Make your web business look professional.
Once you start up your new web business one of the next steps is to give it a professional appearance. You've registered your domain name, set up your web site to promote your product, done some good SEO to get the word out. Eventually people will come to your web site and look to see what you have. In order to give your customers the confidence that you know what you are doing and are professional you need to provide a world class image. After all, on the web your market is the whole world. Here are some tips on how to give your business that polished look.
800 Telephone Number
Just about every established business has a toll free 800 type number. These toll free numbers allow your customers to call you with questions or
orders without expense to themselves. Toll free numbers used to be very expensive. Ordered through your local telephone company they are still pricey. However there is a small business solution to having a toll free number. Several companies offer virtual 800 service that you can access both over the phone or on line. One that we have used for years and has provided excellent service is Ring Central. You get your own 800 number for as low as $9.99 per month through them. These services provide full customized messaging and will even deliver your voice mails into your email inbox. Additional services include porting your toll free number to your regular phone line.
You can invest in a fax machine and a dedicated phone line for considerable cost or for a few dollars a month get a virtual FAX that delivers your faxes straight to your email. All your faxes are in digital form, saving paper. You can print the ones that need printing and you will never loose your faxes because the backup is always available your computer. There are a lot of virtual FAX companies out there and most do a decent job. We have tried many of them over the years and recently have settled on the Ring Central offering because it combines all our phone services into one account.
Being able to provide professional invoicing and accounts payable is an important aspect to making your customers and suppliers believe you are in it for the long haul. Our favorite and one that a lot of small business owners use is Quicken. They have versions suited to just about any business and it also integrates with many shopping carts allowing you to coordinate your sales with your inventory and your finances.
In the old days if you wanted to ship something through your business you had to invest in a postal meter. Shipping product with stamps or from the post office does not look professional to the recipient, your customer. Making your customer feel like you have it all together is one of the aspects to generating additional orders.
One of the great things the US Post office offers is Priority Mail. The reason it's so great is that they provide
professional looking packaging for small items for free. Not only do you not have to pay for boxes but they will also give you free tape to wrap the boxes with. Shipping supplies are a big expense and this service is wonderful for the small and home business. You can get more information on how to get Priority Mail supplies delivered to your door for FREE here.
You can also print Priority Mail and Express Mail postage on line at the post office web site with no service fees. If your volume is low and you only use Priority and Express Mail than this could work for you. If you use PayPal as your credit card processor they also offer a no fee postage printing service right through their user interface. If you need to print first class and media mail postage than you will likely need a full service postage company. There are several companies partnered with the post office that provide these services. In addition they allow you to customize your shipping labels and will hide the postage amount so it does not appear on the label. This avoids problems when you charge a little more than actual shipping to cover expenses but the customer sees the actual postage is less than what they paid. The vendor we have had the longest experience with is Stamps.com.
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