It’s very important to present yourself with a certain degree of professionalism. Giving potential contacts the idea that you’re “not really a business” can seriously hurt your ability to cut a deal and sell your idea.
If people think you are living in your mother-in-law’s basement and drinking from a mason jar (regardless if this is the truth!), are they really going to want to do business with you?
There are a number of simple low-cost to no-cost changes you can implement to increase your credibility. These actions, all of which can be completed in less than an hour, can dramatically improve the way other companies perceive you.
You don’t need to give the impression that you are a big corporation, but you do need to present yourself and your company in a professional light.
Use a business name.
I use Stephen Key Design. Just take your name and put “design” behind it and voila, you’ve got a cool business name. Not only is this quick and easy, but it works to your advantage when cutting deals.
Design what you ask? Exactly! It’s fairly ambiguous. You could be designing one thing one day and another product the next. It’s very flexible and has worked for me for many years.
You need to check in your state, but in most states you don’t need to file a fictitious business name statement if you are doing business under your full surname. So if you use your name and put “Design” behind it, you can save yourself some government paperwork to boot.
Have a phone that rings to an answering machine with a business message on it.
What kind of impression do you think you will make when a potential licensee calls you back and your 10 year old answers the phone and yells, “Daddy – it’s for you!”
You’re cheap and don’t want to pay for another phone line? No problem. I’ve got a great solution that is free, will cost you nothing, and enable you to be more responsive to callers.
The answer is to use your cell phone as your business line. You probably already have a cell phone. Simply change your personal message to a business-like one.
Let your friends and family know that you are using your cell phone as your business line, but that they can reach you just as they always have. They’ll understand and you’ll be more responsive to any potential licensee calling since you can always carry your cell phone with you.
Just make sure not to answer your cell phone if you are in a noisy environment – you don’t want to give away the fact that you’re on your cell phone. Instead, let the call go to voicemail and find a nice quiet spot to return the call.
Use an e-mail signature.
An email signature is your sign off at the end of every email you write. It might look like this.