No matter what business you run, no matter how formal or informal you claim to be, no matter which clients you have or which other businesses you operate with, it is extremely important to be as professional as possible. Businesses run on trust, meaning that you should be doing everything in your power as a business manager to make sure that people have a clear idea of what your business stands for and that you are a company that they actually want to do business with.
Being professional is simply everything and can be the difference between a successful company and an unsuccessful one. If you are looking at how to maintain a professional business, then you are in luck, as this guide has been created to outline a few key tips. Read on now for everything that you need to know.
Have a Uniform
Simply put, a business that looks the part, ends up playing the part. That’s why it is so important that your business either has a dress code — so that everyone has to adhere to a high level of sartorial standards when it comes to what they wear in their place of work— or a uniform. The latter option is particularly effective if you are in a business that is customer-facing. People immediately feel calmer and that they are better taken care of when they are dealing with someone wearing a uniform. If that is of interest to your business, take a look around for Branded Corporate Clothing today.
Have a Strong HR Department
Standing for human resources, your HR department should be one of the strongest units in your company if you want to run professional business operations. They should be schooled in when it comes to dealing with any complaints that employees might have as well as the ways in which they should deal with those complaints. In fact, a strong HR department can often be the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful business. This is especially true when it comes to the onboarding process, which is the chance for your company to assert it knows what it is doing when an employee comes to work for you for the first time.
Have a Hierarchical Structure
Much has been made of the so-called flat hierarchy that has sprung up in the past 20 years or so in the professional world, but its days are well and truly behind it. This is because a flat hierarchy makes it hard for people to figure out who is actually in charge. The result of this is making your business look rather unprofessional and it gives off the sense that it doesn’t know who is responsible for which actions. That’s why it is important to make sure that there is a clear hierarchy at every stage of the business.
Listen To Feedback
A professional business is one that isn’t afraid to stand up for what is right and isn’t afraid to admit its own failings. Actually, instead of waiting to see when a part of your business operation goes wrong, it’s better to pre-empt it by actively courting feedback. Ideally, you should get feedback not only from your customers, but from your employees as well. There are a variety of ways to make sure that you get feedback in a timely fashion. You can have an anonymous dropbox in your office that anyone can leave comments in, you can schedule one-on-one meetings with your staff where you go over their concerns, or you can even send out surveys to your customers to fill in over email.
Keep Your Customers in the Loop
One way to stay professional is to be transparent about your business operations. This means that, when it is appropriate to do so, you should definitely keep your employees in the loop. This can include anything from writing blog posts updating your everyday news, reaching out to people individually to give them an update, creating a newsletter — a phenomenon currently rising in popularity as a media source — and giving brief announcements on social media platforms. By showing your customers that you care about what they know, you will gain a reputation as a transparent and professional business operation.
Protect Against Hackers
As the devastating SolarWinds and Microsoft hacks have shown, hackers are able to get into and cause havoc with businesses across the world, no matter how big or small that they can be. This is why your business should be doing absolutely everything in its power to make sure that it is acting in a highly professional and secure manner.
The first course of action is to install anti-virus software that can help to stop attacks before they have the chance to come to fruition. This should be complemented by a firewall that allows you to segment the different parts of your business, meaning that if a hacker does get into your system, they are only able to access one part, thus meaning the whole business isn’t compromised. Additionally, never share passwords and make sure that they are randomly generated, alphanumeric combinations that are simply impossible to guess. Whatever you do, don’t make the same mistake the former president did.
Keeping Meetings Short and to the Point
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that meetings keep to the point, stay short and are not allowed to go on for longer than their allotted length in order to be efficient. This is because meetings that overstay their welcome can quickly make a business look very unprofessional, especially if you have outside observers who are attending that meeting. This is why you should have a clear timeframe for your meeting as well as a schedule when it comes to each individual person talking. By sticking to these rules, you will be able to uncover actionable items in a much quicker time, making your business look great in the process.
Have Clear KPIs
Standing for key performance indicators, KPIs are essential if you want to run a business that knows what it is doing and has the best way of doing it. You should be setting these with your individual teams who can then take the initiative to set them with individual employees. By having these structures in place, your business is likely to be more of a success and to look more professional as a result.
Use Project Management Software
The days of everyone communicating over email are well and truly over. These days, the best businesses make sure to use project management software to have the essential overview of who is working on what and when. These softwares are relatively cheap to use for the whole company and can be downloaded as a separate app or even accessed in the browser. If you don’t use this type of software, you might find it difficult to efficiently complete business processes, hurting your company and making it look far less like a professional operation as a result.
All in all, keeping professional boils down to a few key aspects: planning, transparency and trust. Every part of your business should be planned and executed with these ideas in mind to make sure that you are looking like a company truly should. If you ever find yourself wavering on the journey to make your business feel more professional, then it’s always worth revisiting this guide to remind yourself of some of the top tips that you could be adhering to.