Small Business – Big Reputation
What are some ways a small business can build a professional reputation quickly? I see many businesses – although operating in public buildings – that do not seem to have it all together. That question has many answers depending on business practice offenses. The following are problems and the corresponding recommendations for businesses I have personally observed. They closed their doors within a year of opening. 1. Do not open until you have acquired a street visible and professionally created sign with your business name on it. If the name has no relevance to your business product or service – change it or add a sub- title so people know what your product or service is before they take the time to stop. 2. Frequently the hours of new businesses are erratic. Besides posting the hours of operation on the front door of the establishment – which can only be seen once a customer stops and gets out of the car – put out a large sign or flag indicating when you are open. This will reduce frustration levels of potential customers. After stopping twice at a local business and finding them closed, I never went back. • There are brightly colored flags with OPEN and CLOSED that you can use. People will appreciate the courtesy. 3. Although having inventory creates pressure for sales, one must also consider the appearance of the shop and what it says about you to potential customers. Desperation is not attractive. Cleanliness, organization and an environment that indicates you care for the business like you care for your home is attractive. Repeat customers are how young businesses ultimately survive. 4. People like to do business with successful people. If you or your product has been written about, or you have won awards for excellence in some area, display that information where customers can casually come across them. 5. Hiring the right people to deal with your customers - in person and on the phone - is critical. If they are not people oriented, do not allow them contact with customers. Professionalism and marketing do not have to be expensive, but they do need to exist from the very beginning and must remain consistent.