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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
>When you encounter a potential client, investor or business associate for the first time, you want to make a great impression upon them. Though your personality has a lot to do with it, people often judge by what they see first rather than what they hear. So it’s important that you portray competence in your business industry not only in your knowledge and performance, but also in how you convey yourself.
When you walk up to a potential client, it’s probably best that you “look the part” that would be associated with the type of business you are in. However, you don’t want to look sloppy either, just because you are in something like the construction business. Leave the disheveled look when you’re actually doing the dirty work, but not for your initial meeting with the client. Though many businesses these days carry a more casual element to “dressing up,” so you don’t always have to wear a business suit, you should still look nice, in dress slacks or a skirt and a nice shirt. Good hygiene, of course, is also important.
Body language conveys a lot to potential clients, investors and the like. If you slouch in your seat or lean against railing as you stand, you are conveying a more laid back approach to the conversation, which may be skewed as not taking it as seriously. Good posture, however, gives the impression that the other person has your full attention (in addition to good eye contact) and that you are confident and in control of yourself and your business.
Do you surround yourself with people and places that make you and your business look good? As terrible as it may sound, be very careful what other people and businesses you associate yourself with. If someone has a bad reputation for being untrustworthy or scandalous in their business practices, and you associate with them, that impression can reflect on you.
Additionally, the location of your business speaks volumes. Don’t settle for a location in the drab part of town just because it’s cheaper. If the area your business is located in is run down and in disrepair, even if you make your business look fancy, clients may still associate your business with the condition of those next to you.
The business cards you hand out should be appealing and easy to read, including all pertinent contact information for you and your business. Additionally, your website should convey the same first impression that your attire, posture and environment do. It’s easy to notice when a website is thrown together, with little effort put into it’s appeal and functionality. If money is an issue, there are many inexpensive (and even free) web hosting services out there that provide quality templates for a more than adequate website.
Most importantly, when running your own business, know that every aspect is important to obtaining clients, getting the support of investors, and networking with other businesses. Don’t let anything fall through the cracks and go unnoticed by you, because it won’t be unnoticed by everyone Every little thing counts toward the success of your business.
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