By Brian McKay
People are easily sold with their eyes. Having a visually-striking and professional-looking business will lure people in, the same way a flashy advert or well-presented restaurant platter might draw our attention. If you’re a small business, here are some visual aspects to work on and improve in order to get people turning their heads.
Having a good-looking website is essential in this digital age. Few people will pick up a phonebook when looking for services, instead taking to the web. Your website may be your first point of contact and so you want to implement good web design in order to create a stunning first impression.
Your homepage should be clutter-free and easy to navigate. A messy website might suggest a disorganised business. Make the name of your business clear and bold as well as any contact details. Keep to a clear visual theme and don’t use silly fonts (no papyrus or comic sans). Photographs of people are always great for giving it a human touch. Avoid giant scary walls of text as no-one will read them – lay out your information in an easily-digestible such as bullet-points. You can even get creative and add in a promotional video for people to play.
Now just as important as a good website, having an eye-catching Facebook page or Twitter can get people interested. The big one here is to always use images as well as text. Again, images of people can help humanise your business. Be careful with memes – keep the humour appropriate to if you were talking with a client.
Dress to Impress
Dressing smart isn’t just something the teachers made you do at school. It was preparing us all for the realities of life – we are more willing to trust well-dressed, well-presented people. This means keeping on top of the basics – keeping hands clean and fingernails trimmed, polishing shoes, ironing, shaving and keeping a jacket with you (to avoid turning up to a meeting looking like a drowned rat). All this will make you seem like someone that cares about themselves and therefore their business. A suit or blazer isn’t necessary for all forms of business. In more artistic fields, people may be more drawn to your business by a creative and youthful image. All in all, dress for the comfort of your client – if they’re in a suit, you suit up too.
If people are likely to visit your office, keep it looking tidy. Many business owners have a special ‘catch-all’ drawer in their desk for sweeping up clutter when a client comes in and dumping it in there. Hide away messy cables so that your office doesn’t look like a broken spaceship, and let sunlight in to give a bright and warm feel. A plant can always help spruce up the place too (although make sure it’s regularly watered, as a dead plant won’t help your cause). Make sure you have a cleaner, or a rule in force to keep toilets, the kitchen area and floors spic and span.