Many successful business people were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Businesses often start out as a business in a basement, a handful of people working together, or even just a one man operation. In order to be successful, you never want your competition or even your clients to know that you are at the bottom working your way to the top. You should fake it until you make it. Always play the part of a top business man or woman even when you are just starting your business.
You want your business to appear to be a well established business even if you are still doing most of your work from a corner desk in your family room or out of the back seat of your car. Invest in a paid domain name and paid hosting for your website. When your business is just starting out, you do not need a fancy website. You can have an online presence by investing $10-20 annually in a domain name and $10 a month for a website. Do not use sub domain names and free hosting services that will make your business look unprofessional.
If you have experience building websites, even those that are small, you can design your own website. Many web hosting companies offer templates and other resources to help you create a small website even if you do not have experience creating your own site. You can consider paying someone to design you a website with just one or two pages to start your new business.
Establish a business telephone number. Setup a landline or cell phone number that can be used exclusively for your business. It would be best to have a toll-free telephone number to show that you are a legitimate business. This is especially true if you offer services to a large market. If your services are within your local area, it is acceptable to offer a traditional telephone number. Keep in mind that there are services offering prepaid toll-free telephone numbers. You can often maintain a phone number for $20 or less a month. This will benefit you if you still have a small client base but want to appear to be a bigger business.
Do not meet with clients at your own house unless you have a separate home office. If you do not have a nice office area where you can meet with clients, offer consultations in their home. This is one area where “faking it until you can make it” can actually improve the image of your business. Customers will be impressed by a company that offers free in-home consultations rather than making them go out of their way to an office.
If you do not want to meet with clients at your own house or at their house, you can arrange a lunch or dinner meeting. Select a restaurant that is not extremely high-end but also one that is not too casual. Avoid diners and most buffet style restaurants. Keep in mind that this dinner meeting will be a business expense. Your business should be picking up the tab.
Purchase business cards as well as business stationary. You can purchase specialty paper in order to print these items from your home computer and printer. There is also the option of paying for printed materials from one of the online printing services. Vista Print and other companies offer printing services that anyone can afford. Even if your budget is very small, you can afford custom and professional printing services for your business.
Dress the part of a successful business owner. You will need to fake your success for awhile until you build your new business. Even when you are first starting out with struggles being plentiful, dress well. When you meet with a client, you will want to be well groomed and dressed professionally. Do not wear clothes that you would wear on a lazy Sunday afternoon or an outfit you would wear for a night at the clubs. This is not to say you need to wear a business suit or fancy dress at all times. A nice dress shirt with dress slacks works well for men. You can wear a pantsuit set if you are a woman or a semi-casual skirt with a sweater or blouse.
When you first launch a business, it can be difficult to obtain new clients. You might want to consider doing a few small jobs for free in order to build your portfolio or your list of past jobs. If you have family or friends that could use your services, ask them if you can offer them something for free in exchange for a reference or testimonial when you officially launch your business. You do not want to start searching for clients with no prior work samples on hand.
In the business world it is sometimes necessary to fake it until you make it. You need to have the appearance of a well established and successful business long before your business even has a chance to prove to be successful. Always portray confidence when meeting with clients even if you are nervous and new to the business. Dream big and work hard and you can be a big success in the business world.