When you type your name or your company’s name into a google search what do you see? Online presence and how you and your company are portrayed online plays a key role in the first impression you are giving investors, reviewers, and customers. By the time you submit an SBIR proposal, you should have a good idea of what your online presence looks like.
Do You Like What You See?
When you perform a web search on yourself, do you like what you see? Do you see a picture of a professional business or a professional person? Do you see any information at all? By ensuring your company’s online visibility and cultivating a professional appearance you can impress the people researching you. Some of these will be customers and potential investors.
Why Is It Important to Create a Professional Online Presence Before SBIR?
While it is not a deciding factor in obtaining an award, having a professional online presence allows reviewers to see that you are ready for the commercialization procedures that will follow your Phase I SBIR activities. A professional presence demonstrates that you understand and are committed to putting your best face forward for customers and investors.
If you are not happy with your online presence there are a few things you can do to improve it. Improve your social media. Small steps to achieve branding like choosing a font and color scheme and sticking with it can go a long way in adding to your perceived professionalism online. Post regularly and let customers and investors know all the exciting things going on with your company.
What pictures appear when you google yourself? The goal is to appear both professional and approachable. Choose photos that are neither too casual nor too austere. Pictures of the workspace are also a nice addition. Show your audience where you work and who you work with.
Is the information that comes up in a search about your company accurate and current? Be sure to include relevant information about your business, ideas, and products. Include a brief backstory and perhaps a mission statement to let customers know what you offer.
So go ahead, type your company name into the search bar and see what comes up! The time to start thinking about commercialization, customer and investor outreach, and branding is before you apply for SBIR. Being prepared and thinking ahead can help you be more successful in the long run.
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