Four quick ways to build business credibility as a startup
Logically speaking, one would expect that the quality of your products or services should speak for itself within any competing market. The reality is that just isn’t the case.
At any moment in time, their are millions of goods and services available online and offline to consumers. When consumers purchase these goods and services, they do it for many reasons such as, cost, quality, availability and even packaging aesthetics. But the most popular reason they buy anything is because of the credibility they associate with a business brand.
Business credibility can be associated with customer loyalty, but more importantly it makes the buying decision much easier for the customer. Put simply, the customers decision to buy at that point isn’t based on the immediate quality of the product, rather it is based on historic knowledge of the brand.
In some cases, a business decides to boost their credibility but bringing in an Ambassador with high credibility within a market they want to reach. This could be an Influencer, Celebrity or even another company endorsing your products and services. Such a service would ideally cost a fortune and might not be a sustainable long term strategy for building credibility. Other times it might just give your brand the nudge it needs to become a self sustaining credibility monster.
A great example is the Oprah effect. SPANX, an undergarment brand, already built some market credibility, but it was not until Oprah openly endorsed their product on her show that they achieved the level of credibility they have now. Their founder Sara Blakely might or might not agree to this, but it is a well documented fact.
As explained earlier, there are no quick fixes to building business or brand credibility, but let’s ask ourselves some simple questions.
When you go shopping and see a cheaper product from a different brand than you usually buy, what do you do? I would check the packaging, look for their web address, then Google the product for reviews or articles online. If I can’t find anything about the product online or i can’t find their website, I simply won’t buy their product, no matter how cheap it is.
If a company you’ve never heard off has 2 million followers on Instagram, no website, a yahoo email address and no identifiable company name, but they sell on EBay or Amazon. Would you buy their products? Absolutely not. Where is the accountability when things go wrong.
If a company sends you an email containing a 50% discount off a product and their email address was @yahoo.com or @gmail.com, would take this offer serious? No. Getting a professional email is cheap and demonstrates commitment to your vision. To get a professionally email you also need to buy a domain name. Remember that business emails coming from @yahoo.com or @gmail.com email addresses are more likely to come across as spam mail or end up in the junk mail.
If you search for a company online and you can’t find any social media handles or a website would you procure their services? Again, the answer would be no. This doesn’t necessarily mean the company isn’t genuine. All it means is I know nothing about them, so why should I trust them?
Last but not least. Would you do business with an unregistered and undeclared company? Most people would say no because it poses a security concern and legal liability. A registered company usually symbolises stability, although this is not always the case. The assumption is that registering your company exudes transparency, commitment and accountability.
After going through these questions you probably have some idea of what four things you could do to build quick business credibility. In case you haven’t, here are the four quick ways to build business credibility.
Get a website - I would say this is the most important to building business credibility. With a website you can create content about your products and services. Search engines are constantly scanning websites to index your content. If your content is unique and contains keywords which aren’t highly searched for, then you have a chance to be ranked on the first page of Google for that keyword. Additionally, your website is the first place any customer or potential business partner would look first, to gather information about your business and brand. Building a website is very expensive but there are cheaper affordable options where you don’t have to pay a fortune and you are in full control of the content that going into your website. One of these options we recommend is WIX. We built our website with WIX and it took us less than three hours. WIX provides you with website templates and you don’t need to understand code to use it. Another company that offers a free website builder is Godaddy. In summary, both companies offer free website builders, but WIX has more functionality and gives you more control.
Get a professional email address - Scam emails are so popular nowadays and scam artists mask their personal email address under false company names. For example, you receive an email from someone claiming to be your bank. But when you click on the senders name, it reveals a private email address, usually an @gmail email address. You immediately know the email is from a scam artist, because your bank won’t use a @gmail account to communicate with you. Still, are all business emails sent from a personal email address, scams? The answer is no but that doesn’t stop customers or potential business partners from thinking so. You can easily get a business email but you need to buy your business domain first. You can buy your domains from Godaddy or WIX. Godaddy offers a wider range of domains than WIX. But it is better to buy your domain and build your website with the same provider to avoid domain migration problems.
Create a Social media account for your business - If social media isn’t part of your marketing and brand awareness strategy then you are probably still living in the 80’s. Most importantly, social media is an important tool for building business credibility. With social media, you have the long way of building business credibility and you have the short way. The long way relies on you getting verified by the social media company. On most social media platforms a verified company is identified by a blue tick. This signifies that the business is notable and credible but it relies heavily on you already having credibility and notability on search engines or other social media platforms. Notability is usually evidenced with articles written about your business. Having a Wikipedia page is a massive boost.
Register your company as private or public limited liability - As previously stated, a registered company usually symbolises stability and exudes transparency, commitment and accountability. Remember these are outward characteristics which will attract customers to your brand, but it is the quality of your product or services that will retain them. Depending on what country you live in, registering a company could be easy or complicated. In UK, it is straightforward and would take you less than 20 mins to do. You can visit the UK Government website for more information.
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