When you’re starting up a small business and venturing out on your own, finding the additional funds for external marketing and PR services is often not an option, yet there are some simple steps you can take yourself to make sure that your company is well-perceived virtual office in the public eye:
One thing you will need to invest in is a good, strong logo. There are many independent graphic designers around that don’t charge a fortune and do a great job – check out Freelancer or Fiverr. Make sure you give them a good brief. This means you need to take the time to really think about the personality of your business and what you are trying to portray. Consider your competitors and how they present themselves and your point of difference. The colours and logo style will then form the basis of everything you do from social media, letterheads, brochures, flyers, advertising and EDM so it pays to get it right the first time.
Many startups begin working from home, after all, a swanky office takes time to build up to as it can be a big overhead. However, if you need to look bigger than you are, or if you need to have meetings and training sessions occasionally, then having a virtual office can be a great option. With Anytime Offices’ address and mail package, you can have a business address to use on your business cards, website or even on google maps. You can have your mail collected and forwarded and you have up to four free hours of meeting room/office access each month. Anytime Offices Virtual Office packages start from $50 per month. This is a great low-cost option that helps you register your business address with ASIC and keeps your home address private.
You can pay thousands of dollars on a fancy website, or you can hop onto Squarespace or Wix and do it yourself for around $500-600. You can choose your own images or register with Shutterstock and browse through their library to choose the images you want. Other digital content, templates, graphics or even music are available in my personal favorite, Envato.
If you’re a bit of a wordsmith then writing your corporate blurb for your website and printed materials may come easily to you. A word of advice though – make sure you get someone else and then someone else again to proof-read your work before it goes live or gets printed. Even after 25 years working in PR, I have seen mistakes slip through because you get so close to a piece of work, you lose perspective. Always have someone else check for grammatical errors and spelling. If writing isn’t your thing, then pay a copywriter to do it for you. They will write in your chosen ‘tone of voice’ that suits your company personality to help your website sing. They can also offer advice on your website flow so it’s easy to navigate.
These days, if you’re not on social, you’re not ‘on’ at all. The world of social media is changing rapidly and it pays to keep abreast of what’s happening so you can ensure your time and resources are well spent. Recent changes to Facebook, for example, are making it harder for businesses to grow their presence. Even with a strong ad spend and many businesses are switching to Instagram. Whichever way you go, make sure you check out what your competitors are doing on social – and make a plan to do it better. You can’t go past great content because this can put you ahead of the rest and can also increase your SEO ranking with Google. This in turn, can benefit your business by driving traffic to your website.