No matter how busy you are getting your small business off the ground, it’s important to focus on dressing for success. But this isn’t just about the suits you don or the shoes you wear – it’s about your brand image, and the way your business presents itself.
So how should you dress as a small business? Let’s take a closer look.
The importance of image and brand
For small businesses, one of the biggest challenges to face is getting your name out there and building your image. You might offer the best products in the world, but nobody will buy them if you’re invisible, have no means of communicating your message, or you don’t have a reputation that people can trust.
To begin with, let’s start with your branding:
- What are your values as a business?
- What is your mission statement?
- What do you truly want to communicate?
- What kind of personality does your business have?
These are some of the core questions you need to ask when developing your brand. They will inform the more visual and linguistic aspects of your business – the shapes, fonts and colours you use to express yourself, and the tone of voice you have when communicating with customers, employees and the public.
Once you’ve established your brand (whether with the help of an agency, or seeking support from local industry communities) managing your image is just as important. Among other strategies, this means working on:
- Your local ranking.
- Building a strong customer base.
- Increasing your visibility through SEO.
- Bringing in the best people for the job.
- Maintaining client relationships and building trust.
You don’t have to be a big company to have an amazing brand and a solid reputation. But you need to start building these today if you want to achieve the success you’re hoping for.
How do your customers judge your presentation?
Brand and image aside, it’s also important to focus on the more material aspects of your business. This might mean the way you and your employees dress, or how your workplace environment looks and feels. Because when it comes down to it, these factors impact how your customers perceive you.
In fact, data from the Choosi Workplace Report has revealed that 56.1% of respondents think Australian workplace dress codes are becoming less formal these days compared to a decade ago, while 34.6% think they are about the same.
The report also found that 55.8% of respondents think their customers and/or clients judge them on their clothes. The most common dress code in the Australian workplace is smart casual (34.5%), followed by professional (26.1%) and uniform (25.2.%).
7 simple tips for dressing for success
You’ve probably heard the term, “dress for success.” But like all clichés, there’s a big hint of truth behind the statement. In fact, the clothes you wear say a lot about the type of person you are – your age, beliefs, status and politics – and the type of work you do.
There’s a lot to think about, but when it comes to the workplace, there are simple dressing tips that all professionals can benefit from:
- Get your suits tailored, nothing screams professional like a suit that fits.
- Purchase key items, such as a black dress, blazer or nice shoes. These are staple items that always work in a professional setting.
- Invest in quality. You want your clothes to last for a long time after all.
- Don’t let the clothes distract – focus on subtlety and style.
- Customise your look, showing your personality where possible without being offensive.
- Try out different combinations.
- Be confident – whatever you wear, just own it!
For small businesses, presentation is as much about your brand and image as it is about the clothes you wear and how you present yourself. It’s all one big package – and it can all impact how successful your business is.
If you’re wondering how to look and feel the part – no matter what industry you’re in – take inspiration from these tips and you’ll be wowing your customers and clients in no time.