Many owners of new businesses, small businesses, and online businesses struggle to look like professionals. This is often due to a lack of care for detail and a lack of funds, which can make maintaining a sense of professionalism difficult. If you are struggling to help your business and your team look and act like the professionals that you are, you shouldn’t feel alone. However, there are some easy and relatively cheap ways to help your business look and function in a more professional way.
Have a Professional Website
Your website is often the first point of contact that potential customers have with your business, so it’s important to ensure that it looks professional and well-designed. Having a high-quality website that works well and looks simple and professional can go a long way toward helping your business show a more professional face to the world. You should also make sure that your website works well with mobile devices, as most people now access websites on phones as much or more often than on computers.
Be Better Organized
No matter if you have an online or an in-person business, a lack of organization always looks unprofessional. Become better organized by storing documents and files in logical filing systems, keeping things put away, and having a place for everything. You can use calendars and apps to help your time to be better organized and help your team be more efficient. Apps and programs like facility management software, customer relationship management programs, and batch mailing services can help your business function better and more efficiently.
Use a Professional Email Address
Using a professional email address that includes your business name instead of a free email service like Gmail or Yahoo will make your business look more professional. Most web hosting companies offer professional email domains that match your website or business name. You can often get more than one email using this domain so that any employees can have professional email addresses, as well.
Invest in a Professional Logo
Your logo is the face of your business, and investing in a professionally designed logo can go a long way in making your business look better. Having a logo that is well-designed, simple, and eye-catching is helpful in maintaining your brand voice and style. Once you have purchased a logo that you like, put it on everything that has to do with your business for consistency, from business cards and letterheads to advertisements.
Use Professional Language
Use formal language when communicating with clients, whether it’s through emails, social media posts, or in-person meetings. While there is no reason to be stilted or uncomfortable in your communication, keeping your tone and words professional and courteous will help your business look good and will make you look confident. This can also help maintain your appearance as a professional when you are helping disgruntled or unhappy customers.
Use High-Quality Visuals
It is very important to use high-quality images and graphics in your marketing materials and on your website. This will help to make your business look more professional and polished. Using pixelated, dark, grainy, or unprofessional-looking graphics and photos will make your business website and advertising look low-budget and unprofessional. Also, avoid using pictures that look like snapshots or that are too artsy, unless that fits the style of your website. When clients are searching for a business or service to use, low-quality visuals are enough to convince them to go somewhere else.
Create a Consistent Brand Identity
Developing a brand voice and style that customers can come to know and recognize is an important part of marketing. Use consistent colors, fonts, and design elements across all of your marketing materials, storefronts, and websites to create a cohesive brand identity. Once your clients get to know your style, they will feel like you are more professional and trustworthy if they see consistency.
Have a Professional Business Address
While it is expected for many businesses to be located in or near the owner’s home, this can also make a business feel new, unprofessional, or untrustworthy. If you work from home, consider using a virtual office address or coworking space to give your business a professional address. You can also consider having a designated office or work area that is not located in your home.
Many professionals work from home, including lawyers, hair stylists, contractors, and more. However, you will put on a more professional appearance and be able to separate your work from your home life better if you have a designed area outside of your living space in which to greet clients and do your work.
Use Professional Business Cards and Documents
Have professionally designed business cards with all your contact information, including your website, email address, and phone number. These business cards are usually not expensive and can be designed by the printing company’s graphic designer or you can hire someone specifically for this purpose. Remember to maintain your brand image and use your logo on your business cards.
Other documents should also maintain a professional appearance, such as letterheads and contracts. Include your business’ identifying information and your logo on these papers, as well.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Providing excellent customer service is crucial in making your business look more professional. No one wants to work with a company that doesn’t make them feel valued, respected, and understood. This is the case even when you can’t resolve your customer’s complaints or fix their problem. Respond promptly to inquiries and complaints and always be courteous and professional, even when facing irate or upset customers.
It is important to maintain your professional image, as you and your employees represent your business. If you meet with clients or customers in person, dress professionally to make a good impression. You don’t have to wear a formal suit or jacket unless your profession demands it, but you do need to dress moderately fashionably, neatly, and in clothes that are clean and maintained. If your company has a casual dress code, make sure that your employees understand what kinds of clothes are and are not acceptable.
Keep Your Social Media Professional
When you are setting up social media accounts for your business, make sure you use your professional logo and maintain your brand voice. Keep your communications and posts positive and make sure you use correct grammar and punctuation. Make sure your posts and profile use high-quality photos and that any images of you and your team look professional.
On your personal pages, remember that you are representing your business to many of your friends and followers. Use professional profile pictures and ensure that your social media profiles are up-to-date and present you and your business in a positive light.
Finally, the most important way to have a professional-looking business is by focusing on giving the best service and products to your customers, caring about them, and thinking of yourself and your business as the professionals you are. Approach your business as if it is going to succeed and consider yourself a professional in your field, and you will show that confidence in your actions and words.