Estimated reading time: 2 mins
When you set up your own business, one of the most important considerations is making the right impression on your prospective clients. It’s often the smallest details that let businesses down because so much effort is put into key areas such as the business plan, budget, sales, and marketing that these details get overlooked. However, to impress potential customers you need to create a professional image that projects efficiency and reliability, so it’s crucial to ensure that every aspect of your business operation contributes to this aim. There are two vital ways to create and nurture a professional image in business, as explored below.
1) Communication and documentation
Everything that represents your business should convey your professionalism and the authority you have in your niche. That means no spelling or grammatical errors, clear and precise information, and an appropriate style for the reader. Any communications from your business need to have your details on, including address, contact information, and website. This applies to both hard copy and electronic communications, and any stationery or marketing materials you produce. If you plan to print your own publicity leaflets or flyers, make sure they will look professional too. It may be tempting to try and cut costs by designing and producing your marketing publications in-house, but if they come across as amateurish, it will be a false economy. A modest investment in professionally designed and printed materials could be money well spent if it creates the impression of quality and authority you’re hoping to convey. You also need to think about what you post online, privately as well as for your business, because customers and other businesses often check to see what someone has posted to see if it gives an indication of the kind of person they are, and therefore how trustworthy and honest they will be in business. Posting material that reflects poorly on you or your business is a fast way to lose custom and create a negative reputation.
2) Office procedures
Having a well-organised office not only improves your efficiency but will allow you to respond quickly and accurately to any queries. Rummaging through a pile of unfiled paperwork when you have a customer on the line makes you look poorly organisedand unreliable, the opposite effect to the one you’re trying to make. You could consider putting all your office functions onto a cloud-based system that allows authorised personnel to access documents wherever they are, meaning you can have ordered files and keep all your records up to date easily. You should also look at the software you’re using for your business operations. For instance, if you still produce staff pay stubs manually, consider changing to an automated online system such as a pay stub maker that produceshigh-qualitypay slips for your staff, even if only one or two people are workingfor you.
The size of your business shouldn’t be a factor in creating the right image, and there are many tools available that are suitable for enabling small businesses to create a professional image. It’s well worth attending to these small details if you wish to come across as the best choice for prospective customers.