Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre
When people think about your business or you as a business owner, what do they think? Is this the image you want to portray?
Your values and desired image
Business works best when our personal and business values align. Often we become disgruntled as employees when the business values conflict with ours, so don’t do this as a business owner! Consider what values are important and how to reflect them in your business. After values comes image. If we’re a low cost provider, then driving a Porsche probably won’t engage with our audience. Remain authentic – most people can sniff out a fake!
Looking like a home business
Sometimes looking like a home based business helps us – because our family values are important to our audience. If however your target market is bigger business, especially corporate, then first impressions count. An obviously DIY website, a generic email address (e.g. @hotmail), listing only a mobile phone number, a snapshot as our profile picture, and talking in the first person, give away you are a solopreneur.
Perceptions of a bigger business
To make us look bigger, get a domain name email @yourdomain … Have an email with your name but also aliases like accounts@, enquiries@ (to reduce spam don’t use info@), and only use the aliases on your website and socials. Grab a landline, an (02) …, Skype offer for $60 p.a. Obtain professional headshots, or recreate great headshots – it can be as simple as a plain white background and decent lighting! On your website, talk we/us and if you can’t make it look professional, you need to hire help.
Whether you have a big budget or not, consider your overall branding. What colours suit your brand – earthy greens and browns suit a landscaper whereas blues often are used to reflect trust. Everything you create should tie in with your colours and values and feel cohesive. Producing a tacky PowerPoint video will harm your image if you’re high quality.
Be consistent to your brand and values, so both you and your customers will feel good about your business.