If you are building an online business from the ground up, it can involve a lot of learning on your part, as well as the fact that you are starting everything from scratch. You won’t have a whole marketing department to get behind the social media channels, or an IT department to help set up your email; you will be doing it all. And if you are like most entrepreneurs that are starting something from scratch, you will want to do it all to a certain level, and will only have a small budget to work with. Meaning you are going to be doing it all.
Regardless of the size of your company, though, it pays to have it looking professional from the outset. You don’t want to get it up and running, and then change the contact details or the business name, for example. It can be confusing and not make things look very professional. Which is why there are a few certain things that are good to do right from the outset. You can start the business off on the right foot, and mean that you start off with some clear and focused branding. As the old saying goes, you never get the chance to make a second first impression, so it pays to start off and make sure that the first impression people have of your business is a good one.
Dedicated Phone Number
You will have your own contact details, of course, but having a phone number that is going to be just used for your business is a great idea. It means calls are specifically for that purpose, and you can keep business and personal matter separate. You can easily share your contact details without having to share with everyone your personal phone number. You could even get a toll-free number or set up something where calls can be specifically directed (like pressing one for sales and two for customer care, for instance).
Business Mailing Address
Having a business mailing address, like using a registered office or getting a PO Box can be a great way to keep your personal details private. Your business, especially an online based business, is likely to be set up in your home. So if you want people to send things to you or return items, you don’t want to be giving out your home address. It doesn’t cost much for these things either, so it can be worth taking advantage of, to make sure you start things off in that professional way.
Website and Domain Name
Having a website for an online business is going to be crucial. How else are people going to find out about what you do? But you need to make sure that it is a business website with its own domain name, and not a subdomain like wordpress.com, for example. It will look so much more professional to have your own domain, and it really gives you control over your site when you are the one that controls what goes on there or not.
Alongside getting a domain name, you can then set up email addresses to match up with your domain. So instead of having a Gmail address, you can have an email address that is the same as your domain. It ties the two things together, and makes it look much more professional. In fact, there have been studies about this and about businesses that use specific emails or ones using hosts like Gmail or Outlook. The results were overwhelming in the fact that businesses were seen as more trustworthy and reliable when the email address was a specific one that related to the domain address.
You might think that business cards are a pretty old fashioned way of doing things, but they are still a winner when it comes to offline marketing. They can be a great way to help word of mouth marketing, as well as for using at networking events or local business events. The good news is that they can be pretty inexpensive to create and print, but they can have a lasting impact on the person that you exchange cards with.
Look the Part
Being someone that is running their own business can have many perks, and working from home wearing whatever you want is one of them. But when it comes to meeting customers, clients, or attending things like networking events, it will need you to be a little more professional. Look the part and the rest will follow.