Small businesses – and their owners, in particular – often deal with feelings of inadequacy that result in a lack of confidence. They feel like people don’t take them seriously and that they’re constantly facing an uphill battle against larger competitors that possess more resources and experience.
If this sounds familiar, then you can rest easy knowing that you aren’t alone. We would also like to point out that you don’t have to feel this way. By taking action and putting your business in the right position, you can instantly gain credibility and boost your confidence.
Here are a few specific tips:
- Take Yourself Seriously
If you expect others to take your business seriously, you have to begin by taking it seriously yourself. You can’t look at your business through one lens and then tell your peers and prospective customers to see it through another. Change starts within, and the only possible way to be credible is to be confident.
With that being said, you don’t necessarily want to overinflate your business. This sort of biased view will rub people the wrong way. Find that happy medium where you’re able to objectively view your business in a light that lends credibility to the company’s image.
- Design a Genuine Website
Any credible company in the 21st century has a professional web presence. Where does this start? With a genuine website, of course. Ditch the stock photos and corporate clichés and develop a site that accurately portrays your brand’s personality.
You’ll also want to pay attention to website navigation. “There’s nothing worse than landing on a website and being unable to find what you’re looking for. Spend time creating a site map to make your navigation straightforward and intuitive,” says designer Lauren Hooker. “Too many items in your navigation bar can be confusing, so consider tucking pages into folders or moving some pages down to a footer navigation or a blog sidebar.”
- Launch a Blog
If a customer looks up your business, they expect to see a blog. If you don’t have any content to your name, then a warning flag goes up. Why don’t they have a blog? How serious is this business? How am I supposed to know where they stand? These are the questions people will ask.
The quickest way to make a name for your company on the internet is to start a blog and connect it with your website. It’ll take some time, but it doesn’t have to take days and weeks like some people may say. An hour or two is all you need.
- Build a Portfolio and Gather Testimonials
One of the quickest ways to build trust in your business is by offering your website visitors a little social proof. For small businesses, two of the most important things you can do are develop a portfolio and gather client testimonials. Place these in a prominent area on your website and try to funnel traffic towards them.
- Be Willing to Work Your Way Up
The final tip is more theoretical than actionable, but it’s important, nonetheless. As a small business, you have to understand that there are other businesses with more experience and resources. Ditch the pride and be willing to work your way up. This may cost you some time and revenue up front, but will afford tremendous benefits in the future.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Every business faces its own challenges and must overcome shortcomings. However, don’t let size hold you back. In the business world, it really doesn’t matter if you have five employees or 5,000 employees. All that matters is that you get the job done.
Focus on boosting your credibility and let your hard work and talent handle the rest.