An online business has the luxury of avoiding many expenses and issues that affect traditional companies. It probably doesn’t have to lease commercial space or use a StorageMart to store old files. It doesn’t need to worry as much about its geographic base, employee commuting costs, and storage inventory. The fact that so many startups these days focus their efforts online, consequently, should come as little surprise considering the substantial cost advantages.
But what an online business lacks in bricks and mortar, it all-too-often also lacks in the arena of credibility. For all its increased hassles and costs, a traditional small business secures a measure of credibility simply by operating a storefront in your local area. The physical space with an awning out front signals strongly to the passing world that a reputable and likely profitable enterprise operates inside. A small, online business has no similar ability to automatically establish credibility. The consumer, for our purposes, does not perceive a store and a website as the same thing.
Fortunately, however, even the smallest online business has the ability to establish credibility on a national level. There are many ways to go about doing this. Here’s a quick primer:
Grow Your Facebook Page
For a small business, the more its Facebook page has – of “Likes,” posts, friends, pictures, etc – the more credibility it can assume. Work on growing your page by getting friends, family members, and colleagues to “Like” it; by posting professionally-worded comments and promotions on at least a weekly basis; by uploading photographs of your company’s logos and designs; and by “Liking” the Facebook pages of vertical companies that enjoy a measure of credibility.
Maximize Professionalism on Your Site
When making your website, it is important to ensure that every word, image, and any other detail are placed with an eye towards the establishment of a crisp and professional design. This does not mean that your site needs to have dozens of pages and an assortment of different styles and media. Rather, you should just insure that proper attention is given to your specific wording and your layout.
Many businesses scoff at SEO practices on the notion that a spot or two in Google search results is nothing to lose sleep over. But studies have shown that sites listed higher in results are far more likely accessed – and, even if they are not, their appearance towards the top confers upon them a status and a credibility going forward. For this reason, SEO may be a beneficial option for your online firm.
Hopefully these tips can help your online business continue to build its credibility. In the internet world, unlike in the traditional one, businesses are assumed guilty until proven innocent as far as credibility is concerned. This means that credibility is attainable – but that it won’t come naturally. It’s your job as a manager to make it happen.