Although you may not realise it, many people will judge your business on its looks. A scruffy or out-of-date image is likely to make people think the same about your products or services. Simple changes to your image could make a significant improvement to your profitability
- Work out what you want to achieve from an image makeover, such as attracting specific customers, seeing off a competitor or being able to increase your prices.
- Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your existing image. Look at your premises, printed materials, packaging, signage, vehicles and customer relations. Talk to your employees (getting their buy-in is vital) and customers to find out what they think about your firm’s image.
- Consider your business name. Does it give the right impression? If it sounds dated or no longer reflects everything your business offers, weigh up the pros and cons of renaming your business.
- Think about how your stationery and printed materials look. Is the design professional and contemporary? Could the writing be better? Everything you give to customers — from flyers to business cards — reflects on your business.
- Look at your logo. How does it look on your stationery, signage, packaging or company vehicles? Would changing your logo add some vigour?
- Consider your website. As more people use the internet to find suppliers, having an effective website is vital. If you already have a website, maybe it’s time to have its appearance and content updated. If you can afford it, get a professional site designer involved.
- Focus on your premises. Having it repainted will give visitors a much better impression. Your employees are likely to be happier and more productive, too.
- If it’s appropriate for your type of business, smarten up the appearance of all company representatives. With some employees, this might require more tact than with others.
- How you and your people interact with customers is an important part of your image. Maybe it’s time to look at such things as how customer complaints or enquiries are dealt with. Perhaps staff members need a refresher course.
- Think about how your business communicates. Make sure everyone knows how to answer and transfer outside telephone calls clearly, efficiently and in as friendly a manner as possible. You could consider training staff in the writing of emails and letters to customers and suppliers.
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