With competition fierce, it’s essential to be on top of your game when it comes to how you present yourself and your business to others. Regardless of industry, business size, and budget, having an unprofessional appearance will drive your prospective clients, partners, and stakeholders to your competitors. Here are five simple ways you can avoid this by maintaining a professional aesthetic, even on a shoestring budget.
1. Switch To A Fully-Serviced Office Space
Stop holding meetings and interviews at cafés and invest in a dedicated space of your own. While you want prospective stakeholders to feel relaxed at meetings, it’s more important that you project an air of respectability and professionalism. You need them to believe in you. If owning an office or workshop is out of the question, and rent is too steep, your next best bet is looking into serviced office locations that will complement your business. This way, you pay one fee that covers everything you need – offices, meeting rooms, tea and coffee facilities, and more, for as long as you need.
2. Get A Logo From An Online Freelancer
If you are not a graphic designer, do not try your hand at a DIY logo or branded materials. Consumers are far too digitally-savvy these days and will pick up on DIY graphics right away. If you are a newer business or a start-up with a small budget, you don’t need to focus on creating a range of branded content. Instead, start by securing a logo for your business that you can use on any online content, social media, and printed materials.
If you cannot afford a professional designer you’re familiar with, you can always set a budget and outsource the work to a freelancer from gig economy websites like Upwork or Fiverr. Just make sure to always ask for samples first and read previous reviews.
3. A Branded Email Signature looks professional
Possibly the most underrated of these five points, a good, branded email signature instantly elevates the professionalism of your business and can take as little as a few minutes to organize! You can easily make one using an online email signature generator (these tools are inexpensive or free to use). Make sure you keep the design simple and incorporate your business’ colors and logo. Your name, business name, and contact details need to be the main emphasis, while secondary information such as social media links and a call to action can be in a different color.
Before you send any emails, always test out your signature by sending your first professionally marked message to yourself! In your test run, make sure all links are working, graphics are loading, and that everything appears as it should.
4. Buy A Domain That Includes Custom Email
A custom domain and email is a must if you want to maintain a professional business image. Luckily, it’s easier and relatively cheaper than ever to secure and own your domain. While some free options do exist, it comes at the cost of having the domain host’s name in your web address, for example, Joe Bloggs’ Business will be “www.joebloggsbusiness.domainhost.com.” No matter how new your business is, this is never a good look. For a couple of dollars, buy the domain for your business name and choose a package that includes custom emails so everything is neat and consistent.
The tips above are so quick and easy to implement – you could follow them all today and wake up tomorrow with a sparkling new level of professionalism in your business.