Small businesses, especially home businesses, face a hurdle. They don’t yet have the reputation or the prestige that helps businesses ensure that clients feel like they’re dealing with a professional. They’re unproven, unpolished and, as a result, unready to close the deal with their next client. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few steps to ensure you’re making the right first impression.
A website that looks good, runs well and provides all of the information is going to be making the first impression you need more often than not. Working with professional developers and designers, even if it’s at a little cost, is recommended. However, you should go further than the website itself, too. Other online lists, such as a Google My Business listing may reach your client even before the website does, and populating it with accurate and helpful information can make it seem like your business is well-established.
When it comes to offering your business details on the website or through Google My Business, what address should you list? A lot of home business owners are reluctant to offer their own home address and for good reason. For one, it’s personal information and, secondly, it can give the wrong impression about the company. For that reason, there are office services that can help you set up a business address and even a business phone number. That way, you can at least have the face of a business with its own office, rather than admitting you work from home, which will, unfortunately, set a stigma you have to overcome.
Let’s not forget that you may very well be making that first impression personally, so how you carry yourself during a meeting is key. For one, it’s recommended you don’t meet them in your home office, but offer to conduct the meeting at the clients’ offices, or at a nearby cafe or coffee shop. Maintaining good body language, being open and friendly, and maintaining eye contact, as well as dressing appropriately for the meeting, will all make a difference.
If you have past clients that can speak favourably of your work, then you owe it to yourself to have them speak-up. Nowadays, many will check for reviews and testimonials before choosing a business to work with. From now on, ask that your clients consider leaving a review on Google or other listings that you’re on, as well as if they would be willing to leave a testimonial on the website. Few people can convince future clients like past clients, happy or unhappy.
If you’re running a home business that has to reach out to clients, then it can pay to ensure that you’re able to proactively establish the image and the prestige that they want to see. The tips above can help you do that, but you have to follow it up with the kind of work quality that fits the standard you set, too.