Contributed Collaborative post
One of the best things about living in the modern world is that it’s never been easier to start your own business. Indeed, with just a few hours, you can be up and running! But of course, while it’s true that starting a business couldn’t be easier, that doesn’t mean that finding success will be easy. Far from it. One area that many new business owners fall down on is professionalism. Without quite realising it, they inadvertently project an image that’s, well, slightly less professional than it should be — and that can seriously impact their success. In this blog, we’ll take a look at a few tried and tested methods for making your business look and feel more professional, no matter how small it may be.
Take it Seriously
First thing’s first: you’ve got to take your business seriously. If you don’t take it seriously, then no-one else will, and it’s as simple as that. A lot of business owners can be a little bashful about their venture in the early days; it’s a way to save face if things don’t go as planned. However, it’s worth thinking about what people will be thinking of your business if you’re putting it down, or just generally not taking it as seriously as you could or should.
Dress to Impress
What you say about your business is just one component of how other people will see your venture. The rest will be through non-verbal communication. And did you know that the clothes that you wear send a message? It’s true. There’s a big difference between someone who presents themselves in smart clothing and someone who turns up wearing shorts and a t-shirt: which one would you think was more professional? Now it’s not as if you need to dress super smart all the time. It’s just about thinking about the clothes you’re wearing, and what image they present.
Your Online Presence
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an online or “real world” business, your company will need to think about its online presence. Your website is going to say a lot about your business, so make sure that it’s saying the right things. Some businesses fall down on professionalism when it comes to their website by having a design that’s a little too amateur. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to your website design, but it shouldn’t stick out as being behind the times, or low-quality. Indeed, your website will take on even greater importance during the coronavirus pandemic, as more and more people will be searching online. Now’s a good time to get yours into shape!
Social Media Channels
For some customers, their first interaction with your business won’t be through your website, but your social media channels. These should be given as much importance as your website. Some new businesses, understanding the power of Facebook, Twitter, and so on, set up accounts and just begin pumping out content, with no strategy in mind. It can be tempting to try and get as much content out there, but it’s not recommended, because you’ll risk harming your professionalism. Think about the messages you’re putting out into the world. It’s fine to get a little personal, but you shouldn’t be using your business accounts in the same way you’d use your personal accounts.
Giving your customers the ability to contact you is, of course, a professional move. But it’s important that you’re projecting the right kind of professional image. For example, it looks much better to have an “@[yourwebsite].com” email address, as opposed to a “[yourcompanyname]@yahoo.com” or whatever. Try to have as many contact methods as possible, including a phone number, email address, and physical address. If you work from home, then use https://physicaladdress.com to get a physical address that looks more professional. Adding as many different contact methods as possible won’t just make your business look more professional; it’ll also increase customer trust too.
More Than One Person
You might begin your company as just a one-person operation, but no-one says that it needs to stay that way. In fact, it shouldn’t. Now, you may be thinking “ah, but there’s no money for staff in the budget.” But don’t worry, because you don’t need to hire employees to grow. Instead, you can make the most of outsourcing. Other companies can handle any number of jobs, and they’ll do a professional job too.
Photos and Writing
Don’t let your professionalism be called into question just because you’re using low-quality photographs, and your writing is poor. Double-checking that everything is in order is one of the best and most straightforward ways to keep your standards high.
Branding is one of those things that people think is complicated, but it’s actually not. Anyone can do it! And indeed, everyone should do it, because it’s one of the easiest ways to make your company look more professional. It can take a little bit of time to develop your branding, but once it’s done, you’ll be good to go. The important thing to do is to stay consistent with your branding — it only works if you’re sticking to your branding, rather than deviating.
When to Step Up
Your business might begin its life in your house, or as just a small side-project that you use to boost your income. While there are things you can do to make your business feel and look professional even when it’s small, at some point you might have to think about stepping things up and make your business look more professional via more traditional methods. One way to do this is to move out of your home, and into a rented office. This can be an office that is exclusively yours, or you can rent a space in a coworking space. No-one’s expecting you to be a fully-formed professional outfit when you first get started, but there’ll come a point when you need to tighten up loose ends and take steps to become more professional.
This is a contributed collaborative post