It shouldn’t really be that much of a shocking revelation to say that starting a business can be pretty difficult.
After all, from the financial difficulties involved to the steep learning curve to the seriously competitive marketplace, it’s never been a more complex environment to start any kind of business.
However, it is also more possible for the different small businesses to get started than ever before thanks to things like the internet.
That being said, the great accessibility of being able to set up your own business does also have some disadvantages.
The main disadvantage being the fact that you’re going to be competing with other businesses that are much larger and better established than yours.
Customers expect a certain standard and, like it or not, a smaller, newer business is often going to be assumed to be more amateurish than one that has been around for longer and is much larger. Of course, if that problem was impossible to get past then no small business would ever succeed.
There are, in fact, a lot of things that you can do in order to help your business look more legitimate. With that in mind, here are some of the most common reasons why your customers might not be taking your business seriously.
Your website needs improving
If your business doesn’t have a website then, as far as a lot of customers are concerned, it might as well not exist. Your website is almost certainly going to become the central hub of your entire business and that means that it needs to be of high quality.
If your website looks amateurish and poorly designed, then customers are going to assume that it reflects your business as a whole.
If your website is ugly, confusing, or difficult to navigate, customers aren’t going to work through those things in order to connect with your business, they’re just going to click away and look for a different one.
Whether you use a service like Squarespace to create your website or you hire a professional web designer, you need to make sure that your website gives the best possible impression of your business.
You don’t know how to network
Networking is one of those things that very few business owners actually like to do. However, regardless of how you feel about it, there’s no denying that it’s an essential part of making any business a success.
If you’re either reluctant to do any networking or you’re just terrible at it, then that’s going to have a distinct negative impact on your business as a whole.
From being able to communicate effectively through emails with clients, customers, and investors, to being able to talk to people face to face at events and trade fairs, networking is an undeniably important skill.
Sadly, there’s no way to cheat at networking, you’ve just got to learn how to do it. Luckily, there are plenty of resources online that can offer you some incredibly valuable advice.
You’re working from home
One of the best things about the internet is that all it takes to set up a potentially successful business is a computer, an internet connection, and the drive to create something truly great.
This means that more and more people are setting up their own businesses from home. However, no matter how much of a good thing this is, it doesn’t change the fact that customers are going to be inherently suspicious of any business that exists out of someone’s spare room.
Luckily there are things that you can do about this. Services like Virtual HQ allow you to present your business as though it has a dedicated office space with mailing address and receptionists.
This means that you’re able to hold onto all of the money saving aspects of working from home while also allowing you to present your business in such a way that customers are going to focus on its merits rather than being distracted by its size.
There was a time when all you needed in terms of an online presence for your business was a website. However, now your website needs to act more as a central hub for all of your business’s other online aspects.
If your business has no social media presence then customers are going to be that much less likely to engage with it.
Not only will it make your business that much harder to find but it can also result in customers feeling somewhat suspicious of it since it will make them wonder if you’re not actually legitimate.
You’re not getting any feedback from customers
One of the best ways to make sure that your business is presented in the best possible way is to ensure that you’re getting feedback from customers.
Sure, this isn’t necessarily going to be possible right at the start but as soon as you’ve had any interactions with your customers at all then make sure that you ask them for feedback.
Being able to show customers who are happy with the service that your business provided is a great way to instantly make your business more desirable to future clients and customers.
One thing to remember is that being smaller than other, better-established businesses doesn’t need to be an inherent disadvantage.
In fact, there are plenty of ways that you can actually leverage the size of your business in such a way that you are able to do things that much larger companies simply can’t.
Most customers want to interact with companies that they can relate to on a personal level and that’s nearly impossible to do with a giant corporation.
Instead, a smaller company can connect much more directly with customers and make them feel that much more important. This can often give you a leg up on the competition in a way that would never have been possible before.
With that in mind, don’t be afraid to embrace the size of your business rather than constantly trying to try and become bigger and bigger.