Things all entrepreneurs MUST DO to be taken Seriously. Quite often we are TOO focused on the PRODUCT and not the PRESENTATION…
which can GREATLY affect our business. Here are some tips on how to avoid some common mistakes and to make your business look professional even if you don’t have the budget. Enjoy
Be The Relegated Professional
If you are in business and you cannot relegate yourself as a professional in your field of business then you are in the wrong business. Being a professional opens many doors to expand your brand. Speaking engagements, newspaper articles, radio interviews etc.
You should also send out press releases offering your services. Send it out to your mailing list perhaps once a month. You never know who knows who and who may need someone like you to do a paid speaking engagement at an event. HUGE sites like the Huffington Posts consistently take articles from unknowns and if it’s something that they can use they will post it which could be a HUGE opportunity for your business
So say you get an article about your field published in the Huffington Post and they link it back to a tacky and cheap looking website… STRIKE!!! You would be amazed at how many major corporations have horrific websites. They don’t see the value in updating their sites and attracting customers but this can be an INCREDIBLE opportunity for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs.
We are ALWAYS trying to cut corners and save money but this is one area that you MUST invest in if you want to be taken seriously. Budget out at least $3500.00 to get your website up and running and to keep updating it at LEAST once or twice a week if you are pressed for time but every day (weekdays) if you want to get the maximum benefit. You can go do a local college and get a student to do it for you cheaply and nobody will know the difference. If you don’t have the budget to hire a pro, go to godaddy.com and use one of their pre-formatted templates and do it yourself, it’s VERY easy even for a novice and it’s cost-effective, should be no more than $20.00 a month.
Professional Email Address
If you go to Godaddy.com you can add a professional email account for pennies on the dollar. This is a MUST have. A bad email extension has got the be the tackiest thing in any business trying to earn respect. If your company is called “The Blue Pearl” you should have an email address that says “[email protected]” Not “[email protected]” or “[email protected]” these are the things potential clients notice and if you don’t take the time and very little money to establish a website and professional email account extension don’t get mad if people don’t do business with you.
If you are not familiar with design, hire a college student to do it but please don’t present a tacky logo and expect to be taken seriously. Make sure that if you hire someone to do your logo that they give you the main file in the original format that it was created in. It may be a .psd most likely if they do it in Photoshop. If they are not willing to give you the original file (ask up front) then take your business elsewhere. Otherwise, you will always have to go to them to update or tweak your logo and they are going to want for you to pay them for it.
Professional/Catchy and Unique Business Name
I can use myself as an example here. My magazine when created in 1995 was originally called “Radio Fax” I eventually changed it to Radio Facts (http://radiofacts.com) but most of my competitors have the word “Urban” in the name of their brand which I felt would limit my brand to one audience. I could have called it “Urban Radio Facts” but why? It’s a mistake to do something like that because you could be isolating your core or the corporations that will support your core.
As an entrepreneur NEVER give an advertiser or client an excuse this easy for backing out of supporting you. Unfortunately, they will probably never tell you that your business name is a HUGE turn-off, they just won’t support you. I get things from business owners with names like “SisterLove” which is fine if you ONLY want to market your brand to women. Think about WHO your target audience AND your financial supporters are and don’t isolate them, come up with something unique that’s not like your competitors and make sure it’s not tacky if you are targeting corporate clients.
Sales Stats/Word of Mouth Testimonials
One of my GREATEST turn-offs is when people come to me selling their brand and they talk about all the great people who support their brand and all their clients like they are rolling in cash but they want something from me for free? I IMMEDIATELY don’t trust the person. First and foremost after working in the music industry for 28 years, there are several things I have learned.