The term “small business” in the 21st Century runs the gamut between small independent storefront businesses to start-ups to a growing wave of solopreneurs and everything in between. Being a small business, however, has some disadvantages. The chief among them, perhaps, is competing with big companies that have the budget to invest in the accouterments that impress. Making a good impression with clients and consumers is an important part of the process of gaining their business. Here are 3 ways small businesses can dress to impress clients and consumers.


Invest In Quality Materials

While you may not be sending many letters in the digital age, that doesn’t mean the letters you do send shouldn’t look professional. While it may be extremely easy to simply print off a letter with a header included from your printer, having professional letterhead printed for you will help instill confidence in your business.

Similarly, while there are a vast array of online companies that offer cheap, inexpensive or even free business cards, it’s not always a wise idea to take advantage of them. People start to form impressions about you and your business the second they meet you. A cheap looking and/or feeling business card may not send the message you want your clients to get from your company. While you may not be wealthy, just remember that wealth and success go hand-in-hand in many people’s minds. A card printed on a thick stock with raised or foil accents gives a classy vibe, which also suggests success.


Have an Office

One of the perks of being a small business is you can often operate your business from a home office, which means you don’t have to get up and go into an office every day. On the other hand, meeting with clients at Starbucks or in your living room isn’t exactly ideal. Today’s marketplace, however, is full of a number of solutions for small businesses that don’t really need a full-time office.


Shared office spaces are a great option for businesses that need to occasionally meet with clients, have a board meeting, conduct interviews, or simply have a designated space to do work away from home. You don’t have to pay for a dedicated full-time, year-round office to have a great place to work and meet with clients. Search up something like “virtual office salt lake city” and, as long as you include your location in the search, you’ll likely find a few great spaces you can rent.


Dress Well

Another of the many perks of being your own boss is the ability to dress however you want at the office. After all, why not wear jeans and a t-shirt every day when there’s no one around to tell you that you can’t? Just because you can, however, doesn’t mean that you should when you’re meeting with clients. Remember that you are possibly the only representative of your company your clients may ever see.


If you are a small business, clients don’t have much to go on to shape and form their opinions about how successfully you perform whatever task your small business accomplishes. When you are Steve Jobs and are running a multi-billion dollar company, you can wear jeans and a turtleneck every day. Until then, stick to more traditional and professional business attire in the public eye.


While many small businesses today are capable of conducting the majority of their business online, that doesn’t mean that you can or should drop the standards that most larger businesses and corporations hold. After all, they do so for a reason, and they’ve been in business long enough to become a big business or corporation in the first place. As a small business owner, it’s up to you to represent your company well, and that means presenting yourself in the best possible light.

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.