1. telecommunications No web presence – You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on a website.  Programs like WordPress are free and relatively easy to use.  Webhosting is included in most internet access packages.  If you’re able to establish your own website, updates and blog entries can be completed in-house, without additional expense.  Not having a website can lead to lost deals when potential customers can’t find you on the web.
  2. Email address includes ISP’s branding – If you want to make your company look small time, maintain an @name-of-ISP email address.  The number one reason for keeping these less than professional email addresses is the fear of losing contact with past contacts but there’s no reason why you can’t maintain more than one email address.  Email services like Gmail allow you to aggregate multiple email addresses to one receptacle.  You don’t need a website to brand your own company in your email address, all you need is registered domain name.  Brand your own business and not an internet service provider’s.
  3. No Google Place Page – Google Place pages are free, they can be set up in minutes and can show up on local searches in Google.  If you’re a local service provider, you need a Google Place page.  Make sure you claim your company name’s Place Page before your competition does.
  4. Website not optimized – What you see when you look at a web page is only the tip of the iceberg.  You can have the greatest and most professional webpage but if it doesn’t show up in search results, people can’t find it and what good is it?  Search Engine Optimization (SEO), starts with keywords in your copy and Meta tags, requires a great deal of original content and links to and from other websites.  If you have a website platform, like WordPress, there are plugins that make SEO easy.  You can learn about SEO on websites like www.seotrainingsw.com.  I suggest you read up on the subject before you hire a SEO consultant, so you know enough to find someone qualified.
  5. Neglecting existing customers – You have to work hard and spend money to acquire new customers, don’t then neglect and lose them to your competition.  CRM programs, like Infusionsoft, can automate email and other ways to communicate and stay in touch with your customers.  Holidays are good excuses you reach out and touch clients.  Online surveys are an inexpensive way to stay in touch with clients and receive feedback that could lead to acquiring new customers.
  6. Don’t use local phone numbers – A toll free number might make you appear “bigger” and more professional but they make you appear to be an outsider.  If your city has multiple area codes, prospects might assume you’re unwilling to service them if you’re advertising a business phone number with a different area code then their own.  Market Expansion Lines, which can be purchased from companies like Qwest and Integra, are virtual numbers that forward to your main business telephone number.  They can be established with outside area codes.  Certain VoIP or SIP services, from companies like XO and TW Telecom, allow for the use of out of region area codes.

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