9 Busines Image Tips and Advice
1. See your business through your customer's eyes
Define who your target audience is. What are they drawn to? What do they see a lot of and what do they like to see? You may not love your logo but your customers should.
2. First impressions are important, and for businesses they are often not done in person
Think about the first impressions that people have of your business that don't involve a face to face meeting (newspaper/marketing ads, radio, word of mouth, web site, business cards, voice mail, signage). Everything that is out there should help not hinder.
3. Be consistent
Know what your main font is and use it! Never use more than three fonts. Know the guidelines for your logo. Color is tricky, know the difference between RGB and CMYK. Have one tag line that truly defines what you do, and use it often. Check and double check for editing and spelling errors.
4. Pay attention to all of the senses
Try to stimulate all of your customers' senses. Paper is very important for print products. Your clients should be comfortable in your office. Create white space on designs and in decorating. Control office smells and temperature. Provide refreshments to clients and have soft music playing in the background. Think about your favorite businesses, what do you love about them?
5. Web sites are vital (and tricky!)
A bad web site is worst than no web site. Make sure your site downloads quickly. No broken links. Your navigation system should be easy to use. Your viewer should be able to get to every page on your site from every page on your site. Get on search engines. Be aware that your site will look different on different browsers. Make sure your contact information is easy to find.
Know what other people in your industry are doing, and do something that stands out! A person decides if they're going to continue looking at an ad after 2 seconds.
7. Advertise your successes
People like successful people. Use a newsletter, postcard, newspaper ad, magazine article, web page etc. to update your clients on your successes. In addition, you should also update on staff accomplishments, notices, warnings, new trends, new equipment/technology, pro-bono work, office anniversaries, etc.
8. Be aware of your physical and space image
Have a clean vehicle and a desk free of food and debris. Dress the part (even when you're at the grocery story). If you have a home office, try to meet clients at their place or at a coffee shop. Don't hand out dog-eared business cards. If you falter on these, apologize to your client. Pay attention to details and show your best all the time.
9. Do a survey (formal and/or informal)
Where are your customers finding you? Is the yellow pages working for you?