- First off, this may be the digital/computer age, but small business owners, go out and get yourselves some business cards. It is a business practice that shows prospect clients, other businesses, and anyone interested in your company that you are serious about what you’re doing and that you take business seriously. Don’t skimp out on the business cards. A professional graphic designer can help, but if that’s too costly, you can always use Vista Print or Smart Levels Media to get you started.
- If you’re really against business cards because you don’t want to carry anything else in your wallet, your briefcase, your attaché or your purse, or you want to be more environmentally friendly… OR… if you just can’t afford it right now (and hey, we’ve all been there and we understand), you can always go for the digital business card. This way, you’re still able to share your business contact information without breaking the bank and create that bridge for people to connect with you.
It wasn’t until later till I realized there was no email address on the flyer. I email. Frequently. No problem, I thought, there was website listed on the flyer and I was pretty sure the website would have an email address. And IT DID. But it didn’t work.
- That’s a big BIG no-no. Every contact link you publish on your website should function. If not, remove the link with the contact information. The website is your digital face. Before your clients and customers meet the company, they’ll meet the company website.
Okay, Fine. The flyer should have a number, right? No, it did not. But the website did. So, I called the number, asked to speak to the owner I met and requested an email address. (Yes, all this for an email address, but I had my reasons why). The email address didn’t work.
- Nowadays, you can get a free email account from Yahoo, Gmail, AOL and a host of other sources. A free email account may not be as polished as you like it to be, but it will keep you connected.
- Getting a free email account for your business (and there are ways around that I’m sure most of you are familiar with by now) will also help should times ever be hard where you’re unable to pay for the email addresses that come with your hosting package (because you couldn’t pay for the hosting package either this month or this period… hey, it happens. That becomes part reality).
- And if you’re going to use a free email account for business, keep it active so that clients/customers and anyone else looking to do business with you will have a way to contact you. Should you deactivate it or change it, let people know.
Needless to say, I was a little disappointed, but not deterred just yet. I checked to see if they had a Facebook page and/or a Twitter account. Again, nowadays, who doesn’t one, right? And of course… they did. And it was very well maintained and updated (with the exception of the business phone number being incomplete). And their Twitter account was just as active too. When I brought it to the attention of the owner, he didn’t seem shocked at all, as if not unaware, but did have to courtesy to acknowledge that he would look into it and provided another email address.
All this to be said… be ATTENTIVE to your web presence. You don’t know who is interested, might want to learn more about your company, or conduct business with you that was perhaps was turned off, because your information was incomplete, hard to find or, even present in a sloppy manner.
This is the age of technology and social media… before your customers ever meet your business, they will meet your business’ web presence. And what does business web presence say about your business?