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The definition of a small business can vary. It can be defined by the number of employees, the annual revenue or where the business is based. Even a one-person shop working from home is considered a small business. But in today’s world, customers want to feel confident in the companies they give their business to, so it’s important for small business owners to consider the ways they can legitimize their company.

If you are a home-based business, here are five ways you can legitimize your small business:

  • Establish a location with a street address. When starting a small business, establishing a physical street address is one vital step that can help legitimize a business. Rather than using a P.O. Box or a home address, a business mailbox with a street address helps keep personal information private and adds to the professional image of a business.  A street address also ensures that your business will be found in search results and increases your search engine rankings. Finally, having a street address through a business mailbox is also important for receiving mail and packages in a secure, efficient way.

  • Invest in print materials. In today’s digital world, the importance of printed marketing materials can be overlooked. Don’t underestimate the positive impact a business card or a professional brochure can have on a customer that appreciates a physical reminder of the business. It’s important to consider which print materials make the most sense for your business. By choosing the right print materials to invest in, you’ll be able to promote your business and grow. 

  • Create a digital footprint. Having an online presence through a website and social media is extremely important for any small business because it opens the door to a vast audience of new customers. Online engagement allows communication with new and existing customers across multiple platforms and through multiple formats. Whether it’s a social media post or a blog post on your website, it’s important to have a robust online presence to appear as a legitimate business.

  • Share customer success stories, and ask customers to share. Satisfied customers are also a great marketing tool. Capitalize on the stories of loyal fans who can share their great experience with others to elevate the brand. Social media and your website are great places to share customer stories and encourage potential new customers.  Your loyal customers will also help by sharing their experience organically; word of mouth marketing is one of the best ways to retain and grow customers.

  • Collaborate with the right business partners. Look to others who share different talents or expertise for help. Where are the holes in the business, and who can help? For example, use resources like The UPS Store for back office services, local tax or accountant services to help manage finances or fellow small business owners as mentors for advice. There are also local small business organizations where you can tap fellow business owners for their expertise in certain areas.

Whether you’re a seasoned small business owner or a one-person shop just starting out, there are many ways to legitimize your business for greater success.