9 Ways to Make Your SMB Look Bigger Than It Is

In the business world, standing out can be remarkably tough for small or even medium-sized companies. You must toe the line between building a worthy reputation or presence in the market and making it seem like you truly are a sizeable, driving force. Trying to appear bigger is not so easy when you’re also chasing growth and building a significant, loyal customer base. You want to do everything in your power to entice and captivate new customers and audiences, without alienating the small base you have already established.

That’s not to say bigger companies don’t need to be concerned with this sort of thing. It’s just if they shed a few customers because of a change or new development, they still have an incredibly large support base at the ready. A small business, on the other hand, might find themselves in danger after losing even just a handful of customers.

Regardless, the core focus should always be to make your brand look bigger, to stand out and be a more competitive player in the current landscape. But how can you achieve that? What are some things you can do to balloon the presence and authority of your brand?

1. Create a Website

We don’t need to spend much time elaborating on this because it’s the 21st century. If you don’t already understand the importance of establishing an online or digital presence, you have a lot of work to do and a lot of reading to get through as it is.

The first thing you’ll want to do as a new or young brand is building a website, then get it up and running by delivering consistent and regular content, as well as customer support and a variety of other elements. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to invest all your resources in building a viable and convenient website.

Choose a professional, yet captivating, design. Publish regular content, along with high-quality visuals and media. Showcase your products and or services. Include testimonials, customer reviews, support information, newsletter and contact signup forms — by now, you should know the drill. And don’t forget to make representable “about us” page for your business and tell your story there. This will definitely help you to make your SMB look bigger than it is.

Expensive though it may be, your best bet is to hire a professional designer to get the site up and running. Relying on a family member is great in a pinch, but amateur developers sometimes lack the skill and knowledge to deliver a high-grade product. Furthermore, always ensure your site is responsive and mobile-friendly before launching it in full. A majority of your traffic will likely come from mobile — unique or otherwise.

2. Establish a Social Media Presence

Once your website goes live, it’s time to move on to your social media and community-based presence. The best thing about social media platforms is that they offer multitudes of marketing and advertising channels, for relatively cheap or even free. Considering the average conversion rate for a Facebook advertisement sits at about 9 percent, social ads can certainly be a lucrative option. When your customers or audience share content from your page with their friends and colleagues, for example, it’s an incredibly potent form of word-of-mouth advertising.

Some companies choose to deliver customer support on modern social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. You can do this if you wish, though we recommend saving a true strategy for later when your company is much bigger.

For the time being, focus on creating and building buzz around your brand and products. Do this by sharing relevant or useful content with your audience. Work to build your audience base on all social networks. Finally, engage with other brands, pages and even market influencers such as press or customers with a strong media presence — think YouTubers who regularly review products.

The easiest way to build your audience is to engage with others. Like, share, follow and interact with other users, pages, and accounts. Try to cross-promote content and products that match your customers’ interests. Encourage others to share your content and posts, and offer incentives for doing so if you can. Ultimately, work toward building an active and present social reputation.

3. Leave out Job Titles

Look, we all know how empowering it feels to label yourself as the CEO of your company, but if you’re the only employee, that’s not a very prestigious achievement in the eyes of the public. If you think this will make your SMB look bigger hit the break. It’s best to leave out job titles — even for upper management — until your company has grown considerably. This includes skipping out on job title callouts for business cards, LinkedIn and other social media profiles and even your company website.

If you really want to establish authority and trust early on, do it at the macro level for your brand. Acquire and display certifications your business and team have collected — by acquiring the appropriate certifications you can position your brand or personnel as leaders in your respective industry and make your SMB look bigger. Reveal sponsors and partners, and if you’re in B2B, share some of the brands you provide a service to.

4. Convert to an LLC

If you haven’t already, convert your business to a Limited Liability Corporation or LLC. Solo entrepreneurs and freelancers can even benefit from this classification. Why? As an LLC you file taxes as if you were a corporation, like the big guys. Not only does this prevent your business from being taxed through your personal returns at the end of the year, it protects you from a variety of financial liabilities.

