Starting up a new business is tricky. There’s just so much to think about, so many variables to consider, and a lot of different paths that your company can take! But out of all the different things that you can do to give your new business a boost, making it look and feel more professional is perhaps one of the biggest investments that you could make that will seriously improve how you’re perceived!
Reputation and professional imagery are everything when it comes to making a good first impression that lasts, so we’ve put together a couple of tips that will help you establish a better image for yourself.
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1. Get on social media
Getting on social media will kickstart your online presence. It’s essential to get started early because people will likely search for your brand and discover it via platforms like Facebook. The larger your social footprint, the more likely your business will be trusted!
Social media allows you to interact with customers, post about your products and services, and also market your business. It’s essential for any modern company and you shouldn’t try to grow a business without using social media.
2. Equip your team
Whether it’s fancy business cards or custom photo ID badges, you have to equip your team with the right things to make your business look professional. People often forget that their employees often need to make appearances at events or meet with clients, and in doing so they are representing your company.
As such, having things like business cards and photo badges will greatly improve the public’s perception of your business.
3. Attend events
And speaking of appearing at events, you should go to some as well! It could be a local event promoting businesses, or even a trade show that is relevant to your line of business.
If the event relates to your business in some way, then making an appearance is a great way to network while also helping you appear more professional. After all, if you’re at a public event with lots of other big names, then you’re probably going to get noticed.
4. Engage with customers
Engaging with customers is a simple but often time-consuming task that requires you to have a social media team. But when you’re a startup, you can substitute this by simply spending a bit of time on social media. Respond to feedback, answer questions, and don’t be afraid to engage with your audience on a one-to-one basis.
Not only is this a good way to establish a digital presence and appear more professional, but you can often receive some valuable feedback that you otherwise wouldn’t see.
5. Create quality content
Be it your website’s blog or social media, make sure you’re making some good content. This could include detailed product descriptions, posts about your products and services, or even just informative social media posts.
The better your content, the more professional your business will appear. People will be put off by a business that fails to write any coherent content, and it’ll be even worse if your sentences and grammar are off! Hiring a writer for this is usually a good idea, even if it’s just a freelancer for a bit of contract work to fix up your website content.
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6. Get your community involved
Interacting with your customers is one thing, but building a community around your business and making use of them kicks things up a notch.
This could be starting community forums to provide support for your products and services, or it could mean participating in a message board that discusses your products. You could even ask them what they’d like to see from your products, or even get them involved with user-created content.
7. Ensure legal compliance
Legal compliance is a huge topic that varies based on your company and the type of products and services you offer, so we can’t go too deep into this topic.
However, what we will suggest is that you ensure that your business follows any legal compliance and to seek professional advice from a lawyer. This will help you avoid breaking any laws and you’ll be a more reliable business.
8. Get a custom domain
Custom domains are inexpensive and will create a more professional appearance for your company. If someone emails you, the last thing they want to see is a Gmail address! By giving all of your employees their own email with a custom domain, you’ll be perceived as a professional company almost instantly.
9. Focus on search engine optimization
We’ve already mentioned the importance of good content when it comes to creating a professional image, but this can also vastly improve your search engine optimization too.
When you want to get noticed and appear professional, you have to show up on Google. If people search for your brand and get no results, then they’ll question whether or not you’re a legitimate business. But if you appear on the front page of a Google search result, they’ll instantly have more trust for you.
10. Have a user-friendly website
A simple yet effective way to improve your business is to have a great website. A lot of people underestimate just how important a website is for their company. You can think of it like a virtual storefront, a place for you to list your products and services, and put them in a good light to entice your customers to spend their money.
However, most websites fail to meet basic needs. For instance, a website might not have clear and concise copy for users to read. A lot of people simply scan across websites to get information–they don’t want to read lots of text! Getting the message across with your website and having a clean interface that is easy to navigate will greatly improve the user experience.
A startup can be professional if you approach it the right way, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money or invest a lot of your time and effort into doing so. We hope these tips have helped you and wish you the best of luck with your new startup!