6 ways to make your startup look more professional, from a successful CEO
Winning new clients for your brand new business venture can feel like a challenge in the early days. Especially when your potential clients will be looking at your company’s experience when evaluating whether to work with you.
So what can you do? We asked Wizu Workspace CEO, Tom Almas, for some advice on how to project a more professional image, based on his own experience of starting and growing a successful company.
“Most people are overwhelmed with the amount of data they receive on a daily basis, which is why creating some mental shortcuts to help them in their decision making is key to gaining trust and winning new clients.”
Here are 6 things Tom recommends to improve the perception of your startup – ultimately giving you a better chance of winning your dream clients and accelerating your company growth.
6 ways to make your startup look more professional
1. Prepare your story
People respond to inspirational stories, so make sure yours is a good one. Think about the highlights of your career, the bigger businesses you’ve worked with previously and don’t be afraid to name drop.
You never know who you might meet at a professional event or meeting, so having your elevator pitch (aka story) nailed down is essential when approaching prospective clients.
And don’t forget about your website. Reinforce your story through an engaging About Us page. This is often one of the most visited pages on a site, especially from potential investors and clients, so make it count.
2. Ditch the mobile phone number
One way to make your business look small and potentially put off clients is by having your mobile phone number as your main point of contact.
Whether it’s on your website or business cards – Tom recommends purchasing a professional landline phone number which can then be redirected to your mobile.
The good news? It’s not expensive as you may think – call forwarding services like Wizu’s can be arranged for as little as £20 per month.
3. Show them that others trust you
When it comes to making a decision about using your services, people want to know 3 main things – do they provide what I need? Do they have the right experience? And have they done it successfully for others before?
This is why reviews are essential.
Whilst you may not have built up your reviews yet as a new startup, you should gather reviews from your previous experience – whether that’s from some positive feedback received via an email or from your Linkedin recommendations. Showcase these on your website or company brochure to boost trust with potential clients.
4. Ditch the home office address (and consider multiple cities)
Whilst you may be working from the spare bedroom in the early stages of your startup, your potential clients don’t necessarily need to know this.
Consider investing in a virtual business address that you can use on your email signature, Companies House, website and company brochure. Virtual offices, which start from around £40 per month, give you the option to present a prestigious city centre postcode to clients, without having the expense of an actual office. Plus, you can even arrange to rent meeting rooms at the workspace your virtual address is based at, so you can meet with clients seamlessly.
If creating a greater perception of size is important to your business, or if you’d like to target cities outside of your current location, then you could even consider adding multiple virtual addresses across different locations.
5. Use freelancers, startups and uni students
When your business is new, finding ways to keep money in the business is crucial, which is why Tom recommends working with your local university or freelance community for any professional services you may need. From advertising to building your website, you can often achieve the same results as an expensive agency, but for one tenth of the price (not to mention you could make valuable business connections for the future).
6. Have someone else answer your calls
To take your perception level up a notch, consider using a professional call answering service, rather than having the founders answer the phone every time it rings.
With professional call answering in place, you’ll get your own dedicated receptionist who will answer the phone professionally in your company name and direct calls to the right people.
And the cost? This boost in perception can be achieved from as little as £85 per month.
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