Last week, someone online shared that they were looking for a small business to work with and for interested individuals to submit their company information. I followed up in an email to the company and I was surprised by the response I received. The company owner said, "Thank you for your professionalism! It is rare!"
I was surprised (and pleased) by the response. The individual then went on to share some of her past business experiences. Here are a few business essentials that you need to come off professionally and shine online!
1. Website: This may seem obvious, but it's not. YOU NEED A WEBSITE! When I reached out to the company, the owner mentioned that they received dozens of submissions without a company website. In a time where nearly anything can be found online, having a business website is a requirement! A business website should be looked at as your portfolio, resume, and online image. It is a key part of your company branding and identity. It's the place where individuals and businesses can learn in depth information about you and your company. Even if you cannot afford to hire a professional website developer, there are plenty of easy-to-use platforms where you can create your own website. Try Wix, SquareSpace, or WordPress.
2. Email Address: A common practice when starting a business is to quickly create an email address with a free domain, such as Google or Yahoo. However, many view having an "CompanyName@gmail.com" business email account as unprofessional. Investing in a professional email address automatically shows others that you are serious about your brand. Investing in yourself makes others want to invest in you too! When you create a website, there is usually an option to add a professional email address, with some costing as little as $5 per month!
3. Portfolio/Gallery: Most people are naturally visual beings - we want to SEE everything. And for clients and customers, it provides us with reassurance before we commit to a product or service. You can have an awesome pitch and the nicest logo, but without examples of your work, you are missing a major selling point. If you have events, make sure to invest in photographers and ask your guests to take pictures and post online using a branded hashtag. Be sure to also build your business portfolio and allot time to review and make updates to your portfolio - you'll want your portfolio to remain current!
Having a business can be fun, but it also requires work to build and help maintain your reputation.
Have questions? Email me!