When you are starting a new business, one of the hardest things you are going to have to do is to convince those initial customers to take a chance on your company. There are a number of things you can do to this end, from creating compelling marketing campaigns to pricing your products as competitively as possible, but if your business is not perceived by the consumer as a legitimate one, those customer conversions are going to be pretty hard to come by.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few things you can do right now to increase perceived legitimacy in your business.
Make sure your website is professional
Your website is like a business card. It shows very quickly who your company is and what you are about, so it goes without saying that, if your website is not very professional in design or content, then it will leave some potential customers wondering whether your business is legitimate or a scam too.
Hiring a professional graphic designer might be more expensive but it will definitely make your website come across as more legitimate than many others in your niche, as will hiring an experienced content writer to endure the words on your website are compelling and written with a high standard of spelling and grammar. Spelling mistakes are one of the key things that consumers look for when spotting a scam, so this is particularly important.
Use merchant services
Setting up a merchant services account for your company is a really good way of making your brand seem more legitimate. A merchant service account will enable you to accept all major credit cards on your online store, and this will help to convince customers that you are more legit than a company that can only accept, say PayPal. It will also make them feel safer buying from you because they will know that they have some extra level of consumer protection when they buy with a credit card.
Ensure you are licensed and bonded
If your business is licensed and bonded, you can display that license and bond on your website and any other written communications like leaflets, which will give the customers a sense of security that your business is legitimate. When there are so many fly-by-night operations out there that will take people’s money and run, customers want an assurance that their money will be safe with you, and this is undoubtedly one of the best ways to ensure that is the case that we currently have.
Upload staff photos
A really small thing that can make customers feel more comfortable with your company is posting headshots of yourself as the business owner, as well as images of any other staff you employ.
Simply feeling like they can put a face to the name can help many customers to feel more at ease with a new business they may not have had dealings with before because it stands to reason that people who are willing to show their faces have nothing to hide. Just make sure they are good professional shots, but personal enough that they could not have been lifted directly from any old stock photo site as that would likely have the opposite effect.
Do stuff in the local community
If you have a local business, then getting involved in the local community is a no-brainer. It is an excellent way to boost your PR profile as a young business, but it is also a good way to get your face known so that customers feel more comfortable in doing business with you.
Of course, this can work well if you are an online company too. You can post images of your community work to let people see you are a real person with a real profile that could be damaged if your business was anything less than legit. So, get out there and attend community events, raise money, and get involved in any way you can, it will really help.
Most of all, you should aim to be honest and transparent in anything you do as a company. This will help you to collect positive reviews and that will help you to improve the perceived legitimacy of your company a lot.
With so many scams on the internet, many customers are reluctant to take a chance on a brand new company, but if you can make them trust your business is legitimate, then that uphill battle might not be so uphill after all.