Is Your Business Dressed For Success?

We have all heard the maxim, “Dress to impress.” In fact it is a given that how you dress speaks volumes about your character, your self-awareness, and your ability to deliver. When you dress like a bum, people will treat you like one. So when you stare out at your employees, or even yourself in the mirror, how do you look? What message are you sending?

How You Look Determines Whom You Attract

No matter what type of economy you are in, it is hard to attract new leads and customers. There is a lot of time and effort that goes into finding a lead, qualifying a lead, and helping them make the decision to choose your business. All of that equals money.

How you present yourself, from your web presence to what you actually wear to meeting your potential lead, will determine whom you attract.

If you want high spending clients, then you better have a polished website grammar and all. You better make sure you dress professionally and like you fit in. Your social media presence must also be a reflection of what you want to present. (That means the keg stand pictures have got to go!)

How you look and present yourself, determines whom you attract.

If you are not getting any leads, are you dressed to impress or not?

Looking Great Never Stops

Your presentation does not end after you have obtained the new client. In fact in order for you to keep your client, you better perform and present better than when you were trying to attract them. Failure to do so presents doubts in your client’s mind about where there are investing their money and spending their time. That means opportunities for you to lose them to your competitors if you are not presenting your best.

If you are nodding your head in agreement as you read this, then are you inspecting what you are expecting of your business?

If you are not nodding your head, you better start taking a good look around and clean things up!

Why It All Matters

It comes down to having pride in what you do and the products you deliver. That pride transfers a feeling of quality and value in your customers. That pride in your presentation will also determine how much you can charge your clients.

We have all been to Walmart. (I know you won’t admit it, but you have, I know you have.) That wondrous big box store of items you can buy cheaply. If you have had the pleasure, and you have, to walk through the store you find the following:

  • Crowded aisles
  • Clothing falling off the racks
  • Product damaged, misplaced, or on the floor
  • The over all feeling of the store being dirty

Those atmospherics give you the impression that the items you are going to buy will be cheap and most likely of poor quality. Does your business present itself the same way?

The next time you have the pleasure of going to your local post office, take a look at the postal clerks and their surroundings. You will see lots of signs telling you, the customer, what you cannot do or most likely did wrong. You will see your civil servant, whom is paid by your tax dollars, dressed in their uniform. A postal uniform that is either too tight, dirty, covered with pins and stains, or maybe they will be in just a t-shirt. What does that say about the quality of their product?

How you present yourself matters, because when given a choice, your client will always choose the option that makes them feel valued and that quality will be delivered. For your business to be profitable, it has to have clients that want value and quality. Otherwise you have just created a commodity mindset and you will always be beaten on price.

How does your business dress?

Business Dress for Professionals

Over the past few years, there has been a drastic change in the dress standards expected for professionals. Often, because of the relaxed attitudes, however, individuals tend to under dress to the point that clients lose respect for the professional. You do not have to spend a lot of money on your appearance but there are a number of basic things that you can do to ensure that you are appearing in a professional manner:

1. Hair – Although it seems to make common sense to have clean and attractively styled hair this practice is not always observed. It is true that first impressions are lasting. Your clients, whether you like it or not, will be judging you and may not be prepared to work with someone who is not well groomed – especially if you are in the food or health professions.

2. Odour – Many times I have found it difficult to work with a professional who has bad breath or strong body odour. A shower and tooth brushing only takes a few minutes but can make all the difference in the way that you present to your clients.

3. Clothing – Clothing that has stains, holes or leaves embarrassing gaps that reveal too much of you should not be worn. If you have financial problems and cannot afford a lot of options, you might find that having one good outfit that you can launder regularly or a jacket that you can wear will solve this. When you do buy clothing, stay on one colour palette so that you can mix and match items.

4. Accessories – When you use scarves, ties or jewellery in a creative way you present yourself in an interesting way. A briefcase is much more professional than carrying an armful of loose papers.

5. Shoes – Make sure that you have shoes that are comfortable and professional looking. Loafers do not project an imagine of professionalism nor do open-toed shoes.

It does not cost a lot of money to be clean and attractive. It does, however, take planning and creativity. Perhaps you could have a friend with skills in this area go shopping with you.

It is really better to have one or two outfits that you wear over and over because they are suited for you and the office than to have a number of inappropriate choices that do not convey the image that you want others to see and enjoy.

Business Casual – 5 Tips for Professional and Casual Business Dress

Are you confused about what business casual dress really means?

It’s a merging of the formal, tailored, dark & neutral colors of business wear, with the relaxed, loose, comfortable look of casual wear. It’s not weekend wear, or sportswear. It’s somewhere in between. It combines the professionalism of business dress with the comfort of casual dress, to create a smart, polished office look that’s a step below business formal.

Here are 5 tips for looking stylish in business casual attire.

1. Dress for your industry and for your company. If you are meeting clients, in most companies it’s a good idea to have a jacket handy. A jacket instantly upgrades your look, and presents a polished, professional appearance.

2. Choose your accessories carefully. You many be wearing a sweater and pants, but make sure your shoes are shined and stylish. Carry a good quality leather briefcase or handbag. Invest in a sharp-looking watch with a leather or metal band. Wear a leather belt to tie your look together.

3. Coordinate colors. Yes, you are wearing a more casual look, so you don’t need to dress in charcoal grey or navy. However, consider that these neutral colors are a great basis for a capsule wardrobe. When you begin with 2 or 3 pairs of pants in black, navy or grey, you can add any color shirt or sweater and still look business-like. When you top it off with a jacket, you look ready for any business event.

4. Check your grooming. Make sure your hair is clean and has a style that suits you. Check that your fingernails are filed, with no jagged edges. Check for stale breath and 5-o’clock shadows. Sometimes we don’t realize that we look less than fresh at the end of the day, when we may be heading out to see clients.

5. Give yourself a once-over in the mirror before you step outside. Look for loose threads, missing buttons, and scuffed heels. All of these details play an even bigger part of the picture when you wear business casual attire.