Thanks to the internet and social media, small businesses (and even solo entrepreneurs) can easily make themselves look like much bigger enterprises. Yet many business owners discover that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to developing an image. In fact, playing up the fact that your business is small can offer a variety of distinct selling points.
As the old saying goes, big things come in small packages. And this is often the case for small businesses. Being small is frequently translated in the minds of prospects as being nimble, innovative, cost-effective and more customer-focused.
However, creating a brand identity that captures the spirit of small business shouldn’t be an excuse for having a lack of professionalism. Whether you want your business to appear larger than life or you’re proud of its diminutive size, having the right tools to present a polished image is important.
Necessities for Businesses of Any Size
Businesses of all sizes need the right tools to present a polished, credible image. While you can spend a small fortune on obtaining these tools, there are options at all price points for businesses of any size. Here are the fundamental items that are worth investing in:
Business Phone System
Among the most effective and versatile solutions for creating an impressive first impression is to have a professional business phone system. For businesses that see their small size as an asset, a local phone number, music on hold and a name directory can create a customer-focused first impression. And those businesses that want to communicate to callers that they are larger can strategically incorporate toll-free numbers, an auto-receptionist and multiple extensions.
Professional Business Cards
Inevitably, you will be asked for a business card at a networking event, client meeting or even a neighborhood party. Mumbling how you’re in the process of getting business cards is a red flag that you’re not a serious business owner. These days, you can place an order for professional-looking business cards online and receive them in a matter of days. They’re inexpensive and are often your first touch point with prospects.
Company Email Address
One of the first ways to tell the world you’re open for business is to simply get a company email address. It’s as easy as registering a domain name and setting up an email account. Choosing email@example.com can signal professionalism far more than firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Basic Website
With the development of content management systems like WordPress, even the most technically challenged can create an impressive website for a very small investment. Flashy design and online tools are impressive, but the fundamental component of every website is well-written information that can drive site visitors to make a purchase. By taking a few hours to create a website with useful, error-free content, you can increase the credibility of your business.
Deciding how you want to present your company to the world is a decision that will be based on a number of factors, including long-term goals, industry and market. With the right tools in place, you can communicate professionalism every step of the way as your business and brand evolves.
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Originally published Jul 13, 2011, updated Aug 07, 2020