It is often said that it takes money to make money. While this may be true, there are ways to maintain a professional image for your business without spending a lot of your hard earned cash. When it comes to the business world, anyone who is anyone already understands the importance of being technologically competent. You might not have the biggest budget, and you might not be able to take on the tough competition head to head either, but if you get the chance to appear professional then your potential partners and clients will be far more likely to trust you and establish a long term relationship with you as well. We all need to work on bettering ourselves in our business. This year I am working on streamlining… cutting out things that I no longer have a passion for, learning to say no, and improving myself in other areas. It is much needed!
While you do have to do some marketing and spend some cash, there are other things that you can do to improve your business image without spending much money.
It doesn’t matter what business you are in: people want to trust you. They especially want to trust you if you are taking money from them to manage a service or provide a good. The good news is that the more confident you can make them feel, the more likely they will work with you and come back as a repeat customer.
Appearing professional isn’t too tough of a task if you take the time to plan ahead. In addition to cleaning up your general image, you want to have your online presence increased and cleaned up as well. As Inc. says a professional image can be completely influenced simply by what people see. That isn’t just you and your staff, but also your website, your office space, and even the presentation you give. It all comes down to what you show them and what they can find. Have you ever visited a website and left before even reading? I have. Your online presence has a huge impact on whether or not you get the business.
What You Know is Who You Are
When people ask about blog niches, or ask what they should blog about I usually have one response, “you have to blog what you know.” Of course there are exceptions to the rule. If you are blogging about being in school or learning a certain skill, you can blog about that. However, if you are blogging to share your expertise and info with you readers, you have to truly know what you are talking about…. otherwise it will show.
Your image is simply what you know. What you project in terms of your intelligence as an expert in your field is crucial to your reputation. As simple as it sounds, understanding enough about your potential clients needs is as important as understanding how your product or service fits into the overall plan. And, because the world is getting more and more technology dependent all of the time, showing you are an expert in the tech field literally means you are one of the top resources that your potential clients can tap into.
When it comes to being professional and appearing as an expert, you are also able to have your clients look to you as an invaluable member of their team as well. Not only will they trust you as if you were an advisor, but by giving them the professional image and having them continue to believe in you, your business will grow with referrals and word of mouth as well. Even a small town startup can wind up blowing up if you can be there for them when they need you. One of the easiest ways to do that is to always be available and on call using technology. One such tool is free video conferencing with Blue Jeans.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Communication is very important in all aspects of life. This is true in business, and blogging as well. Even if you have taken the time to craft your image, polish every possible aspect of your image, and have potential clients thinking you are a Fortune 500 CEO when it comes to business intelligence, you have to capitalize on that with communication. People who see you as an expert may trust you, but they may also be afraid of you. When you have taken so much time and effort to build up an image, you might find that some are afraid to ask more of you for fear of stealing your time. When it comes to actually giving them the service, however, you can use this to your advantage and show them how important their time and effort is to you. That’s exactly where your ability to communicate more effectively comes in.
When it comes to communication some people are more natural than others, but everyone can continue to learn how to communicate more effectively. It doesn’t even need to be a major overhaul or a powerful training session, so long as you put the effort into getting better constantly. This is something that I need to be better about. Sometimes I get so busy that my communication skills slack off. Before I know it, more time that I realized has passed by. Communication is key!
When it is all said and done, if you take the time to continue appearing more professional you will be surprised at how many people come to you for your business. If you can create and craft an entire image then you are halfway there. The rest of the equation to success simply rests in the portion where you can communicate quickly and effectively. By being on call and responding to your existing clients as well as potential clients as an authoritative figure with a professional reputation, you can end up having a lot more power than you would ever have imagined.