Recorded at 5.8 million in 2019 by the FSB, small businesses are an incredibly important part of the UK economy.
However, as most small business owners know, developing a reputation is more challenging. The perceived size of a business can make a difference when it comes to presenting a professional image to the buyer, and many businesses struggle with achieving this.
Creating trust and credibility doesn’t happen overnight, but there are several key factors which will add legitimacy to a company. To be regarded as serious players, small businesses should consider these important, and highly visible, areas.
The Business Phone Number
Since most people already have mobile phone numbers, it can be tempting to simply use, and advertise, this line as the business number.
However, when running a business, consider what this says to prospective customers. Doubts about the capacity of a ‘Small business’ and ‘One-man band’ come to mind even if this is not true.
The fact is that the difference between ringing a landline or mobile matters to some customers who like to know that the businesses they deal with have substance, and a dedicated landline adds this layer of substance and professionalism to their appearance.
The most frequently asked question is ‘How does this work’? It is simple. You will choose your landline location ie 0151 for Merseyside, 01244 for Chester, 0121 for Birmingham etc., then choose your number from what is available, and as soon as this is activated it will be redirected to your mobile.
No additional equipment is necessary and there is no great change in anything but the perception of your business in the eyes and minds of your customers, and how important is that?
Having a business email address also makes a difference.
For example, if you are Robert Smith, MD of North West UK Electrical Services Ltd, having a dedicated email such as “firstname.lastname@example.org” is going to provide more legitimacy than something like “email@example.com.” which will scream ‘One – man band’!
In today’s business world, and from your marketing and positioning viewpoint, it’s well worth the modest investment in having a business email that’s dedicated to your company.
A Current Website
Although not all businesses sell their products and services online, customers like to research businesses before making a purchase. This means that all businesses, and especially small ones need their own website.
This site can be as simple or complicated as desired. However, it should contain some basic elements: product information, business information, hours, means of contact, and any other relevant information.
Customers visit a website looking for information and not finding it they can come away unimpressed by a lack of professionalism. They are likely to move on and find what they need somewhere else. Make sure your details are comprehensive and regularly update the site with any new information to create the best impression.
Although many small businesses used to do a great deal via word-of-mouth, this has changed in recent years. People still make personal recommendations of course, but online reviews are an increasingly common and simple way to show legitimacy and a good reputation.
There are a variety of ways to share good reviews of the business. Copy any social media reviews of the business and post them on the company website with permission. This can be done with reviews from Google Local, Facebook and Twitter, as well as sites like Trustpilot and TrustATrader.com
To get these reviews, be sure to ask! Customers are generally happy to share good customer service and experience. This creates credibility over time for you.
Getting a new business off on the right foot isn’t always an easy task. However, starting off by creating a professional appearance makes a significant difference. Use these simple but actionable tips to get started with a good reputation.
A healthy mix of online and offline exposure indicates that a business is legitimate and should be taken seriously. Implementing these guidelines will help a small business achieve its potential so consider using these for new or developing businesses.
For further information aboutsmall business marketing, landlines and email addresses please contact us on the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org