people can’t tell the difference. When customers talk to a virtual receptionist service, they don’t know that the team isn’t a part of the company. As long as they answer in the enterprise's name, customers are none the wiser. The same goes for virtual office space. A person who sees the address on the site won’t double check its legitimacy. 

Logo Isn’t A No-Go
Just because you aren’t Steve Jobs or Bill Gates doesn’t mean the company doesn’t deserve a logo. One of the biggest myths relating to company emblems is that the firm has to be at a particular stage of its lifecycle. It’s nonsense because a logo is a symbol to customers that the business is a big player in the game. If anything, startups and small businesses need one more than any other organisation. Not only should you invest in one, but you need to circulate it. By putting it on the website, for example, your marketing strategy should raise awareness.

Cook The Books
Not in the typical sense because that is fraud and it’s illegal. However, your customer base isn’t all you want to impress. Clients are also an integral part of the process, and they like to deal with big, reputable firms. If they begin to think that you’re an SME, they might assume you’re not up to the job and bounce. Do you put invoice numbers on correspondence, for example? If so, don’t be afraid to make the figures bigger as it makes it seem as if the company has been in business longer. 

Don’t Brag
A one-person operation has a single employee: you. The bad news is this doesn’t look good to customers, but the better news is that you’re the CEO. It’s human nature to want to point this out as entrepreneurs think it adds credibility. In some circumstances, this is not the case because it brings up more questions than it answers. If a client is dealing with the CEO they will think, “why is he/she doing the donkey work?” Menial tasks aren’t on the CEO’s to-do list, which is why no title is better than bragging.

Essentially, appearing professional is getting creative with the small details.

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