As an entrepreneur, you are the face of your company. You are the person everyone looks to for encouragement, support and leadership. Therefore, it is in your best interests (and the best interests of your business) to put your best face forward and make a good impression every time you represent your company. Read on for some ideas about how to do this.
Take Care of Your Health
You might not think that your business associates, employees or clients would care very much about your health, but if you aren’t feeling your best, that could (and often does) show. If you appear tired or run-down, this can affect the impression you make and impact your company.
Therefore, if you want to put your best face forward as an entrepreneur, you need to take care of your health. Make an effort to eat right, balancing fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains and avoiding convenient but unhealthy fast food. Try probiotic supplements and vitamins to give yourself an extra boost. Also, start an exercise routine that combines cardio activities with weight training. Don’t neglect your need for sleep either, and take some time out for fun.
Dress for Success
In this casual culture, you might think you can “dress down” and still make a good impression, but you need to be careful here. Since you are the face of your company, you need to dress for success. This doesn’t necessarily mean wearing a business suit every day, but you should at least wear professional attire that is neat, clean and well-tailored.
Know Your Business
This should go without saying, but it never hurts to remember that, as an entrepreneur, you must know your business inside and out. Study every aspect of your company. Talk to department managers and other employees. Understand the budget. Then be prepared to answer whatever questions people may throw at you. You never want to seem like you are not aware of what is going on, so make sure that this is not the case.
Understand Your Audience
Whenever you represent your company at a meeting or even an informal gathering, make sure that you understand your audience. Think about whether these are colleagues or competitors, whether they are largely favorable toward your business or more antagonistic. Try to anticipate the response they will give you, and then plan your attitude and remarks accordingly.
Brush Up on Your Public Speaking
It also does not hurt to brush up a bit on your public speaking skills. If you tend to stammer and sputter when you talk, then you might want to take a public speaking class or seminar to help build your confidence. You will learn how to organize and present your thoughts, respond more effectively to your listeners and conquer your nervousness.
Learn to Listen
Good listening skills are the other side of the coin to good public speaking skills, and as an entrepreneur, you need both. Listen so as to make the people you’re speaking with feel like they have your full attention, and treat them with respect and dignity even if you don’t agree with their ideas or opinions. Ask them questions. Provide feedback. Make people feel important.
Show Your Enthusiasm
Remember that people associate your company with you, so show your enthusiasm for what you do. You can and should, of course, be honest if your company is experiencing struggles, but never let people think that you’ve given up. Don’t reveal your frustration or depression. Bite back negative comments. Be realistic, but also be optimistic.
Finally, as busy as you are as an entrepreneur, you must remain organized. If you are late for appointments, arrive without the proper resources or give the impression that you have no idea what you are doing, you are not going to make a good impression. Keep a planner, either in book form or on your phone, and use it well.
As an entrepreneur you have the responsibility of representing your company, so always put your best face forward.