By Lilian Wamaitha
Starting a business is a bold move for anyone. It’s risky as most of the time the future is not certain. Very few people start big unless you have some family money stashed somewhere. Most of us start small and it’s normal for a business that is just beginning to face difficulties. However you can make your business look magnificent even when you are just starting out.
Perception is key to everything. You may be there struggling to get by and bag clients but with the right attitude these clients will come to you. How do you go about this?
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How To Make Your Small Business Appear Big
It’s not rocket science. All you require is the right can do attitude and the sky will no longer be your limit.
1. Have an office address
With so many con artists out there, nobody is going to trust a business that has no physical location. Lucky for you, it is easy to rent out a virtual address that you can be referring clients to even though you do not have a physical office yet.
2. Have a company email
Customers are likely to trust you if you have your company name in the email. The ages of using Gmail or Yahoo are gone. You can create a powerful address like firstname.lastname@example.org. This email address is more likely to be trusted than email@example.com . After all everyone can open as many Gmail or Yahoo accounts as they desire.
3. Use quality material to market your business
Most starters make the mistake of using cheap material to market their products and services. It just makes you appear cheap. The culture with Kenyan is that the more quality you appear, they are likely to trust in what you are providing. So why not spend a little extra to hire a graphic designer to make promotional materials for you?
4. The power of branding
If you have decided to start a business it’s only natural to go all the way. You can’t afford to be cheap in branding. Chose a consistent colour that customer can identify you with. You can’t afford to have flyers in red and business cards in some other funny colors. That’s why Coca-Cola sticks to its red. That my friend is the power of great branding!
5. Do professional photos
It doesn’t matter whether you are selling water, food, shoes or clothes. Don’t post pictures of your products taken from your Lumia no matter how good the camera is. Always hire a professional photographer to take quality products pictures for you.
6. Don’t forego media publicity
You may not be that big or have money to put up a big advertisement in the local dailies but you can’t overlook what media publicity can do for your business. You don’t have to pay lots of money to have an advert run in the newspaper or during the nine o’clock bulleting. Newspapers such as the Standard and Business daily offer an avenue for business people to ‘advertise ‘themselves.
All you have to do is write an article that brings you out as some sort of authority in a certain area and at the end you can writes something like “Peter Karanja is a business man and Co-founder of A Paige in Time Events which offer events consultancy services. You have already advertised your business without advertising it!
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7. Confidence goes along way
As a business man you will always get to meet other business people. It doesn’t matter whether they own twenty real estate companies. If given an opportunity to speak, speak with confidence and conviction. You won’t appear as a small fish anymore.
8. Believe in yourself
Let’s face it, if you don’t believe in yourself, how will others believe in your? Most businesses fail because someone is not confident about themselves. This is your business, own it!
9. Dress the part
Leave the business of wearing jeans and t-shirts to the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. You are stills a small fish in an ocean full of sharks. Invest in at least two pairs of suits for when you are going to meetings. People are more likely to take you serious.
10. Don’t be an easy lay
We know you are just starting out, that doesn’t mean that you are always available for anybody what wants to meet you. You know the psychology of creating scarcity to create value? You need this is you are to get ahead in the business world. Try scheduling some meetings for some other time even though you are just sitting idle.
Small businesses always experience difficulties when starting up. However, as a business person you can make your business appear like a multinational if you follow these easy tricks. Clients will trust you that way.
Lilian is a Communications Officer at Career Point Kenya. Contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org