How To Project Your Image In Business
How To Project Your Image In Business. Your main aim is to make sure that anybody's first contact with your business receives the right impression, and that that impression is maintained throughout.
Step 1: Your Name and Logo
Your name and logo immediately convey the sort of business you are and should indicate the product or service you are offering. For example, ‘Jays Nursery' does not tell customers whether you are dealing with plants or babies. ‘Jays Gardens' or ‘Jays Day Nursery' does. Take care that your name and logo are unique to you. You must be careful not to infringe other people's intellectual property rights. Take advice from the Patent Office or the Federation of Small Businesses or your solicitor.
Step 2: Premises
Whether you work from home, from a shop or from other business premises, make sure the premises match the image you want to project. A craft-based business looks good in a craft centre workshop, for example. An office-based business would expect to have a receptionist and somewhere to sit. A shop needs to look bright and attractive, with good window displays. Remember people entering your business space for the first time will gain a lasting impression of what your business is like.
Step 3: Vehicles
Arriving at a potential client's premises in a smart clean car is bound to look better than arriving in a rusty old banger. How clean are any vans, lorries or trucks with your company name on them?
You might think customers would be put off by the sight of an expensive-looking vehicle, but a vehicle like that subconsciously evokes the feeling that yours must be a successful enterprise. Incidentally, the inside strewn with litter and sweetie papers doesn't do a lot for your image.
Step 4: Your Telephone
Does your business have a policy about answering land lines? Phones should be answered after three rings at the most. What about your image on your voice mail or answering machine? Does your voice sound warm and friendly? Ring yourself up and listen. If it doesn't, re-record. Your personal message will always sound more friendly than using the standard recorded messages.
If you change phones, mobiles or landlines, keep the same number if possible. It takes perseverance but can be done and it will save you having to change your stationery every five minutes.
Step 5: Stationary
Think about a design which best promotes your business image on letterheads, business cards, compliments slips, advertising material, emails and your website. Look at other people's stationery, (it will help you decide what is best for you) then make sure you have continuity of colour and design on all your stationery.
Emails can look impersonal and uninteresting, so design your emails to look attractive to your reader, but don't make them too elaborate or they will take ages to download. Make sure the content layout of all your stationery and advertising materials looks good. And vitally, make sure the grammar and spelling are right!
Step 6: People
When it comes down to it, it's the people in your business who have the greatest effect on its image. Whether it's you yourself, or members of your staff, it's really important that they look good, sound pleasant and are friendly and helpful. People deal with people, so the more friendly and personal the service, the better for your image, and your business.
With a bit of thought and planning it's easy to project the right image for your business, helping you achieve the results you want.