Looking professional as a woman in business is a must, and although I have written in the past about one’s professional appearance being important, this week I am referring to things altogether different. Beyond appropriate attire, it includes communication skills, ethical actions, how you handle your stress, office space and much more. Nowadays, professionalism must embody all aspects of your business!
Recently I received a two-sided business card from a woman just starting her business. On the front side was a phone number that had two black Sharpie lines over it; the backside had the correct phone number. Now, I know when starting out in business that not everyone has extra cash laying around, but business cards are one of the first impressions people get. Make the investment and get them reprinted.
Everyone makes mistakes and mistakes can be corrected and accepted. However, nothing screams “I don’t care about my business” more than typos and grammatical errors — no matter where they are. In addition, if you are a virtual assistant, an administrative assistant, or an office coordinator of some type, this immediately tells people you might not pay close attention to details and proofreading might not be your strong suit.
Little Pink Book is one of my favorite online magazines for women in any type of career. It is chock full of advice, including these thoughts on how to make your business more professional.
Invest in your website and branded email
In years gone by, this piece of advice might’ve been to get some business cards printed — but in this day and age, the internet is king. Often, the first contact with your business is your website.
If you don’t look like a trustworthy, professional outfit, people are less likely to treat you like one. While this has far more to do with aesthetics and keeping up appearances than it is the actual function of your business, it remains an important consideration while you’re trying to establish yourself.
Additionally, it’s worthwhile ensuring your email is branded, and lines up with either your business name or website domain — even if that’s still linking through to a free inbox, not having that generic address in your correspondence makes a huge difference.
Consider renting office space
Working from home is definitely a perk of running your own business, but when it comes to inviting clients over or holding internal meetings with colleagues, having dedicated office space will help people take your business much more seriously.
It’s no longer the case that you need to rent out an entire building — or even a full floor of one — serviced offices are becoming an increasingly viable option across the country, with many great plans and offers available that include all of the essentials, internet and telephone connectivity bundled straight in.
Create a dedicated business phone number
While nobody wants to be taking work calls on their personal device, in times gone by, your only choices were either to surrender your number to both personal and business contacts or carry around two separate phones to entirely operate those aspects of your life. But today, there are apps that allow you to use one phone with multiple numbers.
Up Your Social Media Footprint
It’s not enough to just have business accounts set up across the entire plethora of social media channels we have access to on a daily basis anymore – you actually have to use them and use them smartly. An account with low activity and poor figures is likely to put people off, and the easiest way to improve that is through regular, targeted use.
The experts agree that professionalism is one of the biggest factors in your level of success. It might sound dramatic, but it’s true!
More news from BingoTraders