Create A More Professional Organization
Like any entrepreneur, you’re probably well aware of how exciting it is to start a business, make key decisions that will shape your brand in the future, and tackle the high-pressure challenges that come up in those first few weeks. While being a business owner can certainly be a fun experience, it’s important to make sure you don’t get lost in it, and neglect the outward image of your company. Here’s some of my best advice on making sure your business maintains a professional image.
Your marketing is the main channel through which you can tailor your business’s outward appearance, so this is what you should be focussing on first. If you created your logo in a rush using amateur Photoshop skills, or the design of your business cards looks a little dated, then it’s not going to give your prospective customers a great impression. Similarly, if your social media pages are sparse on information, or is full of unanswered queries, people are going to take note of this and think less of your brand. Obviously, a professional outward appearance does not constitute a professional business. However, your marketing materials are going to be the first thing most people see of your brand. Make sure they’re in line with the professionalism you’re working towards.
Next, make sure your finances are well-organised and kept formal. If you want to make sure your business is performing to its maximum potential, then your finances are the one sure area which need to be personalized. You’re going to need to iron out any kinks in your current cash flow, bring in an accountant, and have all the right processes in place for creating stakeholders’ reports and similar documentation. You may also want to start using a good bookkeeping program, and support it with resources such as QuickBooks checks and envelopes. If your reports aren’t all that robust, then you may need to implement a new strategy to up your cashflow and shave down your ongoing expenses. In those early stages, you need to be looking for every opportunity to up your revenue, and improve your overall performance.
Finally, make sure you’re keeping strict standards when it comes to the legal structure of your business. Just as it’s important to ensure that your employees are given clear, official job roles, you need to have a well-thought-out legal structure to protect you from some major pitfalls that many start-ups face. This should always start with bringing in a commercial lawyer who has experience with businesses in your industry. Once you’ve got them in your camp, it’s also a good idea to consider whether you’ve outgrown your current structure, or you’re set to soon. For example, if your business started out as a partnership, and the terms of that partnership are rapidly changing, you may need to reconsider the structure you’ve been using.
Take this advice, and you’ll inject a potent dose of professionalism into your whole organization. These large overhauls will be stressful to arrange, but your brand will be so much stronger in the long run.