Have a 'real' phone number
If you only use a mobile number customers may be nervous that they can't contact you when they need you, or you'll disappear if they have any questions or problems with their purcahse. It's easy to get a dedicated phone number for your business
without needing a separate phone line. Just choose your number and set your calls to go wherever you want them to - your home number, an office you're at just for a day, or your mobile. And when you're not around to take the call it can go to voice mail or to a call answering service so you never miss another business call.
Have a 'real' email address, and use more than one
You really shouldn't be using your personal email address for business when it's so easy to get company email addresses
Then use more than one of them. You don’t need to make up names for non-existent staff, but you can have different departments, such as sales@, admin@, enquiries@, info@ Who will know that all the messages go to the same person?
There's not many email-only hosting packages around so we've created one! Take a look at www.startupstore.co.uk
(they're part of the Now Let's Get Started group) for business email addresses and email-only hosting. We've got start-up WordPress, web hosting, and e-commerce packages too.
Have a 'real' office address
If you work from home, but don’t want your customers to know that you do, get a Virtual Office address
. This means you get a mailing address to use on your business stationery and to receive your post, but you don't actually have office space to work in. Virtual office services usually offer phone numbers and call handling services too, all of which gives a great impression of your business at a fraction of the cost of a physical office.
Get someone else to answer your phone
Don't let family or friends answer your business calls when you're not around, use a telephone answering service
instead. They'll answer using your company name, much like a receptionist would (if you had one!).
We recommend telephone answering services from PureJam because we use them ourseleves! Try their pay-as-you-go telephone answering service
or the full inbound call handling service
Use proper contracts and other legal documents
Create a great impression with suppliers, customers and staff without paying extortionate solicitor’s fees. Unless your requirements are very specialised you can use online legal document templates
for business documents and legal contracts to download and customise for your own business. Add your company name and what you do, and make other minor changes too, just be careful not to change anything fundamental otherwise the contract may be made invalid. Look for contracts suitable for use in Enlgand and Wales, or in the country you operate your business in. Examples of the type of contracts available for download are : terms and conditions of business (for online and offline businesses), confidentiality clauses, agency agreements, employment contracts, contractor agreements and invoice templates, along with a number of documents such as ethical policy statements and environmental policy statements.
. . . .with your use of colour and logos on all your communications (print or electronic). You don’t need to have a specially designed logo but you should have a colour scheme and style for your business and use it everywhere! Consistent use of colour, font style and size, and to some extent layout, of your letterhead, website, business cards, email signatures, invoices, delivery notes, statements and so on will make you look like a serious business. (but if you do
want a logo get in touch
as we do those too!)