In the modern day more and more people are starting businesses.
Unfortunately for new entrepreneurs, when it comes to appearances, the majority of clients (and customers) judge books by their covers.
The good news is that appearances aren’t that hard to come by, especially in this world of web presence and online acquisition. This post will take you through how to make your business appear more official.
Does appearance matter in business?
Appearance most certainly does matter in business, consider the psychological significance of a first impression.
As important as it is for meeting new people, the same can be said about a business’ first impression. Think about it: If you’re on a site that you don’t recognise, and you’re about to whip out your card and make a payment, will you do it if the design’s off? If the logo is outdated? If the site experience isn’t up to par?
Let’s use another example. Say you’re meeting a broker to organise a mortgage, would you trust a person to meet you in a block of apartments in a tracksuit, or in an office building suited and booted? Appearances are very important in business, it’s the difference between whether someone initially trusts you or second guesses what you have to offer.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s go through some small but significant things that you can do to make your business appear more official.
Get your logo professionally designed
A professional logo can get you far in achieving that ideal first impression. It has to be something that works both digitally and physically, for online and offline presence. It should work for use on anything from business cards, branded letters and for your website, distributor sites and review sites.
To achieve the perfect logo, you want to hire a professional graphic designer and let them do their magic. When designing your logo, try to incorporate the “less is more” ethos, don’t over complicate the design and ensure it’s easy to understand what you do simply by looking at it.
Think: colour schemes, icons, a striking yet subtle font, of course, this is something moreso for your designer to focus on. Not just that, but different formats, PNG versions for websites and email footers, as well as a favicon version for your site, too.
In the age of canva and DIY design apps everywhere you turn, it’s tempting to hire a cheap freelancer and secure a basic logo for the time being. That’s not to say a cheaply done logo can’t do the job, but for the long-term, a professional logo isn’t supposed to be a “cheap” solution.
Get a dedicated phone number & IVR system
It goes without saying that if your company doesn’t have a dedicated number for their services, you may not see much longevity. Regardless of looking unprofessional by using a personal phone number, it’s simply unsustainable for the long-term, especially when scaling.
Having a dedicated company phone number is the first step. Even better still, create alternative numbers for each region you cover, for the UK (+44), the US (+1), and so on; This will help your audience build trust in you, and make them feel more secure when considering your business, especially if you rely on business from that region.
To go even further, integrate an IVR (interactive voice response system) and guide your users through a comprehensive journey. Perhaps you have a separate sales and finance department and don’t want to keep rerouting your callers, either way, you have a means of greeting and guiding your callers.
A well-planned IVR system, complete with a professionally recorded voicemail greeting, can make the first impression a bold and official one – And it makes your life easier.
Get some real reviews
Did you know in 2021 it was reported that a whopping 70% of online shoppers read 1-6 reviews prior to making a purchase? This is no surprise considering that nowadays, scam sites are everywhere and we all need that little bit of validation before entering our card details.
I’m sure we’ve all been in the same boat, where we come across a site and everything seems too good to be true, we look up their company name and reviews and see no web presence, then continue our search elsewhere. This applies to all businesses, from those selling online goods, services, even restaurants and takeaways.
It’s good to have customer reviews on-site, but even better if you can get people to review through Google or reputable review sites such as Trustpilot.
Not only that, but it gives a good feel of what to expect from a company when buying from them, giving insights on their product range, customer service, as well as how they interact with their audience overall. If there’s one thing on this list you can take action on soon it should be this, reviews can really make or break a company.
Having a custom domain name
If you’ve got a website, try to include your brand in the domain name. That way, when someone searches for your brand, you’ve already got a bit of an advantage, as opposed to if you just named your domain something random.
A custom domain name can also include one of your targeted keywords, but don’t go too overboard. Keep it short and sweet, if you can make the domain name as simple as your brand name alone, even better.
Remember, your domain name should be easy to remember and type out, there’s no use including three dashes or a 4-word domain if people won’t remember it. Take this into account when coming up with your own.
Professional business cards
Another thing that can boost your company’s appearance is ensuring you have professional business cards to hand out. It’s all good being able to pitch your product range or service to someone but what good is it if your (literal) calling card doesn’t mirror the talk you’re talking?
Having professional business cards designed makes it so whenever you have a conversation about your business, you always have somewhere to send these leads. Include your logo, name, company name, phone number, email and website address on the card so the only thing they have to worry about is not losing it.
Business cards are also very affordable to produce in bulk too, so you won’t need to worry about it breaking the bank. In fact, you may pay more for the initial design than the print itself.
For a more professional look, consider producing cards that are aesthetically pleasing, and don’t be afraid to print it on an uncommon material, or colour schemes, the more they stand out from the rest, the better.
Get your site professionally designed
Last, but certainly not least, get your site designed by a professional, whether you decide to use wordpress, Shopify or salesforce as a CMS. There’s no use trying to target anybody with a wix site your 13 year old niece produced in her bedroom.
A professional site could be the first impression for a great many millennial and generation Z visitors, and nowadays, we simply can’t compromise with a poor design. Now this could mean badly placed elements and proportions, poor user experience, slow pagespeed, or poor mobile site performance.
You can’t compromise with poor speed, or mobile performance nowadays. Half of all searchers are now on mobile, and the probability of a user leaving a page they clicked on from search, increases 32% when load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds.
Bear in mind that’s just the pagespeed side of things, having a poor design can lead to immeasurable consequences. Other things you can do to make your site seem more professional is ensure you have an about us and contact page, to make it clear what you’re about and how to get in touch with you.
Bottom line: If you don’t have a professional design, it can be very difficult to surpass that fault while still appealing to a rapidly growing online audience. At the very least, get a professional theme that is mobile friendly and has a respectable load speed – Better to be safe than sorry.
Hopefully this post gave you enough context on how to make your business appear more professional as a business. Even if you take a few of these tips, you’ll be on the right track to achieving your corporate goals in due time.