The energy and enthusiasm of youth is amazing. It utilizes the leverage, strength, and sheer “force of will” to grow, mature and eventually to become self-sufficient. The same is true of your small business.
You watched in awe as your business grew. (Never mind the lack of sleep and the volume of work you endured to make it happen). Every tiny success made you work harder and kept you moving forward.
Then you were breaking even (or maybe even making a small profit) but the business needed your constant, careful guidance. Later, you were forced to endure a stretch of “business adolescence” complete with the inevitable identity crisis.
You were forced to make difficult decisions about the direction your business should take. You knew benign neglect wouldn’t work and even your focused diligence didn’t prevent some small details from wiggling out of your grasp. There was so much to juggle!
Now the business isn’t quite so needy. Finally, it has matured enough that you don’t have to tend it 24/7 and you are officially playing with the “big boys.” A mature business obtains the power of experience, professionalism and polish.
Showcasing these traits makes your business more appealing to the best clients and helps you to secure your place in your industry. It’s time your business “dress” for success… I’ll show you how in five easy steps!
How to Painlessly Polish Your Business Image
#1: Keep It Simple – Your color schemes, fonts, and graphics should be straightforward. A smooth presentation requires all elements be easy to read discern and all concepts be easy to grasp. Don’t dumb down your materials, but be sure your message is both uncomplicated and memorable.
#2: Make it Matter – Your logo, tagline, mission statement and website should relate directly to your main line of business services and offerings. Your business niche should be easily discerned and recognized at a glance from all elements used to brand your business. Don’t make your potential clients or your peers guess what you do. Keep it pertinent
#3: Create Visibility – No item should leave your office (virtual or otherwise) without a firm branding element. If you send emails without a signature line, you are missing opportunities. If you don’t have branded letterhead, get it. Tuck a business card or a branded incentive (20% coupon for any new client’s first project) in a thank you note and ask the recipient to keep you in mind for their own peers or for future projects. Find creative ways to make contact with branded materials on a regular basis to your existing clients, your potential clients, peers and other contacts.
#4: Choose Consistency – Create a style sheet for your business. Record and reference the colors you use, the fonts you use and the graphics you incorporate. Ensure that the materials you were using when your business was young are updated to properly reflect your more established status and your more focused nature. Eliminate “old” versions of your logo or marketing materials. Don’t “mix and match” them. When viewing all your marketing materials (and anything else related to your business) make sure everything coordinates. If you placed all of your outgoing media on the same tabletop, would any of it make you want to hum the old Sesame Street tune “One Of These Things (Is Not Like The Others)?” Don’t allow your business to have a multiple personalities.
#5: Exude Confidence – Experts do one thing, or one related category of things, better than anyone else. They excel in their area of expertise. Your business should reflect your area of specialization. Do your homework, stay on top of the latest developments in your industry, service or client focus. Be sure your business reflects your authority with one identity, one goal, one niche and one business image.
Notes: Want to Learn More?
To learn more about the importance of color on how your business is received, attend the upcoming (low-cost) event: Color Theory: How Your Color Choices Impact Your Marketing.
Consider each marketing piece as a stand-alone tool and as a member of your marketing toolbox. Now may be the time to create an elegant business card.
Take steps to more effectively market and brand your current business or develop a niche and focus your business. Need some pointers on niching and marketing a specialized real estate business?
Has your business grown too much for you to handle everything yourself? Are you a real estate agent or broker considering the use of outsourcing professionals? Want to talk with someone who is doing it now, has done it for years and personally knows the ups and downs of outsourcing? Attend a free seminar event in August on The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Outsourcing Real Estate Projects.
(Note: Image taken from Morguefile.com courtesy of photographer clarita.)