Professionalize Your Business

The world of business is always seen as professional. But how professional is yours? If you’re a new business then the chances are high that it might not be as good as it can be. The main things customers look for is professionalism. Both from yourself, and how your business is run. You need to give the customers what they want if you want to keep bringing them back. There’s so many different areas you can focus on here as well. It isn’t just your business as a whole, there’s just so much more to it than that. So we’re here to show you the main areas in which you need to be focusing on, and the areas in which your customers are going to be looking at. The more of a professional image your business has, the better it is going to do. Read the advice below to find out more.

Your Image

Your image as a whole is what defines your business. Once you get a name for yourself so to speak, it is hard to get rid of it. One bad review and that’s what people will hold against you no matter how many good you get. It is just how the world works. Maintaining a good business image does take a lot of control because there’s just so many things you need to think about. One is how you compose yourself when dealing with customers and how you deal with difficult situations with them. But we’ll cover that more in the next paragraph. Your image massively relies on the products you’re selling and the quality that they are. If you want to be professional, you can’t start cutting corners with this. Make sure you’re always using the highest standard of materials to make your products. If it is an online service that you sell then you need to make sure the finish product is exceptional. For example, if you’re a website building company, you don’t want to be handing back a website full of glitches and one that is completely different from what the customer wants. Listen to the people and give them what they want, that way your business will always remain professional.

Your Customers

Your customers are up there with the most important part of your business. They way in which you compose yourself around them and deal with the situations they might bring is so important. One of the best ways to remain professional is to remember the customer is always right. Don’t argue with them, if anything let them argue with you. They want to leave your shop, or finish that phone call knowing that they were alpha male. If you’re mainly dealing with people on the phone then keeping things professional is a little harder. It is easier for you to change your tone of voice just because they can’t see you. But they’ll still pick up on it. Just make sure you’re handling things as professional as possible at all time. To add that final touch of professionalism you could think about invoicing. Not only does it help you track your money, but it is a lot better than just saying to a customer ‘oh you owe me this’. Having it in a more formal writing style is going to look so much more professional and put both your minds at ease. Just find yourself some templates and you’ll be an expert at invoicing in no time. Just make sure you’re keeping copies of everything for future reference just in case. The last thing you want to do with customers if you want to stay on top of being professional is always taking feedback on board. They aren’t just moaning for no reason, most of the time they have a valid reason and can give you some sound advice about what can make your business better.

Your Staff

Last but not least, you need to remain professional at all times with your staff. But the trick here is to make sure you’re not being too overbearing and taking on the horrible boss approach. Take a firm but fair approach and you’ll have a much better work ethic from them. If you’re a small business something you might not do is writing up contracts, but this is so so important. Not only does it look professional, but it protects the both of you from so many different scenarios. If you’re struggling with it a lawyer will be able to help you draw up a legal contract that’ll cover all the basics for you.

‘Woman Up’ (and Win in Business): How Valuing Traditionally Female Strengths Gives You an Edge in a Changing World

To date, the caring, nurturing side of women has gone mostly unappreciated in the workplace. But as social media takes hold and changes the way we do business, organizations that understand the importance of these qualities are the ones that will grow and prosper.

We’re all aware of the glass ceiling, the wage gap, and the grim statistics that reveal women’s struggles for workplace equality. And a report from the Government Accountability Office shows that from 2000 to 2007 the number of women managers increased by only 1 percent (and they’re still paid less than their male counterparts). But something happened during this same seven-year span that is about to dramatically shift this lopsided picture – the rise of social media.

That’s right. As social media transforms the way the world does business, the qualities that make women women will become more valuable than they’ve ever been before.

There have been countless studies on gender differences. And no matter how you interpret them, they come to two general conclusions: Males are aggressive; females are nurturing. Men are competitive, combative, and individually centered. Women are collaborative, communicative, and community-centered.

Indeed, a 2008 issue of the McKinsey Quarterly noted that women tend to make deeper emotional connections with colleagues and business partners. Women leaders tend to exhibit more social and emotional skills – sharing, caring, and putting others first.

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About the Author

Barry Libert is the author of Social Nation: How to Harness the Power of Social Media to Attract Customers, Motivate Employees, and Grow Your Business. He is Chairman and CEO of Mzinga®, the leading provider of social software, services, and analytics that improve business performance. Barry has published five books on the value of social and information networks. He is a regularly featured keynote speaker at industry associations and for leading companies on the power of social media. He has been published in Newsweek, Smart Money, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, and he has appeared on CNN, CNBC, and NPR. Barry currently serves on the Board of Directors at Innocentive and The SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. To learn more about Barry, click here.