In the early days of any business, attracting those all-important first clients or customers can be difficult. If you’re operating out of the back bedroom at home or you’re a young entrepreneur, it can be hard to get those early clients to take you seriously when you’re just starting out. Here’s how to help your new business start out on the right foot, and impress those early clients and contacts.
Invest In A Quality Website
Nobody will take your business seriously at all if your website doesn’t work properly, looks cheap or is out of date. Invest in some good quality website design, so you site looks smart and professional. If you’re not tech-savvy, don’t try and do the build yourself. If you’re on a low budget, there are lots of tools online with smart looking website templates, so there’s no excuse for a poor website.
Test your website thoroughly before you launch it so you’re sure that everything works exactly as it should. Check for any dead links, videos that don’t play, text that is too small to read or template text that you’ve missed. Are all the images clear? Make sure you keep the website up to date too. Out of date email addresses, or an About Age that hasn’t been touched for a year doesn’t look good to a potential customer who lands on your site.
Try to keep the site active, with regular news about product launches, new services or company milestones. Consider a company blog to show your expertise. You can write posts about your industry, to demonstrate that you know what you’re doing before you have your first customers or clients. Blogging can also be a great way to boost your site’s SEO and bring in new site visitors.
Get A Professional Email Address
If you’ve set up a website, buy a domain name that comes with email addresses, so you can have a professional-looking email address. Ideally, you want an email that is something like [email protected] You don’t want a Gmail account as your main contact point, as it doesn’t look like a professional business email. Definitely don’t use your old email address that you used to use on Instant Messenger. It’s important to make a good first impression, and your old email ‘[email protected]’ won’t do it.
Consider A Virtual Headquarters
If you’re still operating from your home, your clients might not take you as seriously as a business with proper offices. Virtual Headquarters can give you a professional-looking address for your mail to be sent to, and can even offer a receptionist service for your company phone number. Anyone who calls will get the receptionist, giving the impression of a larger organization than you currently are.
Having a professional service to answer the phone also allows you to get on with more important work, instead of fielding calls. You can be more productive as well as appearing more professional. A skilled receptionist will be able to effectively deal with your customers too, encouraging customer loyalty and higher sales turnover.
Get A Professional Logo
Your logo says a lot about your company and be a make or break first impression of your business. If you’re not skilled at design, don’t try to design a logo yourself. Hire a professional or at least a design student to create a smart logo that sells your business in the best light.
Make sure your main logo file is high quality and a large file size so it can be resized for different uses without becoming blurred or pixelated. Make sure that your logo can be used on different background colors. You should at least have versions that work on black or white backgrounds, without becoming unclear.
Be sure that your logo isn’t too close to anything already existing, and that it isn’t confusing. Show it to your friends and family to check it doesn’t remind them of anything.
Get Testimonials And Sales Figures
When you’re new, you need to be able to back up your claims about what a great service you offer. Have some numbers you can present to back up what you’re telling a potential client. How many leads did an advertising campaign you created generate? How many products did you sell last quarter? Have the numbers ready.
If you have had happy customers ask them for reviews or testimonials. These can be displayed on your website or be included in a pack for potential clients. Struggling to find those early customers? Offer a deal or a free product to friends and family in exchange for them leaving those all-important reviews to help you lock down real clients.
You did deliver a consistent service and demonstrate that you are reliable if your customers are going to trust you. Keep your brand consistent online, and make sure your marketing reflects your business. Deliver services on time and as promised, and make sure you maintain good communication with customers so they know they can rely on you.
Present A Professional Appearance
If you’re meeting clients in person for meetings, it’s important that you look the part. Try to present a smart, professional appearance. Dress well, and make sure your clothes are cleaned and ironed. Keep your nails clean and trimmed so they don’t put someone off during your handshake.
Communicate And Deliver In A Professional Way
Are you sending out a physical product? Make sure any packaging you use looks good, and displays your brand when it arrives with your customer. Pack orders carefully so they arrive without damage. Packaging should look professional, and not like you’re packing up an eBay order.
Keep communication prompt and professional. Use an email signature with your name, job title and other contact details. Make sure you respond to any communication in a timely manner, so your customers aren’t left waiting and annoyed. If you’re sending out physical mail, design a letterhead with your logo and business details. All correspondence should be sent out on paper with a letterhead.