Easy-to-implement strategies to help you boost your brand
Whether you’re a sole proprietor or have employees, and whether you’ve been in operation for years or are starting out and dealing with growth challenges, running a small business means you’ll probably have to compete with larger companies for the same customers.
Here are five easy ways to make your business appear bigger than it is—without breaking the bank.
1. Establish your digital presence
A website creates an online presence for your company, allowing customers to find you, learn about your business and what you offer, and even make direct purchases online. The good news is, building one doesn’t have to cost a dime. There are numerous free website builders (including Weebly, Wix, Squarespace and DoodleKit), as well as helpful analytics tools available so you can monitor traffic and assess your site’s performance.
2. Switch to a cloud-based mobile communication system
Large companies have sophisticated phone systems that ensure calls are answered and directed professionally. Adopting a cloud-based mobile communication system can deliver the features of a traditional office phone system to your wireless device, instantly elevating the impression your business gives. To deliver the same level of professionalism, set up an “auto attendant” answering system to direct callers to the appropriate person; this way your customers know the right person is going to pick up.
By activating a “hunt groups” feature, calls to your business will ring from team member to team member—or to multiple teammates at the same time—until someone picks up. You can even choose regional phone numbers for incoming or outgoing calls, so that your number appears local in more than one area code.
Tip: If you frequently switch between devices on your calls (e.g., from your mobile phone to a computer “softphone”), look for a system that lets you seamlessly transition calls between devices without having to hang up.
3. Embrace social media
Social media is becoming the go-to way to engage with customers for free. Launching a Facebook page or Twitter feed for your company can boost your brand awareness and help you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry. But not every platform is right for every business, so be sure you’re choosing the social-media channel that’s the best fit.
Tip: If you have multiple social media feeds, use an app to help you keep them all organized.
4. Get a professional address
Having “@yahoo.com” or “@hotmail.com” at the end of your business’s email address can give the impression that you’re running an amateur operation. Investing in a branded domain name for your website and having an email address to match (e.g., email@example.com) is an easy way to appear bigger than you are. The same goes for your business’s mailing address; rather than having your company’s mail sent to your home, invest in a post-office box or a mailbox at a professional co-working space.
Tip: Create a separate email address (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) to post on the “contact us” page of your website rather than displaying your personal email address.
5. Explore productivity suites
Whether it’s marketing materials, a client presentation or the packaging for your product, first impressions matter. Productivity suites such as Microsoft 365 and G Suite are loaded with apps that can help you create polished, professional-looking websites, presentations, video conferences and more to instantly impress your clients, all at affordable prices.
Productivity suites such as Microsoft 365 and G Suite are loaded with apps that can help you create polished, professional-looking websites.