Your small business might be founded on one of the greatest ideas to come along in recent years, and characterised by some of the most hard-working professionals in the country. Unfortunately though, a lot of other business owners don’t have the time to find out about all of this. If you’re just starting out and trying to make some great B2B contacts, then your professional image is going to count for a lot. Here’s some of the ways you can achieve this.
First of all, try overhauling or outsourcing your business’s call handling. As a business owner, you’re in the best position to tell other contacts all about your brand and what it stands for. However, in the fast-paced environment of a start-up office, this can be a little tough. You might find yourself distracted and tripping over your words when you receive that important call you’ve been waiting for. Even if you give the job to someone else, they may be too swamped to give the contact a lasting, positive impression of your company. You can get around this by taking some time to train all your call-handling employees in talking to prospects, and writing out scripts for certain enquiries. Alternatively, you might want to outsource the work to a good digital receptionist service. This will ensure a professional image over the phone, and make your business appear larger than it actually is.
Another thing that can really improve your professional image is using a virtual office or mail forwarding service. These days, more and more businesses are starting at home or being run by many remote workers in constant communication with one another. Despite the success of some of these ventures, there’s still a certain stigma tied to companies that are run from a bedroom. If you put a residential address on your letterheads, invoices and business cards, you could end up chasing away some great customers and partners. A lot of people have always wondered; “why use a mail forwarding service?” It’s simple really; an address in a prestigious urban business centre will do more for your image than one in a quaint little town!
One of the simplest and indeed cheapest ways to harness a more professional business image is by carving your business up into bespoke internal departments. Even if you’ve only got a handful of employees, try to sort them out into IT, customer service, finance and other departments. When you’re working with a more established business and trying to finalise transactions, they’ll probably call up and ask to speak to your “finance department”. If the person handling the call reveals that everyone in the office takes turns dealing with financial matters, it’s going to be a massive stain on your professional reputation. On the other hand, if they’re put through to someone on the other side of the room, it will give the impression of a busier, more organised company. You may even notice your operations becoming more streamlined after establishing different inter-company departments.