For any business owner or entrepreneur to succeed, customers must view their business as a credible source of information and authority in its industry. But, of course, when trying to build up your company’s credibility, whether it is an online business or a brick-and-mortar store, it takes time, patience, and hard work. So, how will your customers see your business as credible and trustworthy when you are yet to build a strong reputation in your target marketplace?
You must be wondering, why credibility? Well, take the example of an entrepreneur trying to convince a group of investors or stakeholders to invest their money in a new, innovative idea without a proof of concept. That being said, if your business has the credibility or reputation for turning any business opportunity into a money-making machine, investors will jump at every chance to be a part of your venture. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at some ways you can establish your new business’s credibility and, hopefully, bring in more investor money and sales in both the long and short term.
Build your credibility with a virtual office space.
Getting a physical office in their initial days is generally out of the question for most startups and small businesses. While you can always make do with a home office, it won’t do any wonders when customers see you operate from your garage or basement. Thus, you need a commercial office address. Getting a virtual office address will allow you to establish legitimacy and carry some level of professionalism that customers can rely on and trust. Just answer this, would you buy products or services from someone who doesn’t have an office address listed online? Probably not. This is where the need for virtual offices comes in; businesses all around the world that have little startup capital can take advantage of this. Even in a country like Singapore that has a thriving startup ecosystem and vibrant economy, if a business cannot afford a physical office space, they opt for a virtual business address in Singapore. Of course, no one wants their business to fail, so getting a virtual address is the only viable solution – you will have a dedicated office address without the worry of paying rent and affording running costs for a physical space. On top of that, the virtual office provider will also handle all of your mail for a low monthly fee. In the end, whether you believe it or not, an address alone, be it a virtual one or a physical one, can legitimize your business and improve its credibility in your customer’s eyes tenfold!
Become an industry expert and write blogs about it.
Nothing will improve your credibility more than being an expert in your industry. However, if you think you’re already one, why not share your knowledge and expertise with other people? You can share it with the help of a blog on your business website. Developing informative and valuable content is the perfect way to earn your stripes with your customer base. Furthermore, the more content you create and post on your blog, the better it will be for your business’s credibility and yours.
Moreover, maintaining and managing an online blog won’t take much of an investment. Hiring an intern in the time being to do it for you is a cost-effective way to do things. In the end, if you don’t have a blog already, you’re missing out.
Create an impeccable website.
More often than not, your website is the first place potential clients and customers visit to check out your brand. So, with that in mind, ask yourself, what is brand image is your website projecting right now? Is your website helping you get your message across to your customers? Your website can significantly impact your brand’s image, so ensure that its design and content consistently and clearly embody your brand.
Creating and implementing design themes and content for your website that are relevant to your brand is a worthwhile investment of your money and time. However, the most crucial aspect here is to remain consistent across the board. If you aren’t, it will confuse potential customers and severely damage your reputation and credibility.
Create a customer testimonial page on your business website.
It would be wise to keep in touch with your customers by offering them support or asking for much-needed feedback post-purchase. Doing so will help you improve the customers’ experience with your brand and establish long-term business relationships, which will be great for your business’s credibility. Take the feedback you’ve gathered from your existing customers, including what they liked about your products/services and how you resolved their problems, and put it on a dedicated testimonials page for your website.
In the end, creating a customer testimonial page will help you earn trust and build credibility in the eyes of new customers and enhance your relationship with your existing ones. Moreover, consider providing existing customers with guest posting opportunities, which will do wonders for your business’s visibility.
Maintain a social media presence.
Like writing a blog, sharing informative content and business-related news on social media is perfect for business owners looking to improve their credibility. By sharing your knowledge online, you are essentially establishing yourself as an industry leader and increasing your impact, which will translate into sales and credibility points.
Social media takes everything to the next level as it allows potential customers to reach out to you with any pre-purchase inquiries and questions. So remain available and respond swiftly to customer queries on social media platforms. Doing so will allow you to keep them satisfied and show them your commitment to your business and how you value and provide support to anyone who checks out your social media pages.
Furthermore, you can request your current and former customers to post their feedback or a picture with your merchandise. Doing so will fortify your business’s credibility, increase your reach, and manage your reputation.
Keep your workforce satisfied.
Your workforce will always be your trump card when you’re looking to improve your business’s reputation and credibility. But on the other hand, a single unhappy and disgruntled employee can badly damage your brand’s reputation and challenge its credibility by spreading fake rumors. So, keep your employees satisfied and motivated by providing them a positive work environment and competitive benefits so together you can work towards achieving your business’s unified goals.
When you treat your employees right, they will go online and rave about your brand, which will positively impact your brand image and credibility. After all, tons of workplace reviews sites such as glassdoor.com and indeed.com allow employees to share thoughts and opinions about their employers. So keep your employees happy, so they continue to sing your business’s praises wherever they end up!
Ultimately, improving credibility should be every business owner’s end goal, followed by increasing revenue, of course. However, doing so will require patience, perseverance, and the ability to keep an open ear for your customers, whether new or existing ones. However, one thing remains constant; your credibility depends mainly on your ability to deliver on your promises. If you can’t, chances are you will close up shop before even making a single penny’s worth of profit!