When you began your home business, did you worry that customers would bypass you in favor of a larger company? Your fears were warranted. When it comes to spending money, clients and customers will often choose a larger, well-established company over a smaller, new, home-based business. Here are five ways that you can make even the smallest business appear like a large corporation:
1.Your Phone System
Never utilize your personal number as your business number. Instead, pay for a personalized 800 number. Having an 800 number automatically makes people think that your business is bigger than it is. Alternatively, you can sign up for a virtual phone system online. With these services come professionally recorded greetings, call forwarding and a number that is dedicated to your business.
Spend a few dollars a month and register your own domain. Look for a web hosting service that allows you to set up a website and provides free email addresses. No one has to know that you’re the only one returning emails. Never use a free email service for your business; you’ll automatically give off the vibe of being small. Instead, your business email should end in @yourbusinessname.net or @yourbusinessname.com.
3.There is No ‘I’ In Team
Even if you are the only person showing up for work on a daily basis, never use the words “I” or “me.” When you’re answering customers’ queries, either by voice, text or email, avoid using singular pronouns. Always reply with “we.” Doing this will give the impression that you have a whole team of people working with and for you, in turn giving the impression that you’re running a large business.
If you have to meet with a client, customer or supplier face-to-face, never invite that person to your home office. Instead, take the person to lunch and have a working meeting. Not only will you avoid showing someone that you’re working out of your home, but you’ll give the impression that you have money to spend. When you pay for lunch, pull out a business credit card; never use cash.
5.Name Your Company
Even if you’re selling crafts out of your home, you should name your business. Having a business name automatically makes you appear more official. Adding an “Inc.” after you name makes you seem bigger than you are. Consider spending a couple of hundred dollars in incorporating your small business. Doing so may even be a legal requirement in your state. You can look at your State Agency’s website for more information on the legalities of operating a business out of your home.
Just because you’re working out of your home doesn’t mean you have to seem like a small fry in the business world. If you follow the five tips above, your customers will think you’re working from an office in the heart of the city instead of from the comfort of your couch. Being “big” doesn’t mean spending thousands of dollars, it can easily be done on the cheap with a few creative changes.
About the Author
Michael Allen is a full-time blogger. If you own a small business and you want to make sure you’re managing your finances well, confer with expert Paul Moran at mckinleyplowman.com.au.