So you’ve established yourself in the local community with your product, but your dream is to get it sold in major department stores and perhaps even overseas. So you need to ally with a larger business to take advantage of its warehousing and distribution network.
It seems simple enough, but you wonder – will your business seem too small to bother with? Will it seem unprofessional?
There are ways you can improve the way big business sees your enterprise, and it’s all to do with giving a professional impression at the outset.
What big business is looking for is professionalism. If when they visit your office they are presented with a shoddy, badly run business – phones ringing unanswered, ledgers scattered on the floor – they are not going to been all that keen to do business with you.
It almost goes without saying that being professional means making deadlines and being on time for meetings. It’s important to maintain regular contact too. Don’t be difficult to get hold of, and return calls or emails promptly when you’re in the midst of negotiations.
You can also improve the impression you make by investing in an automated phone service that answers and redirects calls to particular staffers or locations. These services are based in the cloud, tied to your existing lines and are programmable. So if you know you are never available Monday afternoon, calls can be routed elsewhere. Instead of a receptionist, your calls are answered by a personal greeting that gives callers options – just like a big business (but without the receptionist salary).
You can also make a better impression with the speed and efficiency with which you fax documents and send large files over the internet. eFax does this by removing phone lines from the traditional fax system. Instead you use Fax-to-Email, which means attaching documents to an email before sending to a fax number as usual. But because you aren’t using a phone line or a fax machine, you aren’t tied down to a particular location. All you need is your computer.
But imagine how impressive it would be if you could fax a document even when you are out of the office. By using the eFax Mobile App you can take a photo of a document and send it directly from your smartphone. You can then archive faxes online with free cloud storage.
Making a good impression means achieving the same standard of professionalism – meeting deadlines, maintaining contact – without the auxiliary staff big business takes for granted. With virtual phone answering and faxing, and a little organisation, you can impress with less.