When you own and operate your own business, many of the tools that were once provided by your employer are now up to you to provide. You likely worked in a fully functional office space with everything you needed for a productive work day. As you step out on your own, you quickly learn there are things you need to make your business run efficiently.
So what now? Below you will find 5 tips to help make your business look more professional and run more smoothly.
1. Business card ~ Get a professional business card, particularly if you work locally. You can use Vistaprint or Canva (and I’m sure there are others) to design and purchase your business card in the same place. And you can typically get them printed and shipped for a nominal price. Carry them with you and give them out every chance you get. You never know who may be interested in the products or services you provide. And with each card you are growing your network!
2. Email address ~ When it comes to your business, you want to look as professional as possible. Having an email address with yourname@yourbusinessname appears more business oriented than yourbusinessname@gmail or something similar. If you have web hosting, you likely have a business email address available through that service.
Bonus tip ~ Do you love Gmail and don’t want to give up that platform for email? You can set up Google Workspace for your business and point your work email address to Gmail. The fee is minimal, and all your business emails will be in your Google account. I use it myself and love it!
3. Headshot ~ Have a headshot professionally made. Or you can simply get a friend or family member to help you get a great photo. Keep the background simple, go outdoors if needed for lighting, dress professionally and smile. Use these photos for all your social media platforms, and any other areas where you need a quality photo.
4. Brand identity ~ Keeping your branding consistent across all areas of your business gives it a polished, professional look. Select your preferred colors and fonts. Have a great looking logo. You can DIY this or have a professional make one for you. Use these same consistent pieces across all social media platforms, your website and any print materials.
5. Proper tools ~ Make sure you have everything you need to get started in your business, including a reliable computer, printer, Internet/Wi-Fi connection and a dedicated workspace free from distractions. Also research and select needed software to really stay organized and run your business smoothly. While you may not know all of the things in the beginning, you should work to grow the back end of your business as your business grows. Planning ahead can help offset playing catch up later.
Bonus tip ~ Most software platforms offer a free version. Use the free option until your business grows to need the paid plans. Don’t pay for it until you need it.
Implementing these 5 steps will help let people know you are in business for real. Small cost but big payoff. Not only will your business appear more professional and polished, but you will feel it too!