No matter how great the quality of your small business may be, a recurring problem with running a small business is that consumers and clients often lack confidence in small or new operations. Customers and clients often want to be serviced by the best, and therefore tend to gravitate towards big brands they feel they know and can trust. If you want to attract more customers, then seeming bigger is often better. If you want to make your business seem bigger, then here are some tips to get you started.
Don’t Advertise the Fact you Work from Home
If your business is based in your home office, then your business may have a slightly unprofessional veneer to potential customers. You should never lie to a customer about how your business operates, and instead you should remove that veneer by hiring virtual office space. Virtual offices often function simply as mailing addresses, but you can often get added bonuses like reception services or even a plaque on the wall depending on the provider. Having a virtual office helps give your business some credibility, and also help separate your home and personal life by ensuring you do not advertise your home address to unscrupulous people. If you need to meet a client, you can either invite them to your home (there is no need to mention your business is based there), hire out a meeting room (a service which some virtual offices provide) or meet in a social area like a coffee shop.
Don’t be Afraid to Look Corporate
Some small businesses want to look small and relaxed in order to give off that start-up vibe—but sometimes the start-up vibe just doesn’t attract customers. Don’t be afraid to look corporate in order to attract customers: wearing a suit, having letter-headed paper and presenting your business formally can all make your business seem big and important. Sometimes, that requires a little extra work. For example, it might be a good idea to have a telephone answering service so that you have a professional, formal person greeting and directing your customers in the right direction.
Turn Every Sale or Client into a Testimonial
If you work hard to ensure complete customer satisfaction, then you can easily build up a good reputation and a handy list of testimonials. Since most people assume that along a fraction of people give testimonials, by cultivating feedback you can make your existing client base seem bigger than it really is. It’s subtle, but it works.
Get some (virtual) Back Office Support
There are two major reasons why getting a personal assistant or some back-office support is essential for a small business. The first is related to image: most people don’t expect company directors or CEOs to be doing menial tasks and number crunching. The second is practical: your talents should not be wasted on low-level tasks but instead on supporting customers and clients whilst growing your business. If hiring an in-person assistant is a monetary burden you cannot handle, then get online and find yourself a virtual assistant. Time is money, so it is often worth paying a small amount to outsource a task and get back something more valuable—hours of your day. It does not matter if the assistant resides in Philadelphia, Portsmouth or Phnom Penh: almost all tasks nowadays can be completed using the internet, and a virtual assistant can complete all those little tasks that swallow up your time at a fraction of the cost.
All in all, making your business seem bigger is all about presenting yourself in a certain way. But showing off the best parts of your business, you can make yourself seem successful, even if the business is still in its growing stage.