Small businesses are truly the backbone of economies the world over. Some grow to become big businesses, some remain small, and others fail, but they are all essential. But just because your business is small and your resources limited doesn’t mean you aren’t professional. Some small businesses work just fine with an “unprofessional” image, but projecting a more professional image will only help your small business grown and gain more credibility.
The benefits of working towards a more professional image for your small business are many. A small company that appears more professional is going to be more respected by other professionals and businesses in your field. Working to obtain and maintain a professional image is going to impress clients and convince them to do business with you. Professionalism is also going to help grow and expand your business, perhaps even transforming it into a big business.
How do you create a professional business image?
Have a Professional-Looking Website
Some small businesses still don’t have a website at all, much less a professional-looking one. Web hosting is ridiculously cheap nowadays, so there’s really no excuse not to have a website. Whether you use pre-done templates, do it yourself, or hire a web designer, having a sleek, modern-looking website is going to go a long way in showcasing your business’ credibility. Make sure you have your own domain name as well – it looks more professional and helps your business in search engine rankings. Doing this also allows you to have a personalized business e-mail address, which also projects a more professional image.
Have an Electronic Invoicing System
Hand-written invoices don’t look as professional as invoices generated by an electronic system. There are many popular ones to choose from, and many offer free trials. Having a system keeping track of your accounting will make it easier come tax time as well.
Look For Ways To Grow
To expand your business operations, you’ll need to look at various options for growth, including expanding into new products or markets. There are ways to calculate how much additional funds will be needed to make a proposed expansion, and therefore whether it is financially feasible for your company to increase its sales that way. Looking for growth rather than maintaining the status quo makes your business more professional in the eyes of customers and other businesses alike.
Consider a Business Loan
Business loans might need to be taken out for a number of reasons. There are many options, but Advance Funds Network is one of the most helpful ones. With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, a track record of financing loans for businesses both big and small, fast turnaround time, and no upfront fees, look to increase your business’ financial credibility by successfully taking out a loan and paying it back.
Don’t Be Inflexible
Running a small business is all about maintaining personal relationships with your clients. You want them to come back and recommend you to others. So don’t be inflexible when a client asks you for something outside your normal scope. Going above and beyond will impress clients and show them you truly care about your work and doing a good job. That being said…
Have and Stick To Your Policies
Every professional business has a set of policies for any number of things, from client interaction to the scope of various services. Having clear policies and applying them uniformly will go a long way in ensuring your business projects a more professional image.
Work On Your Professional Brand
There are many resources out there for how to create a brand, and all small businesses need one, to some extent, in this day and age. What sets you apart from your competitors? By having a clear image of what kind of business you run in your mind, you can better present your small business to everyone.
Own Up To Mistakes
Don’t shake off responsibility or blame others. If a customer’s problem is legitimate, be professional, apologize, and do what you can to make the customer happy, within reason. Follow your policies, as mentioned above. If no existing policy applies, deal with the specific situation as you see fit, and implement new policies going forward.
A professional image will go a long way in allowing your small business to keep growing and gaining an excellent relationship with clients and other professionals in your field.