Turning a start-up into a professional business requires all sorts of different actions, approaches, and outlooks. You certainly need to be good with your use of financial resources, and you obviously need a strong work ethic. Networking with other people in your industry certainly doesn’t hurt either.
But, it’s one of those interesting facts of life that no matter how good your service or product may be, and no matter how much work you put in, it can all be made pretty much redundant by poor presentation.
We all know that, in principle, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and yet that is precisely what we all do to some degree or another.
Having a professional presentation is extremely important if you want your new business to be successful. Businesses that look amateurish in any obvious way present a red flag to prospective clients or customers, and this can be fatal for start-ups in particular.
Here are a few steps you should take in order to ensure that your business looks as professional as possible.
Get a high-quality logo to use in your marketing materials
Have you ever noticed how the biggest and most successful brands out there have logos that they display prominently, at every possible opportunity? This might not be the kind of thing that you necessarily think of a lot, but that’s just because those logos are so ubiquitous that they almost fade into the background after a while.
Still, everyone knows what the McDonald’s arches represent, or the Apple apple, or any number of other professional logos.
At the earliest possible opportunity upon starting a business, you’ll want to have an effective professional logo in place. That’s because, as you start marketing and putting yourself out there, your logo will serve as a shorthand psychological trigger to bring awareness to your business, and to help people to identify with who you are.
Images stick in people’s minds in a pretty profound way, and on a pretty deep level. So, look into using a service such as Instalogo.org in order to obtain a logo for your business, today.
Ideally, your logo will be something quite unique, and won’t be easily confused with any other logo that can be commonly found out there in society. At the same time, however, your logo should be quite simple and elegant. Simple logos stick in people’s minds well. Highly complex logos often seem like “clutter” and get forgotten about.
Host your own domain name, and set up a WordPress site (hire a web designer if needs be)
In the digital age, you absolutely need to have a high-quality website up and running in order to look professional, and even just to be on people’s radar at all.
An unfortunate mistake that some new entrepreneurs make, however, is to host their websites off free domains, which then make the fact that they are free openly known through their generic URLs and watermarks.
Instead, host your own domain name. This is achieved in mere moments with any number of online domain management services, such as GoDaddy.
The next step is to subscribe to hosting plan, and create your own website using WordPress or a similar platform. WordPress tends to be ideal for a number of reasons, not least of all the fact that it includes a huge number of potential plug-ins and themes that allow you to build your own website from scratch, with no real coding skills required.
Experiment with this for a while, until you’ve got a professional and appealing website up and running. If you struggle with this, however, hire a professional web designer. It will be well worth the investment down the line.
Get some professional head shots taken – it’s really a big deal
Prospective clients and customers look for certain markers of professionalism and authority when they’re browsing the market and weighing up their options.
If your website is going to include any photos of yourself (and there’s a good argument that it should) it’s imperative that those should be professional head shots, taken by an expert photographer.
People really can tell when you’ve just skimmed selfies from your Instagram profile, and this is an immediate red flag that screams that you’re an amateur who may be there today and gone tomorrow.
Including photos of yourself on your site, along with a well-curated “Our Story” or “About Me” section will help to build rapport, and make you seem like a real person rather than just an algorithm.
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