5 Ways To Make Your Small Business Look Big And Professional Online For More Opportunities
Writing this post with so much happiness because this is one particular post I can relate to. Trust me when I say how people portray your business online can impact how much opportunities come your way and how serious people take your business. I remember starting THEBLOGGGERPOINT in my university apartment.
The launch of the agency kick-started with a brunch and planning needed to commence immediately. I would sit down on my double bed filled with soft pillows and text books with my laptop sending sponsorship proposal to big brands referring to myself as “Us at The Blogger Point would like you to blah blah blah”. I use to laugh at myself several times asking who the “US” is, considering it was just me. Yes, it can sound vain to some people but to me, it’s called faith, determination and vision. The way you portray yourself really matters.
I would arrive at interviews and the manager or client would be expecting a big person as TBP rep. There is always this shock on their faces like: Were you the one emailing me?. I remember one particular situation where I had a meeting with a potential venue sponsor for the brunch. The manager came in and my small self-trying to say hello and explain I have a meeting with her. She wasn’t patient enough to hear me out and just quickly said: “I have a meeting with a client at 9 am“. A few minutes later, she came out of the office and ask if I was from The Blogger Point. Oh well, Yes. The shock on her face. She went ahead saying how she was expecting a “Grown up” person because the emails and communication were too good to be from a young lady like me. She even asked who helped draft the proposal [ Well, after 3 years of writing over 15 business proposals in school, what do you expect]. The meeting was successful and they even offered us more than expected. Okay, let’s get straight into it:
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1. Establish a virtual office: As a small start-up, having a well-established office/workspace might be difficult but you still want to create an idea of having an office like every business. So, you can create an idea of “virtual office” either on one of the millions of teamwork platforms or even a Whatsapp team group where you discuss with your team and conclude great projects. And, before you ask me: What about when clients need to meet up with you? Well, there are several workspaces you can rent for few hours, days or even months to meet up with clients without a yearly rent responsibility. The idea of having an office somehow keep everyone on the team grounded.
2. Branded email: If you can pay for a domain email, that’s great but as a small business on a budget, the best you can do is brand your email. What I mean by branding is having a matching email with your brand name. I understand you are a small business and you didn’t think much people will email you but don’t make the mistake of using your personal email as your business email. At THEBLOGGERPOINT, our website is www.thebloggerpoint.com and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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3. Invest in your overall online branding: I know the budget is low but there are some standard things you really should consider saving for such as website, brand logo, good images, graphics, business cards for offline networking. There is nothing as “disappointing” as a brand that has got no website for customers to read more about them or check out there products or services. We have enough “Insta-business”, please don’t be another brand joining them. Having a website for people to refer to build trust between your brand and potential customers.
4. Stay professional: As a small business owner, you will have a personal and close relationship with your customers but you need to make sure to stay professional ALWAYS. Treat every customer with same professionalism because a review or feedback can go a long way. Don’t get too comfortable with a customer and start considering them as “Too friendly”. The down side of being too friendly with a customer can affect the quality of products or services you provide. You might start feeling the “No need to impress anymore” because we are now very comfortable with them. They might not tell you but if your standard reduces, they will tell others.
5. Grow your social following: Yes, it’s no more an option anymore in the business world. An engaging and active social platform is a MUST and can open doors for you. You need to pay attention and put the effort in growing your social platforms. Think about the average time people spend on social platforms. Then, if you are ready to get your brand/business out there to people, you need to take your business to them wherever they are.
The aim isn’t to lie or deceive people, it is all related to the branding of your business. The more you visualise your business this way, it will push you to actually work more to attain this stage in real life.
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x Maryam Salam x