Lately I’ve been trying to make changes in my life for the better, for example: going to bed early, waking up (very) early to workout, cutting carbs and sugar out of my diet, and getting myself meticulously organized. One of the things I like to do when I have down time is scroll through Tumblr and Pinterest and find inspirational quotes to keep me motivated and positive. One that stuck out to me was “What you eat in private is what you wear in public”. Definitely so true when it comes to health and nutrition, but the same concept also applies to business. What I mean by this is your customer is always watching, and most things you do can and will affect your public image.
In the workplace
Whether you have your own establishment, or work in a shared space, how you present yourself is crucial. For example, when I was looking for a place in Boston to tan (It’s my vice. Don’t judge me), I was between two salons which are both comparable and about the same distance from where I live. I actually ended up choosing the more expensive option. Why you ask? Well, when I went into both places, instead of immediately going up to the person I hung back in reception and watched how they interacted with their customers. The employees at the less expensive place were apathetic to say the least, and when I did approach them they didn’t seem to want to help me much. The employees at the place I now have my membership are professional and have a positive attitude. They take you on a tour for your first visit and make a point to learn your name and get to know you. You could write it off with “you get what you pay for” but in this case the “product” is the exact same, however the presentation made the higher price worth it for me and I’m sure many others.
On the Internet
Laura put up a great post on the Drive blog about the impact social media has on your brand’s image, if you haven’t you should really check it out. Basically, how you interact with people (or don’t interact with people) on social media will affect how they view your company. Aside from that, I will also point out the importance of your website. These days there really isn’t an excuse for having a site looks like it was created in the 90s. It honestly just looks lazy with all the affordable and user friendly options that are out there. Your website is usually the first impression people get of your company, even before they actually go to your business, because they look up reviews or see you on social media and want to know what you’re about. It might sound shallow but it’s true. Until you are 100% pleased with your site, and have had multiple people give you feedback don’t go live!
In your personal life
This is where things get more tricky, obviously you’re human and you have your own life and opinions, which you are more than entitled to, just be aware that how and when you express them can affect your business. I suggest keeping personal social media accounts just that: personal. Disassociate those with your business unless you are 100% comfortable with your customer seeing everything you and your network post. Also, what does your friend’s baby in a onesie have to do with your brand? Some people don’t keep these things separate and I have seen the effects. For example Abercrombie & Fitch got a lot of backlash because of their CEO’s opinions about overweight people. Despite the company selling what many think is a good product the company loses business because of personal opinions that have been shared.
Overall remember that everything you do can affect your business for better or worse. So, always put your best foot forward. It can make the difference between getting a bad rep and making customers for life.