In this, the latest article in the ‘Covering Bases’ collection, we take a brief look at easily increasing the perception of professionalism within your start-up business to clients and potential customers alike.
Every business in operation would do well to have that professional edge. If a business looks professional, it lends the consumer confidence to buy. Each business owner goes about this in a different way.
It depends on how you run your business, but it also depends on the industry in which you operate in. There are certain industry standards in some areas of business which help paint the professional picture. You may already do some of the below but read on and hopefully they’ll help you lend that extra sheen of professionalism to your business.
ASKING CLIENTS TO YOUR OFFICE? MAKE SURE ITS UP TO SCRATCH
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns has changed how offices are used. Probably for the long-term. Many businesses have reverted to conducting meetings over Microsoft Teams. However, there are still those who use physical offices for their clients to make use of.
For a start, it has to be clean. There are a myriad of commercial cleaning services that can help you do this, depending upon your locale. Ensure the chairs you use are comfortable and not cheap, especially if the meetings last a while. Modern equipment is necessary for presentations along with multiple fixtures to connect phones, tablets and laptops. Ensure you offer refreshments too, from hot drinks to simple water.
If your office looks great, it’ll give a better impression of your business, especially if you’re using the meeting to try and get the customer to use your services.
The importance of reviews cannot be understated. If your customers can see reviews left by others, they’ll be happier to part with their cash because others like them have liked the product. Amazon set the direction for the importance of reviews and the rest of the industry have followed suit.
Getting reviews isn’t easy. You can offer the product a little cheaper for a review, or offer money off the next product for a review. Simply sending a follow up email can help, asking the customer if they liked the product or service and whether or not they need any further help, along with a short note regarding a review can make a huge difference. You may get some bad ones along the way and although they aren’t nice, they certainly are useful because they give great feedback.
If you get some saying the same thing you know you need to change something and this gives you the chance to do that.
GREAT LOGO STYLING
The best businesses out there have brilliant logos and styling. Styling that’s instantly recognisable and looks pretty professional. This is consistent across physical stores, on your website, and on your commercial stationary and letterheads. If you can use it consistently you’ll help boost your brand awareness. It looks professional and will lend the buyer confidence.
Being professional can also help you get a business grant, increase the potential to attract outside investment, or simply increase the quality of your business connections.
It’s up to you to ensure the design and moniker are acceptable and as relevant to users in your industry niche as possible. There are talented designers out there who can help you design it, you just need to ensure that you place it in all the right places for the branding to be effective.
The format and versions you choose are dependent upon your own requirements. However, as a minimum we would recommend getting the following versions of a logo designed:
- Full scale, colour, on transparent background
- Full scale, black and white, on transparent background
- Small, colour, simplified for social media, etc
Try to incorporate it into your packaging, your business cards and if you can, even on any business vehicles that you use.
In the eyes of potential business partners and customers, the lack of uniformity in Email signatures often signifies a chaotic business. This is quick and easy to fix.
Ensure the Email signatures of all staff follow the same format and font design. The design and font choice should try to match the perceived expectations of clients and potential customers.