When was the last time you checked your corporate image? Does it truly reflect your professionalism? Corporate image is like a single thread that weaves its way through every aspect of your organization and the really good ones make sure it’s positive and consistent. It’s what I call having “One site, one sound”!
Perception Is Reality
The old adage that “You only have one chance to make a good first impression” is as true today as it ever was. So how does your company measure up? I’m not talking about the quality of your work, that’s a separate article, but how you are visually perceived by your current and prospective clients. In other words, if you take a picture of your company, would it look like a professional organization or one where it appears that no one really cares?
Your Employees And Their Appearance
If your business provides professional services, are your people dressed in a professional manner? Does their language or comportment support the image? Unfortunately, the move to business casual has redefined the parameters of what is now considered acceptable. Where business suits, for men and women, was the standard, business casual has now deteriorated to casual Fridays all week long in many companies.
It’s no different for trade businesses, skilled or otherwise, where a suit was never an option, but where company uniforms were once the norm, worn out jeans and t-shirts reign supreme.
Retailers are not exempt from this either. I find it ironic that when I go into some clothing stores, especially those dealing with the Gen Y crowd, only to be greeted by staff members who clearly don’t know the first thing about style given the undersized and ill fitting clothing they are wearing. How about the major warehouse store where every time the customer service personnel bends over to retrieve something I get to witness some bad visuals.
A simple rule is, if you can see through it, under it or up it, it’s not professional!
Your Place Of Business
If you welcome clients to your place of business, does it project the image you want for your business? Is it welcoming, neat and tidy or is it constantly in a state of dishevelment? Is the carpeting stained or dirty or do the walls have scuff marks? If you see it, what kind of impression is that making on your customers?
As with most things, none of this happened overnight, so take a moment and step back from what you’re doing and take an objective look. If what you see doesn’t align with the image you think your company should have, start making the changes. If you don’t think any of this makes a difference, just think of your own personal reaction when you come across these situations in your daily lives.
Business is tough enough, so don’t let the things that you can change impact your success.
Copyright © Greg Weatherdon 2011
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