First impressions do count in business. So always dress well!
When you run a business, you are the face of that business. So, it is important that you impress the people you interact with as an entrepreneur. Be it your employees, clients, potential clients or vendors, the way you dress and present yourself goes a long way in creating an image of you as a professional. The saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t work in this context. In a professional context, you need to be well-dressed and well-groomed because you are being judged by your ‘cover’ – i.e., your appearance.
As an entrepreneur, you may have a fairly large office, a small business with a couple of employees, or you maybe working from home. Wherever your workplace is, it is still important for you to dress smart. Jaqueline Whitmore, author, business etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Palm Beach writes in an article titled ‘Your Attire Speaks Volumes Before You Open Your Mouth’, “Entrepreneurs represent their businesses in every way, whether exhibiting a certain work ethic or sporting a certain appearance. Though they may prefer to be judged by their intelligence and experience, they are also evaluated by their style and attire. First impressions are formed in an instant and appearance can heavily influence someone’s initial opinion of a business leader’s personality, competence and capability.”
We list some more reasons for why you, as an entrepreneur, need to dress smart.
You look professional: You need to dress for work depending on the business you are in. For instance, if you are a tech geek working on apps, there is no need to be suited and booted. If you are in the fashion business, you always need to be dressed well and accessorized well in order to impress your clients. Even if you work from home, you need to be dressed well. Meeting clients in your pajamas or shorts and a crumpled tee will not create a very favorable impression. When you dress smart, you automatically gain respect from those you interact with. They look at you as a professional.
It boosts your confidence: When you are dressed well, you automatically feel better about yourself which in turn enhances your self-worth. Even when you work from home, once you have showered, shaved and changed out of your jammies, you will feel so much better and all set to get down to work. When you feel good on the outside, you are certain to feel good on the inside. Whitmore says, “Everyone knows when that when you look good, you feel better: You’re more confident and others treat you with more respect. Your physical presentation should be on par with the quality of your work and the reputation of your business.”
You become more productive: Yes, there maybe the creative types who work best when they are in shorts or lounge wear. But for most people, dressing for work instinctively puts them in work mode. When you dress sharp, your mind too becomes sharp. You feel motivated and that makes you more productive. Irrespective of the business you are in, you should strive to dress well.
It gives you a competitive edge: This is especially true in certain businesses where appearances count. For example, if you are a fashion designer, a lifestyle consultant or a chartered accountant, meeting your clients in sloppy attire will most likely impact you negatively. If you are groomed and dressed well, your client will trust you more and be more comfortable dealing with you.
In today’s Instagram world, appearances do matter. If you are turned out well, you create a positive impression on those you interact with. Dressing smart is not about vanity; it’s an investment to grow your business. The clothes you wear and the way you groom yourself change the way people perceive you. So, dress smart; remember, your appearance speaks volumes about you!