Startups monitor many things, including product or service preparation and business name registration.
Yet, once the business is fully operational, you face another major task: convince customers to trust your company.
Building credibility helps earn more customers. And for that, you have to establish a legitimate business.
Check out this list to improve how potential customers see your business.
1. Use a separate phone number and email address for your business.
Credible businesses, either online or offline, use a designated phone number and email address. Your business will look questionable if calls reroute to a personal voicemail.
If money is an issue, you can sign up to complimentary services. Google Voice offers a free phone number. It can route calls to several phones and make them ring simultaneously. And it gives business callers a good impression.
For your email address, sign up to email hosting providers that provide custom email address under your own domain. It will gain the trust of potential customers and legitimize your company.
2. Build a website with updated info about your company.
Online shoppers today spend time to research companies before purchasing their products or services. In your website, add the product info, directions, business hours and contact info. Giving them updated info about your company helps build a legitimate business.
Potential customers visit sites to look for relevant info. If your site lacks these or have outdated details, they will look elsewhere.
Merely building a site will not cut it. Visitors want the latest and relevant content. Hence, you have to regularly update your site when new info is available. It also shows you are active online, hands on with your products or services, and understand how your site influences visitors to close the purchase.
3. Provide accurate listings on Google and local search
Accurate Google and local search listings help people find or stumble upon your business on the internet.
You have to claim or verify your business on Google first. The profile has to appear in Google Search results for people to find you.
Make sure to update your business description, hours, phone number, address and official website. Otherwise, edit the info with the right details.
While Google is the go-to search engine for most people, local search listings also provide niche directories in your industry and within a specific geographical area. It shows potential customers that you are an active part of the local community. It also strengthens your business’ claim for legitimacy and reliability.
Local search listings are available online, or you can hire services from third-party providers. You simply have to enter your business info once, and they will submit it to local directories.
Like your site, you have to monitor Google and local search listings and update the business info when necessary.
4. Be one with the community
While digital presence strengthens credibility, you can also achieve a legitimate business by forging relationships with the community.
After you establish the business online, join and connect with influential people in your local community. A business cannot exist without relationships. When you have good relations with local business owners, they are more likely to refer potential customers to you.
If you have a startup, forging relationships with longtime business owners is important. They can vouch for your new business, adding validity to your company’s identity. It also adds referrals by word of mouth.
Another thing you can do is comment on blogs and social media profiles of other businesses. It shows you are active online and not merely serving for your own gain. Provide useful tips or feedback in comments if needed. Their followers will notice your comments and value your high engagement level. It also builds trust in your business.
Starting your business on the right foot means days, weeks, months of planning. And a legitimate business has a good balance of online and offline presence. So, apply what you learned above and see how your business flourishes every step of the way.