Consumers have more options today than ever before. From home based businesses to foreign conglomerates, technology has made it possible for just about anyone to launch a business venture that connects with customers around the world. So, how can your homemade business make a professional impression that will woo customers?
Winning over customers depends on what you’re selling and who you’re selling to, but the five strategies below are proven ways for any type of business to look more professional.
Well Designed Website
It’s no secret that the first thing most consumers do these days is research online. Websites are complex and have countless components. But the five things below are musts for any well designed business website.
- Responsive design – This will make your website fit nicely on any size screen.
- Personal domain name – Your website can be on the WordPress platform, but having a WordPress website doesn’t look as professional as having your own domain.
- Simple, bug-free ordering process – If you want customers to buy you have to make it easy. A simple online checkout will do wonders for improving your professional appearance and conversion rate. Check out vendors like Volusion and BigCommerce for easy to implement solutions.
- About Us page – Let customers know that you and your team are real people. Include pictures of your office, warehouse, etc. to improve the legitimacy.
- Contact information – Companies that don’t put their contact information front and center are going to send off red flags in the minds of consumers. Include the basics, like a phone number, in the header and all of your information on a contact page.
Any business that sells and ships products can benefit from custom printed boxes. A generic cardboard box screams eBay seller. Branded boxes and shipping materials are actually cost effective and increase brand awareness while the package is in transit. Consider how many people touch a box from the time you mail it to the time it’s delivered. That’s a great deal of free promotion. Companies such as CustomBoxesNow.com are able to print virtually anything on your boxes including directions, QR codes to more product information and promos for additional products.
Professional Phone Systems
Callers are your best customers. That’s the general consensus of new call tracking studies that find callers convert 30-50% of the time. Calls are also increasing across the board, in large part because of mobile devices.
Cloud-based calling systems are making feature-rich phone systems more affordable and flexible for small businesses. These systems can route calls over the cloud to any existing phone without the need for telephone lines or equipment. Some providers like Hosted Numbers also offer live answering services, which help you expand your team without actually hiring new employees. It will also greatly improve your professional appearance.
What’s even better about cloud-based phone systems is that they give you the ability to track all of your phone data. It’s possible to see how many calls you received for a certain period, which numbers were called, where customers called from and more. There are also add-on services for recording call conversations. Reviewing calls can significantly improve your customer relations and sales scripts.
Business Email Account
Gmail is great – for the masses. A dedicated business email account will not only make you look more professional it will also help you expand your brand. You can get business email accounts from your website hosting company, or you can use Google Apps for Business. The later is a fantastic, low-cost option ($5 a month) that is extremely reliable. If you are going to use a person’s name in the address the most professional option is first initial with the last name, for example firstname.lastname@example.org.
High Quality Business Cards
This simple square of cardstock sends a very strong message about the professionalism of your business. Even in our online age business cards are still as relevant as ever for spreading the word about your business. Think about how many times someone has asked what you do for a living. It’s one of the most common icebreaker questions. Having a well designed, high quality business card to hand them when you answer will make a serious impression, especially if you are a freelancer or operate a home based business.