Starting up a new business is hard and one difficulty that all entrepreneurs face at some point is getting potential clients, suppliers, or partners to take them seriously. This is particularly the case if you are completely new to the industry you are entering or if you are starting on a really small scale.
In these instances, the first impressions that you make can be hugely important in developing business relationships. A professional-looking start-up is more likely to be perceived as trustworthy and to receive new investment opportunities.
There are a number of small changes that you can make to help turn your fresh new start-up into a professional-looking business, even on a small budget:
Create a cohesive brand style across all social channels
In this day and age, it is really essential to have some kind of presence on social media. Potential clients or customers will look up your brand on social media to discover your latest updates and any reviews you may have on there.
This doesn’t mean that you need to have accounts on every channel, but you should post on all the channels relevant to your business. For example, Instagram and TikTok are a must for reaching younger audiences and Pinterest is great for crafty businesses like wedding decorators or art print designers.
To help make your social channels look well managed, keep your style consistent. Use the same logos, color palettes, and page banners across all of them.
You may need to bring in a third-party service to help you create and manage these, such as a freelancer from sites like Fiverr. Alternatively, you can have a go at creating them yourself on Adobe Creative Cloud or Canva.
Print out your own letterheads and business cards
Your branding should not be exclusive to your social media pages, it should be present on all other promotional materials and company stationery. Branded business cards are really handy if you are meeting with potential new clients or attending a networking event.
When sending out letters (either digitally or via post) you can also include a branded letterhead for a more professional feel. If printing services are out of budget, you can always print them out on your own printer with some good quality HP cartridges.
Design a strong logo and email signatures for all employees
As the start-up owner, you are not the only person representing your brand, any employees that you have onboard are also ambassadors for the business. This is especially the case for staff working in customer-facing roles.
Ensure that each member of safe has your email signature and has set it to appear on all of their outgoing emails. A professional signature will usually include the business logo, the individual’s name, and job title, and contact details.
It can also be a nice touch to include links to your social media pages and website, which will make it easier for new correspondents to find out more about your company.
Use a business address
Lastly, one way of helping your start-up to look professional and perhaps even more established than it is at this time is to opt for a business address. Even if you are currently working from your home office or a desk sharing space, you can pay monthly to have an office address for all your correspondence to go to, which is then forwarded on to you.
A business address not only helps with professionalism, it can also protect your privacy. Using your home address will let the whole world know where you live. The business address will help you to avoid endless spam mail or unwanted salespeople turning up at your doorstep.