Being a small business is great for many reasons, but it also brings with it a certain stigma – very often, both customers and other businesses will favour larger businesses over smaller ones, as they believe because they’re more established, they’re more reliable, professional and they’ll generally receive a better service.
This obviously isn’t the case, but it’s a stigma that is very difficult to shrug off as a small business and if you’re finding you’re being unfairly penalised, take a look at these three ways to help give the impression that you’re a bigger organisation than you actually are.
1. Don’t communicate out of office hours
This is one that is very often difficult to stick to, but if you start to e-mail your customers late at night, it gives the impression that all you’re doing is working – and although that’s likely to be the case, when you e-mail or phone a large organisation, you’ll very, very rarely get a response outside of normal business hours.
If you want to communicate with your customers when you’re not ‘at work’, setup a Twitter or Facebook account that you can use for business, but from a personal view.
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2. Have full and proper contact details
Being able to get in touch directly with someone at a company via their cell phone is always great if you have briefly met the person, but it does nothing for the image of your brand if the only method of communication you offer is via your personal cell phone.
Similarly, you need to publish a valid street address. Whether it’s a dedicated office or store address or an address you’ve purchased to use for mail only, it may only seem like a small point, but it will do a lot to boost the image and credibility of your small business.
3. Treat every customer the same
While being able to add a personal touch to the customer experience is one of the benefits of being a small business, there needs to be a level of uniformity about the entire experience if you’re looking to give the perception that you’re a bigger organisation than you actually are.
From delivery times to product returns, spend time developing processes for every aspect of your business and stick to them – not only will this help with the larger business perception, but it will do wonders for your efficiency.
Having your own small business is fantastic, but it brings with it a lot of difficulties. By following these three tips, however, giving the impression you’re not a small business doesn’t have to be one of them.