Exuding professionalism is an intrinsic factor to success for all small businesses. Doing the opposite can spell disaster and earn you and your business a poor reputation. Given the choice, most people would opt for the service provided by someone whose work is deemed professional. We offer advice for ensuring that you do things the right way.
The way in which you converse with your customers, potential or established, is a vital component of your success. Via email, over the ‘phone or in person, you must use appropriate language. Greeting people informally and using terms of endearment, such as ‘love’, ‘hun’ and ‘dear’, are not recommended.
Additionally, communication ought to take into account confidentiality. If you conduct an informal business meeting in a coffee shop or other public place, consider that there are other people around. It would completely unethical and disrespectful to discuss customers’ or business rivals’ personal information. What’s more, consider that someone overhearing a few seconds of your conversation could easily misconstrue your intentions.
There are very few successful businesses, whether big or small, who do not have an online presence in terms of social media. From Facebook to Instagram, Twitter to LinkedIn, these platforms offer largely free ways of marketing your venture to a wide range of people. By posting and sharing interesting media on a regular basis, you will engage potential clients. You cannot afford to be passive on social media though. Yes, there are ways of scheduling posts to avoid having to be online as regularly as would be useful. However, not responding to people’s comments and questions on your posts does not portray a professional image at all.
Ensuring your website works well and looks attractive is also imperative. If you have dead links or the site is flagged as being unsafe, people are unlikely to return and give you a second chance. Clear, concise information and vibrant images can make all the difference when it comes to marketing yourself. Ensure your website is kept up to date. You don’t have to employ someone to design and manage it for you as there are many easy-to-use website builders out there. Do your research and find other websites whose appearance and personality you feel drawn to. You may get a few pointers from those.
As you established your business, you ought to have considered what its ethos would be and what the most important values you hold are. Having a logo, which reflects this, is a must. Choose colours that complement each other and can work well on all types of media: website, letterheads, leaflets, embroidered shirts and any other promotional material.
Keeping your finances in order demonstrates a professional way of running your business. Sending prompt invoices and paying those send to you before the deadline are important. Becoming known for not paying on time will not do your reputation any favours at all. Keeping a constant track of income and expenditure is great advice as trying to catch up towards the end of the financial year can cause unnecessary stress. An hour or so spent each week on finances will probably suffice for most small businesses.