Looking Like a Million Dollar Brand

First impressions count! In today’s competitive market your business can’t afford to make a poor first impression, especially if you want to make serious money (online.)  The potential clients need to believe that you’re on the same playing field as the bigger players. Even if you run a home-based business, you’ll need to position your business as a polished brand that touts quality and experience!

Below you’ll find five simple tips for branding your business on a budget to create the illusion of a million-dollar brand.

1. A Website as your Brand Universe

Every business needs a website these days, without a web presence you’ll lose customers! Simplicity is the key to look one of the big players. So try to keep things as simple and clean as possible on your website. Try to design your site with the needs of your users in mind, like easy navigation to your product and services. If you don’t have a domain name already then remember that the right URL is a vital part of your brand positioning strategy.

2. Vanity Numbers

Although you have a website and use e-mail as the main communication tool, you’ll also need an easy to remember phone number. This is especially true if you mention the phone number in radio spots or use it on billboards. One way to make the phone number easy to remember is by using vanity numbers and the good thing is that it’s cheap. For around $50 you can buy a vanity number from an online service such as tollfreenumbers.com

3. Virtual Offices

Even though you use your mobile phone and maybe take the call from your living room, it’s important that your customers believe that you have a large office. If you conduct business in this way and rarely need to host your client’s on-location than maybe a virtual office is something for you. For a couple of hundreds dollars a year you can hire a virtual office service. Most of these services include a high profile mailing address on brand name streets in metropolitan areas, mail receiving and forwarding services, receptionist and on-location meeting space.

4. Automated Phone Systems

You can combine your vanity number (and/or toll free number) with an automated phone system and virtual assistant. This makes your small business look like one of the large players, especially if you also combine it with a virtual office. You can hire such an automated phone system from for instance onebox.com for around $50 a month.

5. Business Card

A good business card is a vital part of the first impression experience. An uninspired or cheap looking business card may send the wrong message to prospective clients. You want prospective customers to say, “That’s a nice business card!” So try to be creative, yet tasteful and spend enough time designing a great looking business card. Also use a thicker card stock with a quality finish if possible (they feel much better than thin business card.)

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One Response to “Looking Like a Million Dollar Brand”

  1. alldayPA on January 30th, 2012 12:44

    Very good advice – I don’t think vanity numbers are essential to looking like a top professional brand, they are nice to have though. Virtual offices are a definite must, especially if you are working from home.