- Business and Employment
Suit Up: How to Make Your Startup Look Professional
Congratulations on deciding to build your own startup! Now, the real work begins. You’ve got an idea and a product that’s going to make a change in your industry-- the next hurdle is how to get your target market to buy it. The first and biggest challenge for SMEs is to gain your customer’s trust by being and appearing professional. Here’s a quick guide to help you do that without breaking your budget.
Map Out Your Future
The first step in making your startup look reliable is to have a well thought-out business plan. In the real world, winging it just won’t cut it. Strategize how you will use your resources today to achieve the goals you have set for a certain point in your future. All of your business decisions moving forward should align with the goals that you have set when you started.
Being small doesn’t mean you don’t have to have an efficient system set up. Never underestimate your customers—they’ll know if you’ve put time and effort in perfecting your product/service.
Think and Act Big
Make your business appear bigger and project stability by using a virtual address in one of the prime CBD locations. Advertising a building address is so much better than using a residential or PO Box address on your business cards and letterheads. This gives your customers a sense of security minus the cost of an expensive lease.
Inbound numbers like 13, 1300, and 1800 numbers also have the same effect on consumers. Aside from being more professional than a home or mobile number, these virtual numbers are also highly memorable. You get to use one number for your local and national market without you and your customers having to pay exorbitant fees.
Go Viral and Get Social
Doing online searches has become a vital part of today’s sales cycle. Get your brand out there for practically nothing by creating your own website. Better yet, use a domain and an inbound number that spells out your brand or service to make it easier for customers to remember what services you offer and how to get in touch with you.
If you can’t afford buying a domain yet, a great alternative is to create your own blog and be active in social media sites relevant to your target market. Make sure that you engage existing and potential customers by regularly updating it with relevant information about your service and industry.
Ditch the Bulk
97 % of active businesses in Australia are SMEs. This means more and more people are working out of their homes. Thankfully, the advantages of working at a fully-serviced office can replicated at home through virtual office services. Affordable yet effective alternatives like fax to email or voice to email services eliminates the need for bulky hardware while business greetings and IVR services give you the appearance of professionalism for your customers.
Churning out new products is easier for large corporations that have all the resources and manpower but for a small business like yours, this could seem like a herculean task. With a focused mindset and the right tools in your arsenal, your startup will definitely make a mark in your industry and grow.