The Pulse

How to demonstrate that your small business is professional and competitive

Small businesses make a real impact on our communities and our lives. However, they often struggle to appear as competitive or professional in the larger market, no matter how excellent the quality of their services. Corporations often have more resources to spend on branding, appearance, and other factors that lend to this appeal.

If you’re looking to boost your business’ credibility and demonstrate your service excellence to the larger market, here are some tips that will ease the process.

You need a website.

In 2021, a business without a website can appear amateurish or unreliable. If your only online presence is limited to a Google My Business listing or a Facebook page, potential customers may not take you seriously.

While you’re at it, you’ll want to make sure it has a legible, aesthetically appealing, and modern design – that’s formatted for mobile as well as desktop.

Invest in a private email domain.

It may be time to ditch Gmail or Yahoo! for your business email address. Dedicated email addresses (e.g. [email protected], rather than [email protected]) lend credibility to your business, especially if any part of your job includes prospecting to potential clients or partners. In an age where many emails are redirected to spam and deleted before even being opened, this is an easy way to appear more professional.

If you don’t want to pay for email hosting, or quit using an email provider you’re comfortable with, you can always find a domain provider that offers free email forwarding.

Consider a toll-free business number.

If your business has a lot of phone traffic, or expects potential customers to be calling in for information, a toll-free business number might be a worthwhile investment. Not only do toll free numbers, like 1-800 numbers, appear more trustworthy those who may not know your business yet, they’re also affordable, and suggest that you are taking calls from around the country. Likewise, if you ever did open more locations or franchise your business, the toll-free number can remain the same.

Build your company’s LinkedIn presence.

While many small and local businesses utilize Facebook and Instagram to connect with their customers – which is great – LinkedIn is a particularly effective platform for building credibility, networking, and engaging on a more professional platform.

LinkedIn also lets you write and publish articles that establish yourself as an industry leader. Depending on what products or services you provide, this could go a long way in establishing your credibility.

In conclusion…

We know small businesses don’t always get the recognition they deserve. However, with a few strategic steps, you can present your company as the legitimate, professional competitor that it is.

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