As a new company it can be a challenge to be taken seriously in the business world. Here are some quick ways to look more professional when creating a startup.
The success of your startup depends on much more than the product or service it offers.
Instead, creating a startup comes with many moving parts. How professional your company looks is one of the more important considerations. You could have the best product in the world, but if you don’t convey professionalism, you risk missing out on a lot of business and opportunities.
Here are five tips to show your clients and investors that your startup is legit.
Define Your Brand (and Make it Visual)
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and the same thing can be said for your startup. This is where brand identity comes into play.
When considering your branding, think about the feeling you want your company to convey. You don’t want a cutesy typeface for a no-nonsense software company logo. Study your competitors — what are they doing for branding? What do you like or dislike about it?
If you have the funds to make it happen, hiring a designer or an agency to help you with this step is a great option. At the very least, hire a freelance designer. Get a great logo for your brand and order professional looking business cards, letterheads, invoices, etc., with your branding.
If you or others within your company will be interacting face to face with clients, consider how they are presenting the company. Depending on your branding and the type of business your startup conducts, you may need to consider custom name badges or professional signage (you can click here to learn more about those options).
Perhaps business casual attire is ok. Maybe a suit is best. You know your brand best and the feel you want to convey. Present yourself that way.
Set Up a Professional Website
Luckily, it’s getting easier and less costly to set up a fully functional, professional looking website. You’ll want one for your startup.
Buy a domain using your name as a .com, if it’s available. Research the best host for your site. There are several user-friendly hosting options that allow you to make a slick looking site with a drag-and-drop interface.
Even if all you put up for now is a home page with a brief “about us” and your contact information, get your business online as soon as you can.
Set Up a Professional Email Address and Phone
Following in the same vein as the website, you’ll want to get professional email addresses as soon as you can. It won’t cost you much to set up email addresses using the firstname.lastname@example.org format.
You’ll also want to invest in a dedicated phone number for your business. You don’t want to answer with a “what’s up?” when an important client calls. A toll-free number isn’t required, but it’s the most professional option. Make sure to record a professional-sounding voicemail message, too.
Get Busy on Social Media
These days, maintaining an active presence on social media is key to making a business appear professional. This is especially true if your target client or customer is a millennial.
At the very least, you’ll need a Facebook business page. Consider using Instagram and Twitter, too. Then, once you get your social media accounts set up, post to them daily.
In addition to frequent posting, engage with your followers in a personal way. This small step can set your business apart.
Hire an Assistant
If the means allow for it, hire an assistant. This person should be able to answer phone calls, return emails, process invoices, cut checks, schedule appointments, manage the office, and tend to other customer service issues immediately.
Having this extra assistance can help free up your own bandwidth and allow you more time for sales, marketing, or product development.
Creating a Startup is Tough — Don’t Go it Alone
There’s a lot to consider as you grow your startup into the professional business that it is, from branding to website design to social media campaigns. These back-end aspects of creating a startup can feel tedious at best and overwhelming at worst.
Luckily, there are resources to help you grow. Our lifestyle blog offers great tips, resources, and information. Follow our blog to give your startup a better shot at success!