3 Basic Tips for Maintaining a Professional Image as a Small Business Owner


Like it or not, image is incredibly important for all businesses, in all industries. Good image control is how you signal to your prospective customer base that you speak their language, share their values, understand their problems, and are capable of helping them to solve the problems that may habitually hound them.

And if image is important for larger companies, it’s all the more essential for entrepreneurs and small business owners, whose aura of professionalism is often all they have, at least initially, to set against their relative lack of resources, and status as an unknown quantity.

Not to put too fine a point on it — but when a small business has a professional look, customers are often willing to overlook their size. And when they appear even a bit amateurish, it’s game over.

Bearing that in mind, here are a few basic tips for maintaining a professional image as a small business owner.

Ensure that your IT systems are streamlined, efficient, and well-managed

There’s virtually nothing worse in terms of your ability to maintain a professional image, than a poorly-designed, unattractive, laggy, and unresponsive website or overall web presence.

Not only are customers going to be viscerally turned off by the poor user experience, but they will also judge, immediately, that you are simply not a real player in the industry, and are likely to be untrustworthy, too.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, poorly managed IT systems will also make you more vulnerable to cyber attack and security breaches of various kinds.

Hiring a professional IT services company such as BrickTech can go a long way to saving you from these particular issues.

Pay for professional design, photography, and image work wherever necessary

Generally speaking, you will need to rely on photography, design and digital images to a significant degree, both in terms of establishing your website, and also in terms of conducting an effective marketing campaign.

Many new entrepreneurs commit the ultimate sin of using selfies, taken on their smartphones, as the professional headshots that they emblazon on their websites, LinkedIn profiles, and marketing materials.

This screams “amateur” like little else. Wherever necessary — and it’s likely to be necessary more than you might think — pay a professional photographer, graphic designer, or other image expert to help ensure that you have the best possible visual presence online.

Always stick to your word; if anything, under-promise and over-deliver

One of the easiest ways to sink yourself and your career forever in most industries is to fail to keep your word. Dishonesty certainly makes you look unprofessional in addition to being wildly unethical, but more than that, it also inevitably comes back to bite you, hard.

Even if you weren’t intentionally trying to deceive anyone, if you make a point of over-promising in order to please clients, or claim that you will have a project done by a certain deadline, only to fail to meet that deadline, you will be in deep trouble very quickly.

Always stick to your word — and if anything, under-promise and over-deliver.