Small Business

Launching and, indeed, running a small business is as thrilling and rewarding as it can quite often be challenging and frustrating, especially if there are many other similar-themed companies in your local area. As a small business, even though the tide is turning in terms of people turning away from big companies in favor of supporting smaller businesses, it can be incredibly difficult to stand up to your industry rivals, let alone become the leading business in your industry locally. So, with this in mind, and to help you do just that with your own company, here is how to increase the professionalism of your small business tenfold.

Purchase a Domain Name & Email Address

One of the best things about the internet is the way in which anybody, be that the CEO of an international company or else a teenager at home, can create a safe and informative space to post their own unique content. However, when it comes to choosing a company in which to invest hard-earned money for products and services, it is unlikely the average person would choose the latter, which is why if you have not already done so, you need to purchase an email address with your company’s domain before the ‘@’ and an official website address that is not free.

Upgrade Your Equipment, Tools & Machinery

Not only will cheaper, both in terms of money and quality, tools and equipment mean you will be spending half your time mending, maintaining, and, indeed, expensively replacing, but customers and clients alike will notice. For example, for electrical businesses, or if you are a freelance electrical handyman or woman, make sure you purchase the entirety of your toolbox and inventory from prestigious and expert electrical supply stores. This way, your company’s level of professionalism is substantially boosted, and your products and/or services will be vastly improved.

Consider a Google Number

Essentially, a Google Voice number is a modern phone number and is just as important when wanting to increase the level of perceived professionalism of your business as a professional email and domain name. Obviously, the phone number you provide as your point of contact with new and potential customers alike can work in this way, but it simply does not scale and is also not particularly professional.

Instead, investing in a Google Voice number will afford your small business the following:

  • Free and unlimited text messages between you and your customers
  • Each and every voicemail is automatically transcribed
  • Arrange rules and times for call forwarding
  • Numbers you wish to block can be blocked temporarily or permanently 
  • You can have two or more phones with the same number
  • Conference call comes as part of the package

Attend Various Networking Events

Even if approaching strangers or even known work partners in any kind of informal setting makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, networking is an exceedingly vital component of growing a small business and increasing the professionalism of the outfit. It is for this reason that you should, as soon as you have the time, search local newspapers, magazines, industry-specific newsletters, and email marketing chains for industry-appropriate networking events happening in and around your local area.

Invest in Business Cards

In a modern world whereby technology has, whether you like it or not, taken over how everything is run, both in business and a large part of the average millennial’s private life too, you may well be pleased to learn that business cards are still an incredibly effective marketing tool. Search online for a renowned and reputable customizing website that can not only professionally reprint your brand logo and company name onto business cards that fit inside a purse or wallet but will also be more than flexible in terms of pricing for future orders.

Redesign Your Uniform

Now, obviously, if your company is involved in the core trades such as electrical or plumbing, or is based on a construction site or other practically-minded business, then obviously a smart logo and branded suit are not entirely suitable.

However, for customer-facing companies, especially those involved in the retail industry, it is highly advisable to make sure that each of your employees and, of course, yourself look the part. Redesign the uniform so that everyone is clearly defined as a member of the team, and even if, as a small and fledgling business, your family members, partner, or even close friends help out for free, you should still provide them with the official items of uniform.

Improve Your Customer Service Levels

Finally, the last piece of advice contained within this article pertains to how you deal with your customers’ questions and problems and ways to improve your customer service levels to subsequently increase customer satisfaction. Your customers are at the heart of your business, and the more professional you appear and perform, the more likely they are to recommend you to others and the more likely that they themselves will become repeat customers. Luckily, there are numerous excellent and effective ways to improve your overall levels of customer service, including the incredibly important point of actively seeking customer feedback.

This can be completed in the form of a follow-up call after a job has been successfully completed or the delivery of one or more products has been recorded, or as part of an email marketing chain. Other incredibly useful ways of working to maintain a high level of customer service and satisfaction with each and every customer or client include ensuring the aforementioned feedback you receive is actioned, setting up a comprehensive framework with which to measure the performance of your team, and to utilize a customer service of an omnichannel customer service strategy. Finally, motivating your employees and, indeed, yourself to do your very best each and every day for the company, the employees, the brand, and the brand ethos will only ever result in a more professional and successful business.

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