When you are just starting up a business for yourself, you want to give the right impression to prospective clients and suppliers. One of the first things you need to do if you want the score the best contracts is to register as a formal company. In most places, you need a Director and one other person to be legally listed as responsible for the business. You’ll also need to declare the profits and losses of your business in your accounts. How you present your company publically is also crucial for increasing your customer base. Your website should appear informative and professional. Make sure there are no spelling errors. Check it meets regulations regarding the publication of your necessary contact details. Make sure you have your own domain name. That way your email address can be a part of it. Don’t put your mobile phone number in any directories or your website either. It can be off-putting, and seem like you do not operate from a permanent place of business. Your online presence will reach search engines and social media too. Keep an eye on how your company is perceived and identify any mentions of your business. If you are advertising online, be certain your adverts are not misleading in any way. You will need to communicate with prospective clients and customers by mail and email. If you’re not a confident writer, use templates to help you draw up your documentation. You will also need your business stationery to be professionally designed. A good logo and quality headed paper are important. On your business stationery should be your contact email address and website address. Your office address and telephone numbers should be there too. Many companies use non-geographic telephone numbers. They help to give the impression they are a large and successful company. 0333 phone numbers are not expensive to rent. They can assure your customers that they won’t be charged too much to contact you. Thanks to Flickr for this picture Good customer service is essential. It is another way to assure suppliers and customers that you are a respectable and legitimate business. Use good English when you speak to people in person, and be respectful and business-like in your tone. Customers want to be treated like they are valued and important. They are not a mate from the pub, so keep the use of language more formal and professional. Thanks to Flickr for the picture Keep in contact with your customers and interested parties. Use electronic newsletters and printed brochure material to help them remember you. Using a professional printer will help confirm you are a serious business with legitimate products and services. Publish positive feedback on your website and company literature. Use an automatic signature in your email communications. It should include your name, position, company details and phone number. Anything that appears on your business card will be ideal. This makes you accountable and reachable. It provides great reassurance to the recipient that you are from a respectable business. Finally, don’t lie or mislead people about your status. It’s fine to sell yourself well, but you don’t want to get into trouble. Always remain polite and professional no matter what’s going on, and you and your business will be well-respected for it.