Most companies put huge amounts of money and expertise towards refining their image. Your personal business image is just as important. Whether you’re working for yourself or for a corporation you need to make sure you put your best business foot forward. This entails being aware of things as small as greeting people well and as a big as making sure you’re well branded. Below are five ways to improve your business image.
Everyone knows that first impressions last. Being tidy and presentable is very important. It’s worth investing some time and money into your work attire. Remember it’s all about dressing appropriately for your industry. If you’re in a corporate industry then invest in a good suit, if you’re in a non-corporate industry then more casual dress may be suitable. Focus on the small details, too, such as having tidy hair and clean shoes. If you don’t look like you take yourself seriously then nobody else will either.
Coca Cola, Nike and McDonalds are all very memorable brands. Remember, there is no brand more important than your own personal one. This is especially relevant if you’re working for yourself or as a representative where you’re often out and about representing your company. Don’t take a tatty notebook along with you to meetings – have a smart workbook and make sure it’s labelled. Getting your brand out there as much as possible is crucial to helping people remember you.
Seek out companies and get them to print you badges, stationery labels and whatever else you might need. Branding has come a long way and there are many options available, so be sure to research the branding solutions that best fit your needs.
Business cards are a quick and easy way to improve your business image. You can get simple cards printed fairly cheaply and they go a long way towards giving you a professional business image. Always take them with you when you’re meeting new people and either give them to people in person or leave them on the table. You need to make it as easy as possible for people to access your contact details and be able to get in touch with you.
Nowadays, unless you’re in a very niche business there are usually a great number of people who offer the same services that you do. If you’re competing for business then being memorable is one of your best tools and may give you just the advantage you need. Think about what you can do to make yourself stand out from the crowd but remember to stay appropriate for your business. Being memorable doesn’t necessarily mean being loud and colorful. You could think of alternative ways of entertaining clients or presenting in meetings.
A huge portion of business is about building and maintaining relationships. Almost every area of business requires interaction with other people on one level or another. Honing your social skills is a key part of improving your business image. Remember the basics such as looking people in the eye when you’re talking to them and firmly shaking their hand when you meet. If you’re hosting a meeting make sure everyone has been introduced when they arrive and that everyone has enough food and water and is appropriately seated.
Make it a priority to know the social nuances of your industry. In rural banking? Your clients will likely appreciate a straightforward, casual approach. Working with Asian markets? Educate yourself on cultural differences and the way your clients like to be dealt with.