Small business owners must make the most of what limited resources they have. When building a business from the ground up, certain sacrifices must be made for your budget. As a business owner you’ll be making important choices of how much you can reasonably spend on your operating costs and where that money will be going. Unfortunately, many small businesses make choices that affect the first impression that that is so important for potential clients and customers.
First impressions can make the difference between a thriving business, and your dream company succumbing to the same fate as that of half of new businesses within the first five years. A lot of how-to advice and guides exist for making a good impression in a job interview or for a first date, but it’s life or death in the business world. No one wants to do business with a company that has an office in a shady part of town or with a business owner that answers their own phone.
There are many ways that you can ruin a first impression – but here are three key areas that you need to pay attention to in order to put your best foot forward while positioning your business for success.
1. Your business address
This is critical, particularly if you are primarily a local business. Certain business districts, addresses, and office complexes carry more clout with them than with others. The key is to find an address that puts you in good company and immediately makes an impression with your potential customers. Locals know with just with a street name where you are doing business and – if follows – how well your business is doing. If you’re on a limited budget or just starting out, you can get a lot more ‘good address’ cache for the dollar with a virtual office.
2. Your facility
Meeting with your customers in their office or at a “neutral” location (like a Starbucks) can only take you so far. Eventually, the customers will come visit your site – and if your office facility isn’t up to snuff you may lose the business. This is another situation when having a virtual office solution can help. Even if you don’t physically go to your plush San Francisco virtual office every day, it’s still available for you to use when you need to meet with clients.
3. Phone answering procedures
Picking up your own phone as a business owner is a surefire sign that you’re a one-man shop or a struggling business. Even before a customer starts doing business with you, they are judging you based on how your phone is answered. Before you begin scrambling to come up with ways to justify a full time receptionist or support office staff, this is a problem that a virtual receptionist solution can fix as well.
First impressions are important and by using a virtual office you can have these three key areas covered so you can put your best foot forward with potential customers.