Nowadays, when you’re looking to boost your business profile, image is everything. Image is emblazoned all over your product, your website, your various promotional materials, and your branding. As such, image is a constant, but what about the image you are presenting? That perception people have of you will net you more clients, better contacts, and additional sway within your industry. And while you might be running a business out of your home, this environment can sap us of our professionalism.
Maybe you’ve been feeling your way through the process, and you’ve only been up and running for a few months or a year, but when you are dealing with companies you want to get into bed with, or you have to navigate various lunches and meetings with bigwigs, you have to ensure that this professional oeuvre runs through your business like a river. So how can you present this image, especially when you’ve been fluking your way through it so far?
Enlist Professionals (As Your Budget Dictates)
Outsourcing has become synonymous with hiring cheap labor, but it is so much more than that. If you are building up a business, and you’re on your own, you’re going to need help wherever you can get it. This means that if you’ve been working hard at making your website as presentable as possible, but you know nothing about the intricacies of coding, leave it to an expert!
There are numerous agencies that can help with this type of thing, and you might have dismissed the idea because you aren’t financially capable. But, to this, we say you should look deeper than the first page of your Google search! Your promotional materials are your calling cards, and if you’ve been treading water with a distinctly average WordPress site and no idea how to implement Search Engine Optimization, outsourcing will provide you with a lot of help, and numerous inspirations for the future.
Providing That Sheen
What’s the difference between you and another person running their business out of their home? A lot if you provide that extra sparkle to your business! Branding is what customers will see, but if you want to go one step further, it’s about providing that professionalism, despite the fact that you are running a business out of your home! You might think that it’s difficult to provide that image to potential clients because you can’t change where you live, but this is where virtual mailboxes and virtual assistants come in handy.
There are many reasons why you should choose a call answering service, but put simply, if you have people contacting your business, and you are at home, with the dog barking, children running around, your client is going to hear this, and it’s not going to do your approach to professionalism any favors! A professional mailbox service is offered by many virtual office providers, and, while you might do your best to minimize physical correspondence, there’s a big difference between a residential address and a business address.
And if you’re trying to keep a potential client sweet, they’re not going to take you seriously if you’ve got a residential address. It’s all about those little things. If you don’t have an email address that contains the business name, for example, this is something you can change easily. It’s all those little components that add up to an overall professional image. Even if, on correspondence, you give out your mobile phone number, you can still set up an extra line on that phone for business calls. You never know if a client is going to phone you and you accidentally pick it up expecting to chat with a friend! Which brings us nicely to the most important aspect…
Making Over Your Personality
While the little things add up to a comprehensive company image, if you don’t have the acumen to back it up, this will be your downfall. It doesn’t have to be complex, but by ensuring that you provide a professional image yourself, in how you deal with clients and customers, how you word your emails, even in how you dress in photographs, it will give you a distinct advantage over a competitor. These are things that you learn over time, but surely it’s better for you to get these things right now than make mistakes for years on end and finally learn from them?
You will learn how best to present yourself, especially when dealing with clients, contractors, and various other business types you will encounter, but it’s important for you to discover, within yourself, that air of professionalism. We all run businesses differently, and we believe that it is us that gives the business that extra edge. This is true, but if you are having difficulties internally, even if it’s just you working for yourself, you have to ask yourself if there is something more you can do to boost your profile?
Remember, with all of the marketing tools out there, word of mouth is still that vital component we should all aspire to. When you don’t know what you’re doing, if anything, do your best to encourage positive word of mouth. After a while, this becomes synonymous, not just with your business, but with you as a professional.
It’s a work in progress, and it always will be, but there is no harm in getting ahead of your competitors. There are so many entrepreneurs that work out of their home, but there is a difference between the ones who don’t provide that professional image in comparison to those that do. This is why so many businesses fail within their first year because providing that professional air doesn’t just give you a positive perception, it gives you an anchor, a motivation to make every part of your business that much better than everyone else’s.
Separating yourself from the amateurs is vital at the very beginning, and when you don’t know what you doing, you can’t help but feel part of that amateur group. But for those people that have been doing business for years, there are always going to be aspects that they won’t know inherently, and so they will find the right people to help them through, but they will rely on their ability to be professional and embody that business acumen that will carry them through. If anything, work on your presentation!