I do a little bit of networking and meet lots of very nice people. Some people have been in business for some time while others are just starting out. And, to those people who are starting out take note of my 10 tips that will make you look more professional.
1. Get yourself some proper stationery, I don’t mean headed paper nor envelopes, but I do mean business cards. Make sure that your cards have all of your details including your company email address and the best way to get hold of you. And, while there are companies offering free business cards these can make your company look cheap because generall the paper quality is shabby and cheap. So spend a few pounds on some proper business cards.
2. Before your cards go to print check the information, then check it again and then give it to someone else to check. There is nothing worse than giving out the wrong information and making excuses such as ”the printers cocked up”
3. If you get stationery back from the printers that is wrong for whatever reason, don’t use it otherwise you will spend the next six months explaining why the “postcode” is wrong or the email is misspelt. Don’t do it, it looks very unprofessional.
4. Don’t try and be clever with your business name. When choosing a business name make it relevant to your business and avoid anything that can have two meanings or can be misspelt.
5. Got a business idea? Follow it through and don’t keep changing what you are offering. Can you imagine if you went to see you bank manager about a loan and while there you told him that you had a pain in your arm and your bank manager said “oh, you know, with my other hat on, I am also a doctor” Hmm scary.. Same for you. If you have a business idea then follow it through. If you have too many hats on people begin to wonder what it is that you actually do.
6. Use an 0844/0845 non geographical or any other landline telephone number apart from your mobile. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use your mobile but if you just have your mobile on your business card it looks a little dodgy!
7. Domain name (website address). When choosing a domain name take the time to choose something that is simple to read, understand and type into the browser (internet). If your website name is too long it gives the user lots of opportunities to mistype the address and then they’ll a blank page or worse still go to some else’s website!
8. Get yourself a proper email address, don’t use a free email service such as yahoo or hotmail nor googlemail as your business email address. Using a free email address just shows that you either don’t have the skill to setup a business email address or that you couldn’t be bothered to ask some else to do this for you. In both cases it doesn’t make you look.
9. If you are going to get a website then invest the time needed to get your message across. And please don’t use a free service like weebly.com or Wix.com. Ideally get the website designed for you. You should offer input into your website but you shouldn’t design a website based on your likes. Just because you think that a Black and Green website looks funky, your customers might think otherwise. I know that it means spending more money but the amount of money that you will lose if you don’t get it right, can’t be measured! Remember that your website is for some people their first impression of your business so if it looks like rubbish they’ll think that you are rubbish.
10. Meet people: Sitting in your office waiting for business to come to you isn’t going to yield any results so get out and meet people. The are lots of networking events somewhere near you so go to them and tell these people all about your product or service. Give them your business card and take theirs. Next day follow up on the meeting by sending everyone that you took a business card from a quick email saying that it was nice to meet the, but you already knew that last bit..right? If you would like any help or advice on anything that I have mentioned here please contact me for some informal advice.