Whether you operate a small business from your home or a tiny office outside of town, you may face certain obstacles that come with the territory of being the “little guy.” Of course, there are several advantages to being the little guy. Some customers or businesses value small businesses, believe more attention is put toward the product or service, enjoy speaking to a human rather than a machine and many other reasons.
But how do you land those customers who may think you are “too small?” How do you change their perceptions of your business, without the big budget of your competitors?
Fortunately, there are several ways you can have the big business presence with the small business service and cash flow.
PO Boxes & Virtual Offices
If you operate a home-based business, the last thing you want to do is post your home address everywhere. Not only for safety reasons, but because customers are increasingly apt to plug that address into one of many online mapping services to catch a glimpse of your business—either for directions or out of curiosity.
Once they see that balloon land in the middle of a subdivision, the trust factor may begin to fade away. It may also lead to confusion, as customers wonder why they are staring at a house instead of the official business they were expecting. This is especially true if you live in an apartment. The address “555 Main Street, Apt 101” is a dead giveaway that this business mostly consists of you and only you.
On the other hand, if you do own commercial workspace but it is either unflattering, not where you want customers to drive to (such as a warehouse) or you’re business requires you to be constantly on the move, it may be worth utilizing a PO Box or a virtual office.
PO Boxes are well-known, widely used and a simple solution. Virtual offices provide a wide range of services depending on which you choose. You can have everything from virtual assistants and actual addresses to receptionist services and much more. These elements provide a much more professional experience for your customers.
Are you using your cell phone as your primary business line? Do customers call your office and whoever is nearest to the phone picks up with whatever greeting pops into their head? Do you have the budget to have someone sit by the phones all day?
When someone calls you, it is often their first human contact with your company. Since first impressions are especially critical in business, you want to ensure their first experience is a positive one.
Answering services are a solution that almost any business—large or small—should look into. They can be included with a virtual office membership or as standalone services. With live answering services, you essentially give customers 24/7 access to your company and a professional voice on the line with a consistent greeting. These call centers can take messages, put down orders, make appointments, forward calls and much more; giving you the same customer services as a major brand at a fraction of the cost.
Create a Big Web Presence
The great thing about the web is that even the smallest businesses can gain a large following if they are doing it right.
First, create powerful, professional branding within your budget by utilizing crowdsourced design services such as 99designs or crowdSPRING. You can also launch a great website with an affordable WordPress theme or site template from ThemeForest. Lastly, hire a photographer to really make your website stand out.
Pro Tip: Avoid cheesy stock photography! Nothing says “low budget” or “unprofessional” like close-up images of two hands shaking.
Lastly, start building your social media following. As a small business, you actually have the advantage of connecting on a more human level with customers. Once your following begins to grow, you have the advantage of showing “social proof,” which is essentially one collective testimonial for your products or services.
Shared Work Spaces
Shared work spaces are typically offices that allow you to either pay a monthly fee or per-visit fee in return for a professional environment to work, without paying an arm and a leg for a full lease. Many of these spaces also offer access to conference rooms, giving you a professional setting for your business meetings and presentations.
Several virtual office services also provide this kind of “drop-in” physical building, but there are also many offices across the nation that provide shared space.
Ambs Call Center has been providing comprehensive live answering services since 1934. For more information on improving your small business through 24/7/365 answering services, contact Ambs Call Center.