Does your business reflect the professionalism that is needed to gain and keep the trust and respect of your customers and competitors?
Yes, you are the boss and this is your vision but are you aware that there are certain unwritten rules to follow when running a business? Business professionalism is one of those rules.
Professionalism can be defined in many different ways:
- Your appearance
- Your reputation
- Your conversation
- Your activities and structure
When you start to develop your business, begin with a solid business plan. This will help to guide and define your business. The plan should include how your business will present itself to the public. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs do not even consider the importance of professionalism and the fact that it should be practiced at “ALL” times and on a daily basis. It may be something they consider while at work but as soon as they step out the door they leave their professionalism behind.
Watch what you say!
You are waiting in line at the bank and you hear two people talking behind you. At first it is a friendly conversation but soon it starts to turn into a discussion about someone you know in the community. Very personal and not so nice things are said about this person. Finally, out of curiousity you turn around to see who is talking. What a shock when you see that it is a very high profile business person from your community. Your opinion of that individual begins to change and the confidence level that you may have had with regard to their business has been shattered. Will you avoid this person now? Probably!
Dressed for success?
How you dress can have an impact on your business. If you look sloppy and disorganized, then conclusions may be drawn about the level of service you provide. You want people to take you seriously. Don’t let your appearance sidetrack people from focusing on your business and what wonderful services or products you have to offer.
Are you driving prospective clients away?
You have a very nice vehicle that has your business logo on the side. You know that this is a great way to market your business. What you don’t realize is that people are watching you. If you speed down the road, passing everyone or park in a no parking zone, you could be reversing the effects of great business advertising. People will definitely notice your vehicle with your business name on it, but they might just shake their heads and walk away.
Shake on it!
Have you ever shaken someone’s hand and felt that from the moment of contact you were cursed with some awful plague? For so many years deals were formed on a handshake. It is a sign of confidence and acknowledgement. If you are afraid to catch a cold or the flu then carry some hand sanitizer with you and use appropriately. There are times when people will communicate that they would rather not shake and that is fine as long as there is acknowledgement and it is done in a professional and respectful manner.
Remember you are your business! Even though you may sell a product or provide a service, and you may even have a team of people behind you, as the business owner you still are the one associated with the success and failure of the business and the choices that are made. Professionalism is common sense. Be professional 24/7!
We offer seminars on a variety of related topics such as Small Business Financing and Insurance. Check out the schedule. For more information about any of Halton’s other Small Business Centre resources and services, and how we can help direct you to the right resources, contact us at 1-866-4HALTON (42-5866), www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, email@example.com or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.