Professional business, professional email
How many of you reading this are still using a free email service to conduct business? Please stop. Your business is a serious effort and you want potential customers to take you seriously. One of the easiest steps you can take to get some instant credibility is to secure your own, custom domain for your email.
For $5 a month you can turn your free Gmail account into a paid Google Apps for Work account. You get more storage than a free account, and you can also tie your own domain name to that account. Need a domain name? You can buy that right through Google.
Don't like Google? There are a ton of other services out there that do the same thing. And doesn't firstname.lastname@example.org look more professional?
Speaking of domains, do you have a website yet? Having a web presence online, even a simple one, is another step to gaining much needed credibility for your small business. Hours of operation, contact information, what you do...give information to your potential customers through a simple and easily maintained website.
You can spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars a year to over ten thousand dollars on a website (hint: you don't need to spend that much). The options for a website are fairly endless. First, you can solicit the services of a web designer to build you a custom site. You will get a great quality product that way, but you're also going to pay for it.
You can also consider one of the many template-based website companies available today. Squarespace, Weebly and GoDaddy all offer drag-and-drop design options for a fraction the price of custom design work. Additionally, with many of these services you can add an email component into the purchase and only have to manage one relationship.
Finally, let's say you like the cost aspect of the template-based website, but don't have the time to create and manage the site yourself. Find a partner willing to manage it for you! You'll still be getting the benefit of a professional website, but at a very affordable price.
It doesn't cost an arm and a leg to put a professional face on your business. Please consider taking advantage of the services offered online today, your future-self will appreciate it!