May is International Business Image Improvement Month! What better time to take a look at the type of image your business is presenting. And if you don't like what you see, now is the time to make a plan to change it.
Take a step back and look at your business. Think about what your customers/clients see when they first interact with you. If you have a physical brick-and-mortar location, walk in through the front door. This is what a customer sees when they enter. What do you see? What type of image does it present? Does it match the image you want for your business?
Now take a look at your online presence. Ask friends to browse your website and ask them what they think. Is it well-organized and user-friendly? Can they find the information they need quickly? Does it present the kind of image you want for your business?
Next look at all the other areas customers may come into contact with your business: business cards, letterhead, brochures, advertising, even the message on your answering machine. Do these present the same image as your website or your physical location?
Finally, take a look at yourself. Yes, that's right. When you meet a client, are you neatly dressed and professional looking? Do you convey confidence and skill? You don't have to be dressed in the latest designer fashions, but you must appear neat and organized and appropriately dressed for the type of business you represent.
If you find that you are not quite projecting the image you want, don't fear! There is an old saying that you "never get a second chance to make a first impression." But I believe that it's NEVER too late to make a good impression. So make the changes necessary to improve your business image. Hire a graphic designer or website designer for help with your site. There are professional image or brand consultants that can assist you with everything from logos to letterhead. If your physical location needs some work, hire a professional organizer or interior designer. If you can't afford, then ask colleagues or friends for input.
So for the next two weeks, examine your business image and plan your strategy for improvement. Take the steps to make your business stand out in the crowd. Because it's never too late to make a good impression.