By Michael Zhou
In every walk of life perception and optics do matter a lot, especially when it comes to small businesses; image enhancement and big impression are strategically used these days. The established businesses are not just strong in terms of capital and budget, but they have better reputation, more visibility and greater trustworthiness. On the contrary, startups and small businesses always face an uphill task to overcome inherent challenges and to get established.
If you have just started a small business, there will always be a pitfall associated with it in terms of size, lack of experience, visibility in the market. Although, at one point in time every successful business was a startup that was putting efforts to create a niche for itself, but today when competition has reached to inflated proportions, the impression to the outside world certainly holds a key.
Therefore, you need to get your acts together, use effective strategies and incorporate certain measures to make your online business appear much bigger.
Here are seven ways that will help your startup to appear bigger and better:
1. Build a better website
Your website tells a lot about your business and reflects your business model. You need to make sure that the first impression of your website doesn’t look like it’s been poorly built. You need to incorporate a clean, attractive, professional and easy-to-navigate design. Particularly, for e-commerce businesses, the appearance and usability of their websites are most important factors to earn revenues. Irrespective of the type of business a company has, a poorly designed website invariably gives an impression that its customers are not given value and they are not offered best possible user experience. Therefore, it is pertinent for you to make a responsive website design, as even Google has started dropping website ranking that are not responsive enough.
2. Use effective automation tools
Right kinds of automation tools allow most of small businesses and startups to handle large scale responsibilities in limited resources. Undertaking these responsibilities by using automation tools will give a better chance for small businesses to show that they are really building a big name. There are a number of processes taking place in companies that require software tools such as, project management, social media optimization, customer service, employee scheduling and roster preparation, finance and accounting management, human resource, and so on. Various types of automation tools help in various ways. For example, some offer cost effective solutions with the help of high re-usability of test components, some tools help in better collaboration, while others allow simultaneous implementation of upgrades in systems across many platforms. To start with, installing scheduling and invoicing software for addressing complexities arising particularly in energy, electrical and construction companies would be quite helpful. It signifies a good use of automation tools to show these businesses appear more than what they are.
3. Invest in high quality videos and podcasts
Videos and podcasts are growing in popularity with each passing day, and they are becoming a strong medium for promoting business online. This is what big companies have been successfully doing for some time now because they capture consumers’ attention more than anything else. When customers absorb information regarding your business on a podcast, they can also perform other activities as opposed to going through every single detail. As a matter of fact, videos and podcasts have a conversational tone about them – this makes them engaging storytelling medium. Since, your potential customers are most likely listening to podcasts and watching videos, it is time to interact with them and let them know about what value your business is providing.
4. Build up an overwhelming social media following
Today, social media platforms have considerably transformed the way businesses are being carried out. So, being an entrepreneur if your startup fails to register an overwhelming presence on social media, you might miss out big time. Since, social media actually generates a significant amount of data related to your customers online, there are more chances of social interaction and greater visibility. A good social media outreach is helping business owners gain valuable customer insights. It helps you increase your brand awareness because it will easier for your customers to find you and connect with you, which effectively means a greater customer retention and conversion rate for your business. Finally, the biggest benefit of using social media platforms for your business is they increase your website traffic and your search ranking.
5. Incorporate a VoIP system
A VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) system is another great way for better customer interaction because generally customers prefer to speak with a living, breathing person. Installing such a service in your company will certainly enhance your image and allow you to position yourself better in this competing environment. The advantages of incorporating VoIP system include conference calling, video calling, virtual receptionists, call queues, and cost savings. It will essentially help your startup to increase its overall productivity by allowing your employees to multi-task without interruption.
6. Start a content marketing program
Content marketing has become an important strategic tool for small as well as large businesses. A regularly updated blog that contains a relevant and informative content for a clearly defined audience will effectively work towards providing your business more visibility. Most of us research products and services on the internet before making a purchase, so an informative content regarding that helps us make better decisions. Moreover, creating a continuous stream of fresh and reliable information on various topics drives more and more traffic to a website, which ultimately results in higher customer turnout and more revenues.
7. Bring a high degree of professionalism in your business
It is a well-established fact that high professionalism in a workplace is essential for long term success of a business. It allows a better employee interaction and improved customer relationship, which are vital elements to ensure that company goals and objectives are met. It helps employees to improve their work performance. In terms of perception, high professionalism sends out a message that your business environment is more conducive for success. Professionalism in a workplace minimizes conflict and establishes respect among authorities, clients and co-workers.
Remember, your killer business idea and the effective strategies to implement it are the most crucial factors for your business to see light of the day. The more innovative your business idea is, the more interest it will generate. However, there are still certain ways with which you can enhance your image, especially when you are new in the game. The above mentioned tips will definitely help you in achieving this.
Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.