When asked about what draws one to a potential mate, the stock answer is usually “personality.” But one can argue that there has to be some kind of physical attraction that leads to getting to know that personality. The same could be said about a small business website, as they could offer great services (the personality), but appear too small and unprofessional (the physical). A small business website that appears exactly that — small — can be off-putting and turn away some customers before they learn about all that is offered. This is especially true for customers that are unsure if they can trust transacting with a small business.
While being a small business does have its unique set of benefits and charms, there are some things you can do to make your business appear bigger and take on the competition.
- Up-to-Date Website — First and foremost you want to create a professional-looking website for your small business. It doesn’t need to be overly fancy, but it does need to look like you know what you are doing. Once your website has been created, it is important to keep it up-to-date with recent material to display that you (your business) are still around and thriving. If you have a blog, ensure that you are posting on regular basis and are providing interesting content that your potential clients want to read. If you are posting a portfolio of your work, make sure to post updates as new items become available.
- Name Sets The Tone — Once your website has been created and you are updating it on regular basis, the next item to tackle is to make sure that you own your own domain name (website address). While having a free site address works perfectly fine for a hobby website or a family album, if you are serious about your small business you need to have a name that is your own. Learn more about purchasing a domain name.
- Professional Email Addresses — A sure fire giveaway that a small business is very small is the email address that the company uses to communicate with existing and potential clients. Create different email addresses for various departments of your small business. For example, human resources, legal, sales and customer support should have their own email address. Even if there is just one person managing these emails, this will give the impression that there are multiple departments involved with your small business website.
- Business Memorabilia — Creating a larger image starts with a strong brand. Make sure to have professionally printed business cards, t-shirts and other memorabilia to convey the strength and longevity of your brand. Visit these previous blog posts for more information on branding.
- Proper Language = Quality — Proper grammar and spelling go a long way when it comes to creating a big image for your small business. Additionally, it may sound overly simple, but when writing about your small business, use “we” instead of “I.” This gives the impression that your small business is run by a team of people. Even if there are just two of you running the show, the customers don’t need to know that.
- Social Media Presence — It is important that your small business has a social media presence to ensure that customers can contact you via various marketing channels. Additionally, when utilizing these marketing channels ensure you are posting on regular basis and are providing timely communication responses.
- Incorporating — Increase your credibility by incorporating your small business website. When customers see “Inc.” or “LLC” after your business name they will likely think that you are a big entity that can be trusted to provide great service. The cost of incorporating your small business varies by state, but on average it will set you back about $200.
You don’t have to feel like a small fish in a large pond with your small business website. Employing some or all of the above will go a long way toward growing your image. Think big!