Something happened today that really got me thinking...
Someone within my network, lets call her Miss Z was looking for a professional firm to partner with to provide certain consultancy services. I had used someone, let's call that someone Miss D, for that particular service who had come highly recommended and turned out to be a good experience for me.
I decided to refer Miss D to Miss Z after speaking with Miss Z. Bear in mind Miss Z and I have a very good and trusting professional relationship. As I was about to send the email, I realized Miss D was using a yahoo email address and had no professional email account, even the name of Miss D's firm @gmail would have been better to swallow.
I decided to do the introduction either way, the response I got from Miss Z was "Your referral does not have an official email address, my clients would not work with a yahoo email address especially because some of the client referrals are big multinationals". Oh well, case closed. I gave the feedback to my network who had initially linked me with Miss D and offered a few pointers and advice.
One of the things every business needs to do, be it a small or medium business is to have a digital presence. Please this is 2019, no matter the level you want to compete at, you need a digital presence. If you want to scale up or begin to bid for tenders with corporate organisation, get a traceable digital presence. Please, do not tell me you are a small business, I've seen small businesses as defined by number of staff biding for tenders in millions of dollars. I actually felt pain for Miss D, because Miss D would have gotten access to over 300 clients without bidding for it. Opportunities they say favour the prepared.
Below are a lists of things that small businesses can do to help them become a better business in 2019 and begin to build a brand image:
- Get a basic website done: This does not have to be fancy but something that has the necessary information about your business.
- Get listed in an Online Directory: If 1 is not suitable, getting yourself listed on a marketplace or an online directory that is relevant to your business would do.
- Use a Professional Email Address: I cannot over emphasize this. Most people do not like to deal with the @yahoo.com, @Hotmail.com. It lacks professionalism and it can be quickly defrauded. I wouldn't want my client data going to an email that I am not sure is cyber security protected.
- Build Social Media Presence: As a business you need to move in line with the times especially when it comes to things like marketing strategies. The key is to go where your customers are. Most customers these days would search online for a service or product first.
As we go about building our businesses in 2019, please lets do things differently especially if past actions have not yielded the right results. Implement strategies that will set your business up for growth. Invest in your learning, pay a professional to help you.
I always advise that people come together as a group and hire a professional to do a training course or help with their businesses as this would definitely get them a discount.
This is 2019, let's operate at our best, remember to get to the top, you need to bring your 'A' game.