The Information Age has flipped the world of small business on its head. If someone wants to find a local plumber or a decent dry cleaner, they no longer ask their neighbours or flick through the Yellow Pages – they simply punch what they are looking for into Google. This instant access to information has forced small business owners to up their game.
Appearance is everything. You might be able to walk the walk, but in this new world, you need to be able to talk the talk.
Here are a few of our top tips to help give your small business a more professional appearance:
Man the phones
We’ve all done it before. We type something we are looking for into Google, pull up a company website and see the dreaded mobile number in the header. More often than not, most of us simply go back to Google and move on to the next company. These days, everyone is looking for professional, high quality services. The absence of a landline and only a mobile number gives the impression that your business is not as reputable as the competition.
Worse still, is when we call a small business only to be greeted with an unprofessional ‘Hello?’. This is usually followed by an awkward silence before we’re forced to remind the person on the other end of the phone that they are in fact running a business. Of course, crying babies and domestic arguments are always a welcome bonus! As a small business owner, it can be a difficult challenge to solve. You want to give your customers the best and most professional service possible, but you don’t have the resources to have someone handling the phones all day.
At Verbatim, we provide a straightforward solution to this very real problem. Our affordable call answering services provide you with a fully trained receptionist to handle all of your inbound calls. We can provide you with a landline phone number to match your local area code, or if you prefer, an 084 or 03 number to give you a national presence.
Get a professional email address
Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo addresses might have been acceptable for business use 15 years ago, but these days, it just comes over as unprofessional.
If you’ve already got a website, there is no reason to continue using generic webmail addresses (if you haven’t got a site, keep reading). You can probably set this up directly with your hosting provider for a couple of pounds a month or there are services such as Office 365 if you are looking for extra functionality.
Get your own domain
Back in the 90s, many businesses hosted their sites using free services like GeoCities and Angelfire. Free platforms like this are fine if you have a blog or something similar, but for a commercial business, nothing beats getting your own domain. It is an affordable and largely painless process. Expect to pay in the region of £10 per year for your domain name and a few extra pounds per month for shared hosting. While you might want to get some professional help on the site design, there are plenty of tools out there that can help you get up and running with minimal effort. These days, the majority of websites on the web run WordPress, which is an easy to use and very customisable content management system.
To find out how Verbatim can help give your business an edge over the competition, get in touch today.