Congrats, you’ve started your business. It could be a physical store, an Instagram handle, a Legalzoom incorporation document or a website.
But, what next?
Tip 1 is to not let the fear of a bad first impression stop you from anything. Below tips should work for any SMB owners, starting or developed, to make that (re)introduction.
1) Invest in a professional website
No need for an expensive web developer. Look at Shopify, pick a template that fits you, and start typing.
But, do NOT go and search “best websites to start a business.” What you should do is go with the leader for SMBs to become its own merchant.
By using the industry standard, it’ll bring legitimacy to your venture. Start here, and don’t find a cheaper alternative. Do it right, and let others see that.
2) Make sure your social media is up to date and reflects the quality of your brand
Hear me out, and not the headline.
You don’t need fake followers, a whole list of content, and influencers to tag your brand.
Having a handle, a bio, and a name that you’ve just claimed across the Internet is key. Here are 3 templates for you to think about to make the best first impression:
- Brand official launch coming in summer 2022! Follow our website for the latest updates.
- Follow us on Instagram for most up to date info. Officially launched/launching 2022.
- Official (IG/FB/TikTok/Pinterest,etc…) of BRAND NAME. Most up to date content available on our website, website.com
Claiming what’s out there, and a place for someone to be able to learn more information, is a better first impression than a blank page.
I’d argue info like above is better than a content strategy when you first launch your SMB.
3) Keep your storefront neat and tidy - nothing will turn away customers faster than a messy store front
Not just retail folks, digital presence, too.
It may be an email newsletter, a logo, a website, a sign, but if it’s not neat and tidy, people will assume you don’t care.
Digital presence, too. Always default to neat and tidy. Everything else is fluff.
4) Stand out from the crowd by offering free samples or discounts for first time customers only
Do the thing no one else is willing to do.
- Are you willing to stand outside a mall and say, “Excuse me, I just launched a business to ___________. Do you have a few seconds for me to talk about it?”
- Do you have a tray of food samples you’re willing to hand out for free a few steps away from your competitors?
- Can you find 5 people to give your product/service away in your friend circle?
- Will you give the first 100 customers a lifetime discount to get started?
Standing out is both literal and figurative. As an SMB owner, think about the bigger things you’ll be able to do — and do it right.
5) Be friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable when interacting with customers
Customers are the oxygen of a business. They are not people with money, but they are people who are giving you their time.
Time is more valuable than money. How an SMB needs to think about customers is that time they give you — and the value you put into their time — will output revenue.
From designing a website bio, to product explanation, to training, to phone call intros, do not forget to be friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable at all times.
Remember, they are giving you their most valuable resource. Treat that with the respect it deserves.
6) Offer an easy way to contact you through a phone number on your site or social media account so that people can reach you easily if they have any questions about their order or need help placing an order
Don’t underestimate a phone number, especially one that can receive text messages.
This is why the first impression of a social media page is so important. Do you not answer on Pinterest, cool! Tell them to email you or DM on Instagram in the bio.
Don’t put a contact form if you don’t like answering requests there. Say email, or phone, or DM, or whatever makes the most sense.
In the end, don’t be a blocker to someone wanting to ask a question. It’s not being everywhere, it’s giving the best access for someone to reach you.
Hopefully this gives everyone a better idea of how to get started. Do the small things right to show that you care as a SMB. If you show that heart, then the consumers will show you the same respect as well.
Originally published on the blockchain under sheckii.eth
Tony Lee (aka @sheckii) is a digital advertising entrepreneur who worked on brands like 20th Century Fox, Sam’s Club, ABC Entertainment, Nintendo, Starz, sweetgreen, outdoor voices, First Republic Bank, Kane’s Furniture and more. He currently works as a lead for Performance Marketing at Shopify for international paid social media acquisition. He’s also the host of welcome to sheckiiville podcast available on Apple and iOS devices.