Fake it Until You Make It - Small Business Strategy 2012
How To Fake It ‘Til You Make it9 steps to make your small business look big Brought to you by:
One of the first impressions you make to others is your email address. ◦ Personal email addresses like email@example.com can seem amateurish, while business email address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org make your business seem legitimate and professional. Setting up a business email account is easy. ◦ First, register a domain with your company name. You’ll also use this for your website. ◦ With 10 or fewer employees, you can use a free version of Google Apps which gives you a personalized email address Google Apps includes other helpful features, such as Google Talk, Google Calendar, and Google Docs ◦ You have the option to upgrade to the paid plan once you have greater than 10 employees. Over 4 million businesses use Google Apps!
Virtual PBX services (or virtual phone systems) allow all employees to receive calls through one main phone number & requires no hardware. ◦ For about $8/month, you can get: A dedicated business line Online interface to manage how to deal with incoming calls Ability to redirect calls to your home phone, cell phone, or even other office phones. Virtual PBX services use auto attendants & dial by name directories that give your business phone number a much more professional feel. PBXCompare.com compares different Virtual PBX services making it easy for you to choose which plan is right for your company. Virtual PBX Features: - Dial by Name Directory - Call Forwarding - Web Management - Multiple Extensions - Voicemail Service
It is important to have a unique and polished logo, but as a small company, we know budget is tight. Luckily, there are many ways to get a custom logo without the expense of a professional design company. Free DIY logo websites allow you to create your own logo using their graphics. ◦ We recommend: www.logogarden.com‣ There are websites that allow logo designers to compete for the option to design your logo. o You set the price, usually between $200-$300 Give a description of your business & what you’d like your logo to convey ◦ Designers will then create logos for you and submit them online where you are able to pick your favorite. ◦ Two of these websites are 99designs.com and logobids.com
Having a strong online presence is one of the most important aspects of business these days. Poor UX, SEO & site functionality can all drastically lower the “cred” and, or accessibility of your new company. In some cases, it is not necessary to hire a developer to build a clean & professional website. Many website builders allow you to build your own website without programming knowledge. Add analytics tracking software to your site so you can strategically improve your website based on your audience’s online activity. ◦ Google Analytics is a free service that comes highly recommended Here is an “apples to apples” comparison of the top website builders. ◦ Website builders provide you with “drag and drop” templates that allow you to customize text, images, and videos onto your webpage. ◦ Our favorite website builders are Yola and Intuit. Here are some examples of websites built with
If you expect to have people visiting you at work, it is important that you are not working out of your home. There are several options to make this affordable, but we recommend one of the following for new start-ups. ◦ Virtual Office A virtual office will allow you to run your business online, collaborate with employees or freelancers and will provide your business with a physical mailing address. They also offer meeting room rentals and virtual receptionists. ◦ Co-Work space A fairly new concept, a coworking space is a shared workspace where people can rent an individual working area in a larger office. Renters typically share a large conference room, kitchen and other amenities standard with a traditional office space.
When meeting potential clients or customers, you’ll want to give them your contact information. ◦ Ordering business cards with your company email address, business phone number, new logo, website, and business address is an important step Most companies allow you to order business cards online by entering your contact information & uploading your logo. ◦ Companies we recommend: Moo Business Cards Prinly Quick Tips: • Using a matte card will make it easier for others to take notes on your card • Add a QR code so people can scan your business card w/ a smartphone app & download information about your business immediately
Social media is one of the easiest AND cheapest ways to get recognition for your small business. It allows you to build recognition, credibility and open up a line of communication with your potential customers. While there are many niche social networking platforms out there, these are the 5 most active networks where you should establish a presence : ◦ Twitter ◦ Facebook There are several services like ◦ LinkedIn TweetDeck & HootSuite that ◦ Google + streamline your interactions & ◦ Pinterest optimize your activity Make sure you can connect with as many people are possible on all three sites. The more connections you have, the bigger your business will appear. Check out this great infographic by ethority.de that breaks down each social medium by purpose
Communicating with people outside of your business can be tedious when working remotely or when you have customers outside of the city. Online conferencing services make it easy to do business with people out of the city. Skype for business allows users to make video calls over the internet. ◦ This saves money on transportation costs while still giving you the ability to create a personal meeting experience, which is important to new startups. Services like GoToMeeting allow users to share desktops remotely. ◦ This option is great for troubleshooting & presentations.
The easiest way to organize and assign tasks within your company is to use a project management system. ◦ These tools also create way to save a repository of your previous work and make it easy to go back and search through it. Collaborate in real-time, get project status reports and assign work or grant access to: ◦ People within your company ◦ Outside clients so they can view the status of Basecamp their projects is one of the most ◦ Freelancers who are doing work for you widely used project management tools.
PBXCompare.com compares the top providers of virtual PBX services. The site was created to help make it easier to choose a virtual phone system, obtain a 800 number for your business and ensure all users understand the features and benefits of a virtual PBX service for your company. Visit our website today to start comparing top PBX service providers, sign up for a free trial or just learn a little more about virtual phone services. ◦ Review & Compare Virtual PBX Services ◦ Review & Compare Toll free Services/ 800 Number