Whether you like it or not, as a business owner you’re effectively the face of your business. Drag yourself into disrepute? It’s your business that suffers. Get involved in a heated exchange on the subway during rush hour? It’s your business that suffers (so make it worth it!). It’s just the way the business world is. It’s not enough to have an awesome product or service; you also have to put the time into making sure you’re not letting your business down. But how do you do it? Here’s the skimmy on the factors you need to consider when you’re in business mode.
You most likely have a vision for how you want your company to be perceived. Is it traditional, alternative, or something else? Whatever it is, you’ll need to have a personal dress code that reflects the image you’re trying to project. Can you imagine a representative of an upmarket, luxury brand arriving to work in jeans and a t-shirt? On the other hand, can you image a company who was doing it’s best to say “screw you” to traditional jobs enforcing a suit and shoe policy? Of course, they’re extreme examples - but think about it!
We’re a judgmental breed when we want to be, and if you don’t have the right tools then there’s every chance you’ll have a mark - however slight - noted against you and your company. For example, iMacs and iPhones are a respected way of doing business - a beaten up notebook and no brand smartphone would raise eyebrows, because, for reasons too complicated to go into here, what tools you’re using indicate just how serious you are - and how successful you’ve been.
The cool kids will arrive by subway; the “I’ve made it and want to let you know I’ve made it” will arrive in a taxi or high end vehicle. Those with a “I’m struggling and I need this to go well” will arrive by bus. More than just a demonstration of prestige or success, how we get about town and arrive in meetings is a show of power, which is just about everything when it comes to making good deals. We’re sure Mark Zuckerberg could arrive anywhere in the world by bus and be taken seriously; you’re not Mark.
When you’re conducting business, you’re not you; you’re the “business you”. Like how you arrive, this will determine the outcome of the power battle. Flailing about after papers, struggling to order in luxury cafes - these things will all work against you. Are you beginning to see how your business is only a smart part of your success? Be confident, in whatever you do.
You know as well as we do that an address in Manhattan works much better than an address in the outskirts of New Jersey. Just as how you should dress for the job you want to have, you should acquire the business premises in line with the type of company you want to be, not what you currently are (but stay in budget!).