How to make your SME appear more professional
You only get one chance to create a great first impression, and as a smaller business, it’s important to make your company appear as professional as possible.
If you register your SME with Companies House, then being a limited company as opposed to a sole trader is likely to build trust with new and existing customers.
You’ll probably pay less personal tax as a limited company than you would as a sole trader, so it can make good financial sense.
Address to impress
Your address is one of the things new clients will look at first. Where are you based? If you’re based in a residential street or an up-and-coming area that’s not especially synonymous with your profession, then you could be crossed off their list of potential go-to businesses.
Get yourself an impressive business address by opting for a professional serviced office space, such as BE Offices’ serviced offices or virtual offices.
Change the décor
The costs of digital infrastructure and office furniture will possibly mean office décor is pretty low on your list of priorities. However, how your office looks to existing and prospective clients will impact upon them how professional your business is.
Use plants and framed art work to give your space character, or there are some professional office wall décor ideas that don’t have to break the bank. Why not use…
– framed credentials – such as your qualifications or relevant memberships.
– painted company values – reaffirming the messages you want your clients to leave with.
– prints of inspiring quotes – promoting positivity and a good corporate image.
If you’re emailing prospective customers from a gmail or hotmail account, then it’s unlikely you’re going to be taken seriously.
Invest in a domain name with email, so that your address is name@companyname, and this will significantly increase your credibility.
You may not be able to afford for a full-on web designer to create an all-singing, all-dancing site, but you may be able to launch a website using your own skills.
Use YouTube tutorials and WordPress videos to learn some basics, pick a theme that works for your brand, and when you’re buying a hosting plan, use live chat and support phone numbers to get some technical guidance to launching your page.
If you’re looking to pitch as a serious business, it’s important to have a phone number that isn’t your mobile or home phone number. Make sure you have a company landline number that is separate and is used solely for business.
Better yet, employ the services of a virtual receptionist who can field calls, pass messages and make sure a client’s first interaction with your company is 100% professional.
If your office looks and sounds the part, it’s then up to you and your staff to reflect professionalism in the office.
Have a dress code that works with the type of business clients you have. For instance, you may wear a smart suit if you’re dealing with legal clients, or if you’re a creative start-up, maybe go smart-casual.
You should also have some office rules to follow, such as:
- Not eating in the office to keep smells to a minimum
- No swearing
- Keeping noise levels low
Interested to know just how much you can save with a serviced office? Get a bespoke quote now.