The small business mentality is great because you’re light, nimble, and agile. You can make a pivot that a bigger competitor wouldn’t dream of, and make decisions without having to run an idea up and down a long line of executives. At the same time, there are benefits to being big. Like it or not, people trust institutions that have grown to a certain size and been around for awhile. It gives them a feeling of stability and confidence that they might not otherwise have.
The good news here is that there is a lot you can do with technology to make your small business look bigger. With the right tech, you can convey the sense of stability and scale that get people to trust you while maintaining your small business’s nimbleness and agility. Here are four ways you can make your small business look big.
1. Build a Great Website
It sounds simple, but there are major benefits to spending a little extra cash to make your website absolutely 100% great. Obviously, this is a little bit easier said than done, but you need to stay committed to making a top-notch experience. These days your digital real estate is just as (if not more) important than your physical real estate. In fact, 81% of shoppers do online research before they buy, so having a quality website matters.
Building a great website means paying attention to a few key details. First of all, it has to look professional. That means professional images, snappy content, and a layout that makes sense. You want to lay your content out in a way that is readable, with big headlines and lots of subheaders. Using a heat map to identify the most viewed areas of your website can help you tweak your layout and really find something that pops. You want everything about your design to lead to a strong call to action that converts users and gets them interested in what you have to offer.
In 2018, you also need to give serious thought to how your website and any other digital services work on mobile. Since 2015, there has been a 68% increase in smartphone web traffic, according to Recode, driving all growth as computer web access has declined. You need to optimize for mobile and make design decisions that work on those platforms.
2. Use Social Media Automation
Between Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, it can be tough to keep up with the constant demands for a steady stream of content, but at the same time, you need to maintain a presence on the platforms that matter most to your audience if you ever hope to reach them and convert them.
Social media automation can be a big help, centralizing your content creation and scheduling process into one smooth operation. You still need to come up with all of the content and the strategy but publishing is no joke, and having one place to go to take care of everything is crucial when you can only occasionally make the time.
Remember: not everyone’s going to see 100% of your posts. If you have a new piece of content out there, you probably want to create several tweets about it and publish them sporadically over several days. You can take a look at Kissmetric’s numbers on sharing content multiple times, but it makes a big difference. Don’t be afraid to supplement your own stuff with curated content pulled from all over the web— start a notepad or spreadsheet and save links to things that you run across in your normal browsing that make sense for your brand.
3. Create Multiple Email Accounts
First of all, you absolutely want to make sure that you’ve registered a professional email address and domain for your business. Yes, you might be able to get by perfectly fine with your generic Gmail address, but it doesn’t look professional. And Google is starting to make it harder for you to get in the inbox of someone you don’t already know.
One surefire way to make your company look bigger is to use more email addresses than you have people. Now, that doesn’t mean that you need to be dishonest and make up a bunch of assistants and associates that you don’t actually have. However, there are several reasons someone may contact you, and having different addresses for sales, customer service, press, and partnerships, even if it all goes to the same person, is a great way to look organized.
4. Use a Virtual Assistant or Other Freelancers
Digital space has made some amazing things possible, and one of the most exciting trends today is the growth of virtual assistants. Working remotely, a good VA can help you manage your schedule, make appointments, and keep on track. VA services are more affordable than ever, and they don’t just make you appear bigger than you are— they actually help you get more done.
If you need other specific skills, it might be worth it to consider building a team of freelancers when you’re first starting out. The upfront costs are lower than adding more staff, and you can hire the people with the right skills for the job. It’s a simple, low commitment way of expanding your team, and if the collaboration is good then you can consider transitioning people to full-time positions further down the road.
Collaborating with your digital team means you need to keep on top of the right tech tools for the job. Project management platforms like Trello, Basecamp, or Asana can help you keep your team on track and manage deadlines. Meanwhile, digital collaboration tools like Sococo and Slack lets your team stay in communication and coordinate no matter where they are.
What You Can Do Right Now
It’s easy to feel like you’re a small fish in a big pond, but with the right technology, you can make your small business look big. Here are some things you can do to build trust and confidence:
Make sure your website is amazing, both on desktop and mobile.
Use social media automation to maintain a presence on relevant channels.
Create department or service-based email accounts even if they all go to the same person.
Use freelancers to supplement your team.
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