The image or the reputation that your business has is incredibly important both from the standpoint of potential clients and return customers. One might assume that the latter don’t care about a public image that much, seeing as how they know first-hand what your small business is like in action, yet, this is not necessarily true.
You should never underestimate the power of peer pressure, which means that even a person that has done business with your company half-dozen times may start taking public opinion at its base value. For all they know, they just got off easily or had enough luck not to see your bad side. Moreover, some who had a not-so-pleasant first purchase from you (which might happen despite your best efforts) might be persuaded to give you another shot. For all of this to work, you must first learn how to create a positive image for your small business and here are several tips.
Website appearance and performance
While this isn’t necessarily the most reliable indicator or a factor of one’s corporate efficiency, a lot of clients make a decision to buy or do business with you based on the appearance and performance of your website. Latency, non-responsiveness or design flaws may appear much more serious in their mind and could, at the very least, paint your entire corporation as somewhat less reliable. Everyone knows the significance of a website in the 21st-century business world, so if you’re willing to tolerate these flaws, who knows how flawed your business model is, as a whole. At least, this is what some of your clients and potential clients are bound to believe.
Secure customer data
The next thing you need to understand is the fact that there’s nothing that can damage your image as much as your inability to protect your customer data. In this day and age, where a knowledge of one’s email password or a credit card number may be enough to completely ruin a person (on both financial and social level), this is an absolute paramount. Therefore, it’s no wonder that merely a rumor of a data leak may be enough to make you appear less trustworthy. Nonetheless, in order to understand how to improve the security of customer data, you need to be aware of all the challenges that you’ll be facing in this field.
Greet clients in person
Due to the nature of most present-day businesses, there is a huge number of companies that do business exclusively online. It goes without saying that any connection or relationship established this way tends to be somewhat less reliable. We’re simply programmed to trust things we see with our own eyes, which is why in-person meetings with your clients are definitely not to be underestimated.
It’s even better to have them over to your corporate headquarters so that they can see your staff in action. For this to work, nonetheless, everything has to be absolutely flawless, starting with your reception area. It would also be smart to lead the potential client through your work area so that they can see your manpower in action. The design of the office and the overall layout matter as well and one tip to make them appear even more impressive is to stock the place with high-end Winc office supplies. In this way, you can demonstrate the fact that you’re not saving money on productivity.
Think outside of the box
Another way to make your company stand out is to start using marketing methods that no one else is doing (or at least that some of your direct competitors aren’t using). Different channels work on different demographics, which is a fact that a lot of companies seem to ignore. For instance, you have a much easier time appealing to your Gen Z demographic on Instagram and Snapchat than on Facebook, even though some of the numbers may claim otherwise. For teen demographics, sponsoring e-sports events may be an incredibly potent tool of engagement that not a lot of companies use.
As for a bit more “traditional” approach, you can always go for guerilla marketing and hope that the piece of art that you make this way will quickly find its way to social networks. An image of street art going viral is not unheard of and it is something that can present your small business as innovative in a simple and non-invasive manner. Moreover, it’s something that can be done even on a tight budget, making this method even more small business-friendly.
Needless to say in 2018, even your personal beliefs will be under the looking glass, which is why you need to know how to move with the times. Therefore, invest a bit of time and thought in your corporate values, your stances on important topics, your mission and your vision of the future. Due to the fact that your personal brand might get in the spotlight, as well, as a leader of the company, it would be wise that you start paying more attention to what you share, like and comment on, on social networks.
The last thing you need to understand, while on this topic, is the fact that a positive image alone isn’t enough to guarantee success. Still, it’s something that, when done properly, can give you a much greater fighting chance.