If you’ve recently set up a new business, you’re not alone. The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic that has dominated most of our lives over the past couple of years has seen countless individuals testing the waters of becoming their own boss. It’s clear to see why this has been a desirable option. With many businesses collapsing and making mass redundancies, a huge number of people found themselves jobless and seeking an option that gave them more control over their career path and their finances. Alongside this, many people were placed on furlough and gained enough time to realize that the roles they were then working in simply were not making them or happy or what they wanted long-term. Creating your own business can offer countless perks that counteract many of these issues. You get to build your own fortune, rather than building someone else’s on their behalf. You can decide what industry you operate in, what you sell and who you want to work with. You can work from wherever you want. You can work whatever hours you want. The list goes on. This is all positive, but starting a business is a complex task and many people are now finding themselves feeling at a loss as to how to make themselves feel the real deal. Here are just a few ways that you can give your business a legitimate and professional look and feel to build your confidence and secure clients or consumers’ trust.
Register Your Company
It’s a good idea to start out by registering your company. This will mean that anyone who wants to check in on your company’s legitimacy will be able to and will find that you are fully registered and recognised. Registering your business with Company’s House also offers you a financial benefit. It separates your personal finances and assets from your business’ finances and assets. You may wonder why this is necessary, but it means that if your business begins to struggle, fail or sink into debt, your personal finances and assets can’t be touched to resolve the issue. This can help you to avoid personal debt and bankruptcy in worst case scenarios.
Have a Business Address
It’s recommended that you also have a business address. Many startups operate from the owner’s home – and this is absolutely fine. It saves you a lot of money in commercial rent and overheads like energy bills and water bills. But you’re still going to want to have a business address that looks professional when people try to get into contact with you. This is where virtual addresses can come in useful. There are companies out there who can provide you with an address for your correspondence to be sent to. This will then be redirected to your actual address, helping you to appear professional and maintain your privacy.
Have a Professional Email Address
Your business should have its own email address or addresses for enquiries. Again, this helps to protect your privacy by preventing your personal inbox becoming flooded with customer queries, partner queries and more. But it also helps your business to look more professional from your customers’ and clients’ point of view. You should try to make an address that is along the lines of “email@example.com”, “firstname.lastname@example.org”, “email@example.com” and so on. You should also ensure all of your emails are written professionally in your company tone of voice and have a proper business signature. You can use an Email signature tool to achieve this.
Have a Business Phone
Noticing a trend? It’s recommended that you have a business phone number too. Whether this is a landline or a mobile, it will make sure, again, that your personal phones aren’t being flooded with business related calls throughout the day and the night. It also, again, provides a more professional look and feel to your company. Browse different tariffs, as many mobile providers will give special rates for business use.
Make Sure You’re Insured
All businesses should be insured in various ways. This means that you can more easily deal with issues that arise, helping your business to progress and go forward, even in the face of problems and adversity. In certain industries, certain insurances are a legal necessity. In others, simply having certain types of insurance can give people more faith in your professionality and can make them more likely to deal with you or shop with you. Some common types of business insurance include:
- Indemnity Insurance – this may also be referred to as “professional liability insurance”. It is an insurance policy that will help you to protect yourself in cases where you may be accused or found to be at fault for things such as misjudgment, malpractice, errors and omissions. It’s essential for any business that offers advice to clients.
- Product Liability Insurance – are you selling any form of product? You should take out product liability insurance. In a similar vein to indemnity insurance is product liability insurance. This will ensure that if your products do somehow harm someone or damage property, you will be able to pay compensation through the insurance company, rather than out of your business’ own pocket.
Train Your Staff
Most small businesses see the owner take care of most of the work for the first few months or even years. But it’s important that as your business experiences increased demand, you take on employees who can help keep things up and running. It’s important that you make sure to provide your staff with full and proper training, which can ensure that they operate and behave in a way that falls in line with your brand image and brand values. This is especially important if your staff are going to be in customer-facing or client-facing roles.
As you can see, there are many steps you can take to make your business feel more professional. Those outlined above are simply a few examples that can help to get the ball rolling. Keep them in mind and give them a try. You may find that they make all the difference and boost your success in the long run!