Even if (and especially if) you are just starting out or running your business on your own, it’s critical to show up professionally. Your personal appearance, the way you communicate, and your online presence all send messages to prospective clients.
My own small business experience and years of helping small business clients have taught me a thing or two about how your business name, logo, and website are powerful tools for competing with the big guys. Here are some simple strategies to make sure your small business is dressed for success.
• Avoid naming your business after yourself. Create a memorable name that sounds like a larger company; for example, call yourself John Smith & Associates instead of John Smith.
• Prioritize a a professionally designed logo in your marketing budget. If you can’t afford one right now, use a clean, text-only approach for now. Whatever you do, avoid using DIY clip art that will make your business look unprofessional.
• Purchase a URL, a branded email account, and a website hosting plan rather than using a free online website creator and a personal Gmail account. You need a memorable business URL and matching email address.
• Set up your Google My Business profile. Build credibility by requesting Google reviews from clients
• Create a thoughtful, modern, mobile-friendly WordPress website. It’s the foundation of your communication and marketing effort. You will likely need to engage a copywriter and designer for this work – do it! Your first website can be very simple (if done correctly, it will grow as your business evolves), but should include the following minimal content:
– A Homepage that acknowledges and addresses the problems your target audience faces and how your business solves them.
– An About Us section (and definitely use the word “us”) that introduces visitors to your organization’s key leaders and philosophy.
– A Products or Services section that indicates how your offering improves customers’ lives and allows interested customers to take the next step.
– A Contact page that makes it easy for interested customers to connect with you.
What did I miss? Send me a note to share your tips for looking professional.
Need help sprucing up your online presence? Contact me to discuss how you can boost your image with a professionally designed logo and