Any members of an LLC are protected from liability. So, if the company itself has legal or financial troubles, creditors cannot seek out compensation in your personal life, meaning you won’t lose your house, car or belongings.

It’s not deceptive, it’s a smart practice and offers additional protection for you and your family. The LLC designation also helps your business appear to outsiders as if you are a much larger company or organization — any size team can use the classification. That’s one easy hack to make SMB look bigger.

5. Deploy a Virtual Private Branch Exchange

A PBX, or Virtual Private Branch Exchange, is a telephone and communication system that allows your entire team to share the same, single phone system. You can swap between calls and lines, and you can create an entire support structure such as a holding pattern or communication hierarchy. Similar systems cost thousands of dollars to establish, especially in-house. A PBX system, however, is cloud-based, so it uses VoIP and similar Internet protocols through platforms like Skype or Google Voice.

Business benefits include the option to choose and customize your phone number, port an existing number, create and deploy multiple extensions and even establish a virtual answering service.

Want to know the best part? You don’t have to manage any of the hardware or software that powers the system. You only need to set up your phone service and away you go. It looks like a professional communication system, without all the hassle and ballooned expenses.

Just be sure to choose a PBX provider you trust and get along with.

6. Get a Real Address to make your SMB look bigger

Chances are, you have this covered already. If you do, move on to the other tips on the list. If you don’t, it’s time to find a space to purchase or lease for your business. In other words, you don’t want to be providing or advertising your home address when talking about your business to customers and viewers. Not to mention, it can be dangerous to list your home address publicly, especially in relation to a company or brand. If someone has a problem with your company, they can show up at your home.

Keep in mind, you don’t necessarily have to pay for a large office space. You can also pay for a P.O. box or minor shipping location to use for physical correspondence.

That said, we certainly recommend working out of an actual office. You don’t have to stay there all the time if you prefer working remotely. Just make sure you have a separate, real address for your business.

7. Create a Marketing Budget

According to the 2017 CMO Survey, large businesses spend, on average, about 11 percent of their total budget on marketing and advertising. Obviously, they will always have more resources than a smaller or medium-sized business. The point here is that they are spending a decent chunk of money on advertising and marketing both their brand and products. You should be doing the same.

Overall, your budget is going to be a lot smaller, as will your impact on the local community. No, you won’t be running commercials during the Super Bowl halftime show. At least until your company has a larger revenue stream. But you can still make an impact by delivering ad campaigns online, putting up billboards and print ads in your community or even teaming up with local partners and businesses.

To make your SMB look bigger, establish a marketing budget early, and allow it to grow as your brand influence grows to continue increasing your steady stream of unique customers. Before long, you will be big enough to invest more in regular advertising.

8. Spend Money, But Spend It Wisely

The adage is true, especially in the business world: It takes money to make money. Every time you have a little extra capital, invest it in your business. Run a new marketing or advertising campaign. Host an event for your customers, or pay to sponsor a major community event. Spend money wisely on things that will help boost your brand’s exposure.

At the same time, make sure you’re investing the money you do spend wisely. Don’t frivolously hire a marketing team that has a limited or shoddy track record, or purchase merchandise or other promotional materials that add no value to your customers and brand.

9. Have Fun, Be You

Finally, the most important point of all is to have fun and allow the unique personality and theme of your brand to shine. In everything you do, from customer service to marketing, be sure to add your personal flair to your work. If you’re truly enjoying yourself, your customers will see that, and they’ll have no problem joining in. More importantly, it gives your brand an edge over the competition, which you sorely need in today’s market.

Conclusion

Now that you understand the best ways to make your small or medium-sized business look larger than life, it’s time to put yourself out there. Start with the website, spread your brand on social media, incorporate yourself legally and create a good marketing strategy are one of the main actions you need to execute today in order to make your SMB look bigger.

Let’s see what you and your brand are truly capable of! But never forget to love your job and have fun in the meanwhile.

Nathan Sykes
He is a business and tech writer from Pittsburgh, PA. When he's not thinking about IoT and cloud computing you can find him watching the Pittsburgh Penguins. Nathan enjoys writing about the latest in technology and business and is the founder of Finding an Outlet. Follow him on Twitter @nathansykestech.
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