You put a lot of work into making your business functional, reliable and cost effective. A question you may not have considered is this. Does your business image make you look legitimate? While your product or service ought to be the deciding factor, people get gun shy about businesses that don’t project an image of pure professionalism. Fortunately, a few minor improvements will help you to legitimize your business’ image.


Upgrade Your Website

Most potential customers will visit your website before they even consider giving you any business. Here’s a chilling statistic. Your website gets about 15 seconds of consideration before 55% of visitors leave. You can bet that one thing visitors are judging is whether your site looks professional.


If your site looks like a 15-year-old put it together, visitors are likely to treat the site like a 15-year-old put it together. Upgrading doesn’t have to mean dropping thousands on a custom website. Simply switching to an industry-specific layout or theme can give your site the professional patina it needs.


Upgrade Your Printed Materials

Businesses generate a lot of printed materials. Some of these things don’t suffer from looking like they were made on a copy machine. A utilitarian product data sheet is perfectly acceptable and even preferable. Brochures, destination guides, or thank you cards that look like you printed them up on a home printer send entirely the wrong message.


You have two main options for upping your printed materials game. You can outsource the work, though that gets expensive in a hurry. The other option is to invest in the equipment to print your own high-quality media. Companies like Lafayette Business Machines Inc. specialize in high-quality office equipment and can often point you in the right direction. As with the website, this upgrade gets you around snap judgments about professionalism.


Work on Becoming a Thought Leader

Don’t panic yet. You almost certainly spend most of your waking hours thinking about your business and industry. You already consume and analyze business and industry-related content. If you’ve ever had ideas about how to improve it, you’re 50% of the way there. Thought leadership lends your business immediate credibility because your knowledge and insight give you credibility.


If you like to write, blogging is a quick and easy approach to thought leadership. If you’re more of a talker, consider starting a podcast or a YouTube channel. Also, keep in mind that recognizing and sharing quality content produced by others also helps to cement you as a thought leader.


Legitimizing your business’ image doesn’t need to be a grueling time suck. Simple measures can do much of the work for you. Upgrading your website and printed materials gives your business that slick, professional look people want to see. Engaging in thought leadership establishes you as someone knowledgeable. Making these improvements means that people will focus on the thing that really matters, the quality of your product or service.

Brooke Chaplan is a writer and recent graduate of the University of New Mexico. She enjoys blogging about a variety of topics and doing anything outdoors with fitness.