It can be daunting, heading into the world of business as a small business. It can be an even harder climb for women. The glass ceiling certainly exists, but it can be more unconscious than you think. People will take new entrants less seriously almost unconsciously. So you need to be able to quickly and effectively demonstrate that: yes, you are here to do business and you are serious about it. Here are three of the key strategies you need to employ to that effect.
Yes, image matters. Everything about your image matters, in fact. From how you dress to what you say and how you say it. Dressing professionally is a must. Even for more informal occasions, make sure you always have an air of respectability to your outfit. Body language is just as important in dictating how professional you look. If you look small and your posture is uncertain, then you imagine what signals it’s sending out. The same goes for how you speak. You need to start eliminating words wholesale from your vocabulary. When expression your own views, don’t use phrases like ‘but’ or ‘I’m not sure’. Lead the conversation by being direct with it. Don’t show your uncertainty.
Puff yourself up
A big part of your image is how you represent your business, as well. Small businesses that look like small businesses are in all the more danger of getting treated without respect. If your business is online, it needs a proper, professional looking website, not just a Facebook page. If you’re worried about working from a small office or even your home, don’t make that obvious. Instead, consider learning more about mail forwarding service – yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk. These kinds of methods can help you create the image of prestige that your business deserves. Keeping business cards on you also shows that you’re serious about being treated as a businessperson. It might feel ingenuine, but it can give you just that confidence boost you need.
Know your stuff
It’s not enough to just look the part. When you’re communicating on business, you need to show that you fit the part completely. For instance, if you’re going to an event or a business meeting, you need to study up for them. You need to have facts and figures in mind. Prepare for them as if you were going to prepare for a debate. Show that you have the industry knowledge that makes you fit to be in the position you’re in. Similarly, you can take an active stance in showing that kind of knowledge. As huffingtonpost.com suggests, you should be producing informative content. Do this to display the fact you’ve done your learning and are the expert you advertise yourself as.
Being taken seriously means hitting all the right notes. It means having style as well as the substance to back it up. From there, it’s up to you to demonstrate that your business methods are in line. You need to walk the walk after you talk the talk.