5 Ways to Legitimize Your New Online Business
There are millions of so-called “businesses” out there, but how many could you hand-on-heart say are 100% legitimate? With online scams at their highest since the web became accessible to the world, online businesses need to be tread carefully and do everything they can to look and feel legitimate or risk losing potential customers as a result. By following the five steps below, your new online business will appear more legitimate to potential customers and have plenty of clients and/or customers getting involved.
Get a Virtual Office
Many clients and customers won’t have a problem working with an online business, but many don’t feel comfortable working with somebody who doesn’t have an address linked to their business. Online scammers don’t put this information out there because they don’t want to be traced, but to be recognized as a legitimate online business, you need to have one, even if it’s not your day to day work address.
You can create a virtual office to establish a postal address for your business so that you can be searched for by location on Google, and appear in search engine results based on your address. It also means that you can separate your personal and business post, something that many online business owners like to do.
Stay on Top of Your Finances
You can have a website with all the bells and whistles, but without a solid reputation from doing good work and making payments on time, it won’t mean a thing in the long term. There’s no excuse for not keeping on top of your finances, but you can do so easily now with online tools like the pay stub generator, which you can use to create, download and share invoices and checks with clients and customers alike. Tools like this make you look professional and legitimate, which in turn is likely to keep them coming back.
Make Your Website Beautiful
With so many beautiful themes available at such little cost, there is no excuse not to have a great looking website that will instantly catch the eye of your customer base and make them stick around to check out what you’ve got. You don’t need to be a graphic designer, just simply upload the theme you purchase as a file to your CMS (Content Management System, e.g., WordPress), and you’re sorted.
Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and has plenty of engaging content to see and read, too. Video content, blogs, and social media feeds will go a long way to legitimizing your online business by putting a face and a personality to the name.
Get Reviews and Testimonials
When you complete a piece of work for a client or sell an item to a customer online, you should offer them the opportunity to give a testimonial or write a review. This could either be on your website, on Facebook and/or Google, or both. Customers who are a bit more tech savvy and like to shop around are the kind of people who will judge quality and legitimacy by the reviews a company gets. Therefore, it is always worth following up on a sale with an email or call asking how everything went and pointing the customer in the direction of places where they can leave a review.
Step Away from the Computer and Network
Although you’re an online business, it doesn’t mean that you should be glued to the desk and have no access to the outside world. In fact, a business that puts itself out there at public events such as networking and local business coffee mornings is more likely to become known to people in your location, and will give you more content for your social media channels that will show you off as a business with a real person behind it, rather than a faceless online business you know nothing about.