You’re A Small Fish In A Big Pond – But That’s Okay
As a small business owner, things can sometimes get a little frightening. Yes, you’ve got a great product, and you’ve bagged a few clients. But you’re still a lot smaller than your competitors, and many of your customers don’t know it.
The good news is that there’s a lot you can do about it. You might be a small fish in a big pond – but that’s okay.
Use Bigger Numbers
As you probably know already, it’s standard practice to number your invoices in the order in which they are issued. But many small companies number them starting at #1. Giving your customer an invoice that says #8 is a good indication that you literally just started and this may cause them to trust you less.
A better way to go about invoicing is to start at an arbitrarily large number, like 1050, and count up from there. Sure, it might make things a little more difficult for your accountant to understand, but they’re used to this sort of thing.
Don’t Use Your Home Address
Unless your home just so happens to be in the middle of a commercial hub, it’s probably not wise to use it as your business address. Home addresses make small businesses look even smaller and less professional than they already are.
Usually, the only reason why small business owners choose to use their home addresses because they are worried that they won’t get their post, proving that most of them haven’t heard about mail forwarding services. These forwarding services give startups an official business address in a swanky downtown area and will then forward any mail sent to that address to the home address. This skirts around the problem of home addresses, and means that you can put a real business address on all your business cards.
Don’t Use A Template
Because users are so used to seeing template websites everywhere they go, they can spot one a mile off. The first giveaway is that they are usually slow, really slow. This is because most of them are bandwidth constrained, meaning that the hosting server will only allow images and text to be downloaded at a capped rate. The other problem is that they are generic and lack the features of a bespoke website. The solution is to get a professional to give it the once over. Having somebody trained in design will help you achieve that illusive professional look.
Get Rid Of Your Title
The title CEO might be technically accurate, but it sounds a bit weird when the company consists of you and one other person. It can be particularly strange for customers when it’s the CEO picking up the phone and answering calls.
A better title early on might be “founder,” or just simply your full name. You can use CEO once your company has grown and you’ve got more people working for you.
Never Tell A Lie
The biggest thing that hurts businesses, in the long run, is dishonesty. Startups and small businesses like to promise the world in their marketing material, but they often overpromise and underdeliver. This makes your firm less credible and less ethical.