How To Be Taken Seriously As A Female Business Owner
If you’re a female business owner of a startup, it can be hard at first to be taken seriously. People like to deal with businesses that they trust, and until you’ve proved yourself, earning that trust can be tough. When you’re just starting out, you need to appear to be as professional as possible, so someone will take a risk and deal with you.
- Look professional yourself. Start off on the right foot by getting your own look right. If you don’t look professional and arrive at meetings dressed like you’re on the school run, nobody is going to take you seriously. Dress like you’re successful so people feel confident in you.
- Get your office or storefront right. When you start out, you will likely have a small budget for your physical space. If you’ve had to rent an office or retail space that is small, or not in the best area, this isn’t the best start. You can balance this out by making sure your space looks smart. Keep the frontage tidy and well-maintained. Keep signage clear, and add a few plants outside. If you don’t have a physical space yet, disguise that fact with virtual addresses for mail or business.
- Branding is important. Strong branding is going to help you when you start out. If you’re not great at branding, bring in some help from a graphic designer. Start with the logo. A logo should communicate who you are and not remind you of any other business. When you have your logo, work on other parts of the brand, like brand colors, design your website, business cards, brochures, and any other print items you need. Your branding must be consistent across everything.
- Get reviews. If you can get some reviews or testimonials early on, this will give someone a reason to trust you. To get those first reviews, you could ask your friends or family to act as guinea pigs to test out your services, and then ask them to write your first reviews. When you start to bring in other customers, give them an incentive to leave a review. As soon as their purchase is complete, send them an email with an invite to review, and offer an incentive like a discount for next time if they leave an honest testimonial. This gets you some useful feedback for improving your startup, a review to show potential customers that you’re trustworthy, and hopefully some repeat business as well.
- Change your contact details. When you have your website set up, get a business domain that you can use for email. An email address like firstname.lastname@example.org looks a lot more professional than a free email service, like gmail or yahoo. Get a dedicated phone line for your business, so you have a landline phone number for people to call you on that is just for your business. This looks more professional than a mobile, or a calling your home where your kids might be the ones to answer.