How To Show You’re Serious In Business

Last Updated: 

June 11, 2024

What people think of you in business really does matter, and it can often be the thing that helps you become more successful or ensures you fall into obscurity. For example, if people know you’re serious about what you do, you’ll find they therefore take you more seriously, and really listen to what you have to say. If, on the other hand, you seem to be much less serious about what you’re doing, then they’re not going to think much of your business, and they’ll work with someone who does take things seriously. Just think about it; you’d so the same thing. 

So it’s clear that being serious and taking your business seriously is crucial, but how can you show others that’s what you’re doing? It might seem like a tricky thing to do, but it is possible - here’s how to go about it. 

an entrepreneur sharply dressed
Photo by Dinielle De Veyra

Key Takeaways on Establishing Your Business Image

  1. First Impressions Matter: Dressing appropriately for your business and industry sets the tone for how others perceive you, making it essential to present yourself well.
  2. Effective Communication: Clear, concise, and well-structured communication, including proper grammar and spelling, demonstrates professionalism and seriousness.
  3. Active Listening: Showing that you value and consider others' ideas through active listening enhances your credibility and respect.
  4. Strategic Networking: Attending industry events, joining professional associations, and using social media to connect with key players can significantly boost your business reputation.
  5. Quality Work: Consistently delivering high-quality work, regardless of the task size, showcases your dedication and professionalism, ensuring you are taken seriously.
  6. Attention to Detail: Focusing on the small details, from your appearance to the quality of your work, reinforces your commitment to excellence.
  7. Follow-Up: Following up on networking leads and seeking feedback on your work helps build lasting relationships and continuous improvement, both crucial for being taken seriously.
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Dress The Part

People form first impressions very quickly - within seconds, in fact - and it’s hard to go back from those first impressions once someone has one of you. They might have got it all wrong, but it’s going to take a lot of time and effort to persuade them that that’s the case, and it’s far easier to get it right and for them to form a positive first impression of you right from the off. 

Dressing the part for your business and industry is definitely the right thing to do; it completely sets the tone for anything you do, especially when you’re meeting people who you want to have a good opinion of you, like customers, investors, suppliers, and even potential employees. 

What you wear is going to depend on the work you do and the business you’re in, so you might opt for a well-fitted suit if you’re going to a corporate event, or perhaps smart casual clothes if you’re working in tech, and so on. Whatever you wear, make sure it’s clean, it fits, and it’s appropriate, and always pay attention to the small details like cleaning your shoes, brushing your hair, and your accessories, because these are the things people are going to notice. 

Communicate Well

Communication is vital when you run a business, and if you want to be taken seriously and show you’re serious, you need to communicate well - you need to go above and beyond. Communication isn’t just about talking to people, it actually includes all kinds of things, such as emails, social media, invoices, and memos, to name just a few. 

No matter how you’re communicating, whatever it is you do you need to be clear and concise and avoid getting too complicated or using too many words - it just gets confusing. Plus, you’ll need to be an active listener, which means you need to show you’re taking other people’s ideas and comments into account - keep good eye contact and that’s going to help with this. 

Something else that’s really important if you want to be taken seriously is to use proper grammar and to get your spelling right. This applies to emails, reports, social media posts, and even text messages, and it shows that you’ve taken the time to get things right and that you care about what you’re saying. 

Network Strategically

If you want people to take your business seriously, you need to meet those people in the first place and then show them what you can do, so networking is a great idea - it’s the ideal place to meet all kinds of people who’ll be able to help you with your business, either through investment, working for you, or simply giving you ideas about how to move forward. 

Of course, in order to get the best results, you need to network in the right way, otherwise you’re missing out on a great opportunity. One thing you can do is attend industry events where you can meet like-minded people, but you can also join various professional associations and use social media. What’s really important is to get noticed, perhaps by handing out your luxury business cards (which instantly shows you’re serious as well) and then following up on your leads - some of them will come to nothing, but others could help you, so it’s well worth doing. 

Deliver High-Quality Work

If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to ensure you’re taken seriously it’s when the work you do is always done to a fantastically high standard. From the smallest job to the biggest project, excellent work shows that you’re dedicated to your business and you want to make sure it’s the best it can be. 

Make sure you set high standards for yourself and for any employees you have because everyone needs to be working at the same level, and ensure those high standards include paying attention to detail. Plus, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback on the work you do so you can see where you need to improve. 

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