Startup Culture: How to Make Your Startup More Professional

You’re finally ready to quit your day job and start chasing after your own dreams for a change. 

You know that your startup has what it takes to be in the 10% of startups that make it. Now, you want to know how you can convince others of the same thing. 

But if you only have two employees, (one of which is yourself) and if you’re still in the process of connecting with angel investors? 

It can be tough to look professional enough for people to take you seriously. After all, startup culture is all about image — and if you don’t make a big impression, you’re going to get left behind before you really even had a chance to get off the ground. 

I know you don’t want that to happen. 

Read this post to learn the top (and actually affordable) ways that you can make your startup look more professional and established — starting today. 

1. Create a Strong Digital Presence

Professional development for your startup starts with your website. 

After all, it takes less than a single second for a consumer to form an opinion about your brand based on your website alone. 

This is where you should invest your money. 

Hire a professional website designer, and outsource writers to fill your blog with content that’s informative, original, and of course, optimized for SEO. 

You should also claim your third-party business listings and fill them with photos, reviews, and other basic company information. The same goes for all of your social media profiles. 

To create a sense of consistency, ensure that you use your logo for all your profile pictures. 

2. Get a Business Phone Line, Address, and Email

One of the most important startup tips when your goal is to look more professional? 

Stop giving out your personal cellphone number, and get a unique business phone line instead. You should consider outsourcing your secretaries or adopting virtual voicemail system. 

This way, someone is always there to answer your calls — even when you’re not. 

Now is also the time to create your own business email address through your website. 

Additionally, get a P.O. Box if you can’t yet afford to have your own office space. You can actually turn your P.O. Box address into a street name and number, which will make you look even more professional. 

3. Your Office Space Matters

If you do have a physical office, you know that what you do with that space is a huge part of startup culture. 

Hire a professional decorator, and invest most of your money in your meeting room. Details like glass/transparent meeting room walls, designated zones in your office, and even accent walls where clients can leave you messages in chalk will make a huge difference. 

Image is insanely important in the startup world. If your office has a dirty carpet, is out in the middle of nowhere, or looks like it was designed in the 1970s? 

No one will think much of your brand as a whole.

4. Hand Out Promotional Products

Your online presence is, of course, essential. 

But if you want to compete with other businesses in the startup world, your physical marketing matters, too. 

Promotional products help to increase your brand recognition, give you the chance to tell people more about your company, and are incredibly cost-effective. 

Hire representatives (or ask your friends) to dress in branded shirts or hats and hand out small promotional items like tote bags, pens, and even USB keys. 

This creates a buzz around your business and ensures that everyone knows your name. 

5. Invest in Your Business Cards

Want to fool people into thinking that you’ve made it? 

One of the best ways to do that is to have a unique and elegant business card. You want your card to be the one that stands out in a potential investor’s wallet. 

Try going with a thicker, luxury material or even an unexpected shape. You can have a bespoke font created just for your business cards, or even have a local artist hand-draw your logo. 

6. Network Like Crazy

Finally, remember that the best thing you can do to make it in startup culture is to network as often as you can. 

This networking should take place in both the digital and in-person worlds. 

Speak at as many industry conferences as you can, and email other speakers to set up meetings afterward. Attend meetups for other entrepreneurs, and look into getting a mentor who can show you the ropes of what it’s like to run a startup behind the scenes. 

You should also comment, like, and share other startups’ posts on social media, and link to their content in your own blog. 

Need More Help Understanding Startup Culture?

It’s no secret that startup culture can be insanely difficult to navigate on your own. 

You want to follow up with investors and other entrepreneurs without coming across as a nag. You want to ensure that you’re using promotional tactics that are fresh, but also in line with what your brand offers and what your market responds to. 

You need to master the art of the elevator pitch and how to write a compelling blog post. 

In short? 

There’s a lot to learn. 

I want to help you. 

Let’s connect so that I can tell you what my years of experience in the entrepreneurial world have taught me about how to stand out, make an impression, and close as many deals as you can.