By Holly Reisem Hanna
You just launched your new business, and you’re raring to go! You have your website and email accounts set up. You just created profiles on the main social networks and are getting the message out there about your new business. And you just landed your first client – way to go!
But have you planned for success?
- What if you’re asked to meet with your client in person?
- What if you’re asked to speak at a conference?
- What if you’re asked for a business card – do you have one?
- What if you're featured in an article, do you have a professional headshot?
By following these six tips, you can help ensure that you’re ready for business success!
1. Professional Headshot
Now that you’ve launched your business, you may be asked to participate in an interview or to submit a headshot for a professional group profile. Using the 10-year-old photo from college that no longer looks like you, or worse yet, cutting yourself out of a family photo just isn’t going to cut it.
If you can’t afford to have a professional head-shot done by a photographer, have a friend or family member take a photo of you all gussied up. With digital cameras – you're sure to end up with a photo that looks great! For tips on how to take a great DIY headshot, check out this article from The Muse.
2. Practiced Elevator Pitch
You know what your business is about, but when someone asks you to tell them about it, do you have a short and polished response? Stumbling over your words and rambling on, make you sound unprofessional and unprepared. Come up with a 30-second response to this question, and practice saying it out loud until it becomes second nature. You will be perceived as a professional who is an expert in their field.
3. Business Cards
As soon as you have your email account and domain named secured, you should next order your business cards. Don’t cut corners by trying to save a few dollars, purchase the ones without the printing company’s logo on the back or by printing some out on your printer. Having a professional business card, makes others take your seriously and can be a great marketing tool.
4. Business Outfit
If a client asks you to meet for coffee, if you get asked to speak at a local event, or if you have a TV appearance – you’re going to need to look your best. Make sure that you have at least one well-fitting suit or business casual outfit that you can rely on in any of these instances. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute searching for an outfit, and you definitely don’t want to look sloppy or too casual. Along with this make sure to make time for regular hair-cuts, trims, coloring, and nail care. If you need tips for what to wear, check out this post for some business casual ideas.
5. Backup Plan
Whether it’s child care, dealing with an illness, or an unexpected disaster – you need to have a backup plan for the worst-case scenario. Here are just a few questions you should ask yourself:
- How will you communicate with clients if your electricity goes out? Do you have a backup generator?
- How are you storing your data? Do you regularly back it up?
- If your computer dies, what is your contingency plan?
- If you get sick or injured, do you have a manual or directions so that someone else can easily help you out?
- Do you have your accounts, logins, and passwords readily available for employees?
For more help creating your backup plan, check out these articles:
- When The Zombie Apocalypse Hits, Will Your Business be Ready?
- Four Steps for Building a Small Business Contingency Plan
- Keep Your Home Business Running After a Natural Disaster
- What Will Happen to Your Business if Tragedy Strikes – My Personal Story
6. Professional Logo
You already know that you need to have a website, but along with this, you need to have a professional logo created and ready to go. Whether you decide you want to advertise online, or if someone asks to link to you and they want to use your logo – you may end up losing out if you don’t have something ready to go. These are also good for building brand awareness on social networks and in interviews or featured articles.
By doing a little preparation beforehand, you can stand out as a successful and savvy She-E-O!
What tips do you have for entrepreneurial success?
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