Advances in technology over the past several decades have opened the door for small companies to compete with the giants in their industry. Sometimes size matters, and the ability for a start-up or small operation to give off the appearance of a larger and well-established corporation. The key here is understanding which technologies allow you to muscle up so that no matter how small your business or operation, you will be able to give the appearance of the big established business that you are striving to grow into.
Read on for these seven fantastic tips that will help you use technology not only to make your small business look big but to do so in a way that helps your business run better, as well!
#1: Professionally Setup Website
There is no excuse not to have a good modern website today. From simple content management systems like WordPress to the huge overabundance of programmers out there, there are many inexpensive options that allow for the building of websites that are incredibly functional, can collect important information, and gives a clear and aesthetically pleasing view of what you and your company do.
This is an online world and has been for well over a decade. There is no excuse not to have a good looking site, and yet there are many companies who don’t. Spend the time, money, or expertise needed to get a professionally done website. It makes a huge difference, especially when it comes to being taken seriously.
A short checklist:
– The ability to collect e-mails
– Easy to navigate organization & page set up
– An SSL to register as secure
– Great original content (hire a professional writer – this is a place to shine)
– Clear contact information on every page
– Mobile friendly
#2: Ditch the Free E-mail Addresses
Having a Gmail address is a clear red flag that you’re a freelance or amateur operation. We won’t even get into what a Yahoo, AOL, or old Hotmail account address gives an impression. You want a professional e-mail setup.
While going with a private provider can work, the best setup is to have email addresses that are attached to your website domain name so your address would be yourname@yourURL.com. Really small companies can take advantage of email forwarding so you can even have sales@, marketing@, customerservice@, e-mail addresses that all end up forwarding to you if you’re wearing multiple hats. This is a great way to look very large even when you’re juggling almost everything yourself or with a small group.
#3: Use Internet Based Phone System
Don’t rely on increasingly expensive landlines or out of date phone systems. There are many outstanding virtual business phone systems that allow for remote access to your call or message logs, prove far more stable than Skype, and gives the impression of a reliable company that is on the cutting edge of business technology. This always looks good, no matter what particular niche you happen to be in.
#4: Active Social Media Management
No one cares about your Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or any other social media page if it’s dead or just occasionally tossing out the same basic promotional rubbish. On the other hand, having a very active account is easy, takes a minimum amount of time and commitment, and is a skill many young potential employees have. Even if you don’t have room for a full-time online marketer on your team, talking to locals attending university or someone in the family about internships or recommendations for that title of “social media intern” or “social media manager” can be an enticing and easy way to get quality work that gets serious positive attention.
#5: Formal Invoicing System
Get a good looking invoice. Basic text is 1990, and it shows. Having a printable logo is easy, and in fact, pictures can even be uploaded to PayPal invoices to make those invoices look professional. There are many software options out there that create a variety of invoice templates, can make them look good, and offer a professional finish that can be easily e-mailed or printed and mailed traditionally (or both).
There’s no better time to look professional than when the billing goes out.
#6: Smart Branding Via Paid Advertisements
Facebook ads should be a part of any business’s online strategies. Large companies often throw large budgets at this, but smart companies use the incredible ability to target really specific groups of people, really specific customer demographics or even Facebook users associated with other companies in your field. This type of branding means for a very small amount of money (comparatively) you can make sure your name keeps popping up in all the places you want it to without having your marketing budget drained by useless views.
Done with careful planning and precision, this means even a very modest budget can put your company name in front of all the right eyes and create a much bigger shadow than your company size would indicate.
#7: Look at Weekend Phone Responders
There are many professional companies designed to simply answer phones during your off hours where they record the messages, complaints, or concerns and can give that information to you via report for when you’re back in the office. Some even offer advanced services like scheduling – but having a professional 800 number even on off hours screams large and professional.
Davids Can Look Like Goliaths
While the flexibility and adaptability of small companies can be advantageous in the ever-changing business world, but by following these seven tips you’ll look like a giant in professionalism and get the attention and respect your company deserves.