By Alexander Dance
Small businesses often suffer a disadvantage when compared to their larger counterparts. Clients and customers tend to have more trust in larger businesses, and this can give them an edge. Even if the smaller business has great talent and a good track record, people feel more comfortable with large businesses because they have been around longer and they are viewed as being more stable.
This perception might not be fair, but it is a reality that many small businesses face. Fortunately, there are things that a small business can do to make them look bigger than they really are. By giving the impression of a larger business, you can win more customers and help your business grow. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to make your new business look bigger than it really is.
Don’t Use Your Title on Your Business Card
In a small business, people often have to wear several hats; if you are a business of one person, you have to wear every hat. In this situation, it may be true that you are the company president, but clients may think it is strange for the president to be working as a sales rep or a customer service agent. When you don’t have your title on your card, you can introduce yourself as whatever you may need to be at any given time.
Focus on One Niche
You may have a broad area in which you operate, but it can pay to focus most of your efforts on marketing to one niche. When you focus on one niche, it gives you the opportunity to put most of your time and resources into building a reputation in that one area. You can show up for all of the industry events that involve that niche and have a presence in more of the publications that cater to that specific niche. When the people that frequent those industry events and read those industry publications keep seeing you and your business, it will give the impression that you are bigger than you really are.
Get a Toll-Free Number
Most domestic phone calls aren’t very expensive, but having a toll-free number sends a signal to potential clients and customers. When people see a toll-free number, they assume that it is an established business. If you want to make yourself look even bigger, you could try using a hosted PBX service. With a hosted PBX, you can get features like multiple extensions, answering service, line switching and more. Many of these services even come with the option to set up an 1800 number. The best part of using a hosted PBX is that they are more flexible and more affordable than traditional PBX systems.
Professional Website Design
Your website is the face of your business. Most people do online research before they spend their money, and most customers are going to see your website before they contact you. If you want to make a good first impression, you have to have a website that provides a good experience. You want the site to look good, you want it to perform well and you want it to have messaging that is on point. You could save money by using by-the-numbers tools to build your own website, but a professional website design is a good investment.
Outsource to Online Contractors
The digital age has brought us countless platforms that people use to make money online. For small businesses, the internet provides a labour pool that can be vital for achieving a wide range of goals. Your operation is small and you might not have enough employees to handle larger projects. You could use these work platforms to solve temporary labour shortages. You may also have projects that require skills that are outside your range or the range of any employee you have. With online talent, you can hire professionals for just about anything.
Don’t Use Your Home Address
You do not want to use a residential address. You might run your business out of your home, and you might be able to match your biggest competitors while doing it, but a residential address will tell people that you are a small operation. As an additional point, you don’t want to share your home address with the world. Instead of using your home address, you could pay for a corporate address or get a PO box, or a box from UPS if you’re operating in the States.
Have More Than One Email Address
To start, you should pay to have a domain for your website and professional email addresses that are connected to your business. It will look better than having a standard email address from Gmail or Yahoo. Beyond that, you should open a few email accounts to make it look like you have more people and departments at your company. This isn’t to say you should invent several fake employees and give them email addresses, but you could have different addresses for things like customer service, sales, technical support and general contact. Furthermore, you might want to consider email automation for many of your standard emails. It will make you look more responsive, and that will also make you look bigger.
It isn’t hard to make your business look bigger than it is. In many cases, you are just trying to avoid doing things that make your business look small. With these tips, you can take advantage of the benefits that come with being a larger, more established company. As you gain new clients, your company will grow, and before long, you will no longer need to make your company look big.
Alexander writes about the effective habits that make up a happy and healthy lifestyle. He is the owner and writer at Biz Think Tank. You can read more of his writing there or on his personal website.
The opinions and advice expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Image Group International.