How the public perceives your business is critical, especially when that business is small or just starting out. In order to attract customers, partners, investors and even employees, a small business must present itself in a positive light. If you’re the owner of a small venture, you can use the following strategies to improve the image of your company and help ensure its future success:

1. Have a Physical Office – or At Least Look Like You Do

In today’s digital age, not every company needs a physical location to conduct their daily activities. However, some circumstances, such as team gatherings of crucial meetings with clients or potential investors call for a more formal office setting.

Rather than invite vital stakeholders to the basement of your home to discuss business, rent a virtual office instead. Not only will you have everything you need in an office setting, but you’ll also put out the vibe of professionalism and reliability that clients expect.

2. Become a Legal Business Entity

When you can put LLC or Inc. behind your company name, people automatically hold you in higher regard. While it’s fine to begin your business as a sole proprietor or a partnership, it’s important for your image to eventually register as a formal LLC or corporation so others know you’re serious about what you do.

3. Improve Your Customer Service

Even if you already provide outstanding customer service, never get too comfortable or lazy when it comes to treating your clients right. Providing a high level of service is a great way to create a positive image for your small business because the customer word is very powerful, especially in this social media-driven age where online reviews are an essential part of your image.

If you make your clientele feel valued and well-looked after, they are more likely to refer their friends and family to your establishment. Remember this always and do what it takes to make customer service a priority.

4. Invest in Professional Marketing

As a small business, you may not think you have a ton of money to spend on marketing. The reality is, a good marketing campaign can skyrocket your business image and improve your business’s credibility with your customers. If you want to stay ahead of the competition and make sure your customers view you as a trusted and reliable source in your industry, you need to dedicate sufficient resources to traditional and online marketing campaigns.

5. Improve Your Personal Image as a Business Owner

Regardless of the industry in which you operate, as a business owner, you should always look the part. Each person with whom you come into contact is a potential customer, client, or employee; and each is judging you on how you present yourself once they know you own your own company.

While you don’t need to spend all your days in a 3-piece business suit, it’s a good idea to update your wardrobe to reflect your professional values. Furthermore, be mindful of your behavior when in public, as you never know who’s watching and waiting to spread the word of your actions – good or bad. Never forget that as a business owner, you are a reflection of your organization and should represent it at all times.

The public at large is constantly judging your business. As such, you need to do everything you can to paint it in a positive light. Hopefully, the strategies listed above will help you improve your company’s image and increase its chances of success.