Make your small business more professional

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

We know that first impressions count in every area in life – and your business is one where it matters big. When you first start your business, even though you have the skills you need. You don’t have an assistant booking your calls, answering your emails is on you, and if something goes wrong – there is only you to blame.

While many companies are happy to work with smaller companies – mostly because the price is better, they still need a level of professionalism. It is the small details that matter, and those small details can be the difference between a contract or not.

Making your small business look more professional often comes down to checking over your details and materials – ensuring that you are giving your clients the best service that you can offer.

Standing out in any industry isn’t easy, so you need to work extra hard to make sure you are doing the utmost.


Most countries require you to have an address on your website, newsletters and any other marketing materials. It is important that you have this available. However, most small businesses typically use their home address.

For privacy reasons, you might be hesitant to add your address. The fact remains that this is often illegal.

To protect your privacy, you should consider using one of the many office address services or paying for a P.O box. This allows you to have a legal address on your materials, pick up mail if you need to, and look professional.

Email doesn’t sound very professional, and potential clients might be in for a shock if they receive a bid or a pitch from that email address. Instead, take the time to set up an email address attached to your website – and looks professional.

Most of the time, when you purchase a domain, in your control panel, you will have the option to create an email address that is linked to it. So instead, you can have

When you set up this email address, ensure that all your marketing materials and anything to do with your business is correctly registered to that email address.

It also allows you to distinguish between work emails and your personal inbox. Often personal inboxes are filled with spam emails and emails from companies you have newsletters from. The separation of your business from your personal life is an integral part of managing your time.


You should have a business website or a personal blog website showing what you do. It is a one-stop-shop for purchasing your products, contacting you, and looking at your portfolio.

Your domain name should be your business name. But, if, for whatever reason, you are unable to get one with your business name, try to do the following:

– Keep your domain name short

– Avoid hyphens

– Unusual names and spellings can be hard to remember or search for

– Consider SEO

– Always have an SSL certificate

Business cards

Part of promoting what you do will be attending networking events, meetings, and talks. If you have ever attended these, you’ll know that you often get asked for a business card. Not only that, but there is the opportunity to drop your business card into bowls to be collected and sent out as a follow-up by the company that ran the event.

Your business card should clarify what you do; for example, for real estate business cards, you would see the words real estate and your name. The same goes for any other industry. Your business card should be a reminder of what you do and who you are.

You may be tempted to get your cards printed at home using thick cards and your printer. But the truth is that professionally printed business cards are a cut above – and quality matters when it comes to how professional you look.

Phone number

The reasons to have a business and a personal number are twofold. The first is that it is essential that clients can get in touch with you directly, and they aren’t likely to keep getting your voicemail.

Or, if you tend to answer the phone with a more relaxed greeting since it is your personal phone – this can be avoided.

Having a separate business phone number allows you to have some separation between your working life and your business life. Your mobile phone probably goes everywhere with you, which means you always carry your work.

If you don’t have the budget to run two mobile phones, some services offer an 0800 (or similar) number, which will go directly through to your regular mobile phone.


We have already discussed the importance of your domain name and its impact on potential clients, and your professionalism. But it is also essential to add that you most likely are not a web designer. And, even if your web design skills are pretty good, there are some things that you might need in terms of functionality that only a web designer can do for you.

A web designer and website developer will have aesthetics and useability at the forefront of what they do and ensure that your clients have a smooth navigation journey through your site.

If a web designer and developer is out of your budget, Elementor Pro and WordPress offer a great solution. It is a drag-and-drop website builder, and you can find plenty of easy-to-use templates that provide what you need in terms of pages.


Almost all visitors to your website will go to your about page, which means it needs to be one of the best on your website. The page is where you can show off your capabilities, discuss other clients, and talk about what you do. This is where you should highlight everything you can do. It is your spotlight, and you should use it.

Many small businesses only keep their contact options to their contact pages instead of placing calls to action within the about us page. Give people a faster opportunity to contact you.

You need to differentiate between the information people want and what you want to tell them.

Remember that it is critical to tell people what you did and how you did it, not just how long you have been doing it. Ten years of SEO audit experience is amazing, but the process you go through, and your results are better.

Who are people going to be working with? Many companies are okay with not having a face to the name in a digital world. But having a professionally taken image – or one of high quality will put a face to work. This can be an essential part of a client getting to ‘know’ you better.


The rest of the images across your website should be high quality and support the content. If you are a photographer or a graphic designer, use the website space to demonstrate how good you are at what you do.

If you sell any type of product, then it is essential you either invest in taking a product photography course yourself or hire a photographer. Showing your products in action will be a vital part of securing sales and new clients.

Looking professional isn’t just nice to have. It is a mindset and a framework in which you should be conducting all the business you do. Even if you only have a single client or are just getting started. Always keep your professional appearance in mind.

If you are in the early stages and need to build that first website, this is the post for you: How to start a website as a small business.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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