Will you dress for success in your business?

What our attire says about our business.

“You only have one time to make a first impression.” That is what I thought about when I read and excellent blog by Sherri Henley “Painter’sCoat” or “Doctor’s Coat” Mentality? It got me to thinking, will I be dressed for success starting 2013 (answer, yes). A more important question is why would any business owner not be dressed for success if success is in fact what we want for 2013.

Below are some of the reason I have heard from clients:
• “I should not have to dress a certain way to attract a client or customer”
• “My product /service not my attire will be what my prospective customers will focus on.”
• “I own the business I can wear what I want and if anyone does not like it then I don’t need their business.”
• “I should not have to dress a certain way…….”

1) I was told a long time ago there are two lands of thought. The land of what should or should not be and the land of reality. If we are not able to live in the land of reality than we will not make it far on either land. What does that mean? As business owners, we “should not” judge or be judged by the way we or others dress or look. (That’s the land of should). The truth is people are judgmental by nature; we make up our minds about people based on appearances before a word is spoken. We should not judge based on appearance or dress. The fact is, we do judge based on appearance and dress and if we do not accept that fact, our businesses will suffer. (The land of reality).
“My product /service not my attire…….”

2) Based off the fact that we are prejudged, our products or service will never see the light of day if our appearance is not professional enough to have someone willing to hear our pitch or elevator speech.
“I own the business I can wear what I want………”

3) Indeed we own the businesses; we have rights as business owners however, we also have a responsibility to give our clients what they want. For if we don’t then we will not be in business long.

What do our clients / customers want or even expect from us in the way of attire?
• They want us to look like we know what we are doing.
• They want to be able to take us seriously.
• They want us to look like we are already successful.
• They want us to look like we know where we are going.

The fact of the matter is that we will not be able to get around making a bad first impression with a less than adequate professional appearance. Dressing like a professional will tell your client / customer the following:
• We are confident
• We are worth what we charge
• We are organized
• We are sharp (not just in looks but IQ as well).

Think about it. What message are we sending with our attire. Is it the message we want to send and most importantly does our attire attract the widest ranges of clients/customers or does it narrow the field. Customers and clients vote for us with their dollars. The more appropriate the attire the more dollars we will see in our bank accounts. I welcome your thoughts on the topic.