“Never forget that you only have one opportunity to make a first impression – with investors, with customers, with PR, and with marketing,” said fashion entrepreneur and journalist Natalie Massenet, and statistics certainly back her assertion. As an entrepreneur, you have just seven seconds to express who you are and indeed, some studies indicate you have even less. Recently, Princeton scholars Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov conducted a series of tests, finding that it takes as little as one tenth of a second to for an impression of a stranger from their physical appearance. Moreover, longer exposures don’t necessarily alter this quick initial judgement.
Appearance is a Key Element of Your Brand
If you have invested in your logo, colors and website, remember that your physical appearance – and that of your office – should be viewed as an extension of your brand. Appearance covers everything from the suit you wear to a formal meeting, right through to the interior design of your meeting room or reception room. Acing this aspect of your branding strategy is a complex task because no two businesses are alike. Moreover, depending on the nature of your business, innovation or tradition may predominate. Getting your branding strategy right involves researching into industry expectations. Your competitor’s website and social media is a great place to start, but don’t be afraid to go a little ‘above and beyond’ what is expected.
Breaking New Ground
There are certain basics that all entrepreneurs and premises should obey. These include tidiness, cleanliness, and professionalism. If you work in fields like law or accountancy, a good suit is key when attending to clients or holding business meetings. However, if you work in an industry like media, aeronautics, or technology, your attire and business premises should be anything but traditional. Google, for instance, is famed for its passion for color, innovation, and collaborative spaces. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, meanwhile, dazzles with its own onsite museum, coffee shops, and moving Mars rovers. Your office should be suitable to your employees’ uses but also appealing to your clients. Thus, luxury jewelry and haute horlogerie shops often contain cosy yet luxurious features like double glass fireplaces, dark cherry Chesterfield sofas, and Edwardian desks. The key is to exude tradition and modernity at once, since these values are key to these high-end sectors.
Expressing Yourself through Clothing
Regardless of whether or not business suits are a must in your day-to-day life, you shouldn’t be afraid to express your creativity. A dark navy business suit, for instance, can look über sleek and sexy when it is slim cut and paired with a good pair of brogues. Your necktie, pocket square, or glasses can show off a little more color than expected, as well as a different, contemporary design. Even a cool Hermès belt looks fantastic worn alongside a casual day suit.
Functionality and Practicality Should Weight on Your Decisions
You should always aim to impress, without sacrificing an iota of practicality. It was interesting to read news stories about Apple employees revolting against the glass-filled office design of the $5 billion Apple ‘Park’. The problem? Numerous employees were walking into the glass walls, making for more than one headache and bad mood. Similar criticism has been levelled at open plan offices, with recent research finding that they aren’t for everyone. Indeed, many employees who are forced to work in open-plan spaces claim that distraction and lack of privacy wrests from their efficiency and focus.
Your appearance (and that of your office) is key because it can make or break important connections with your clients. It is also key to building a sense of trustworthiness. The more professional you look, the more likely clients are to choose you over competitors. However, getting your strategy right often involves innovation, so don’t be afraid to show off a little sartorial flair while wowing your clients with your skill and experience.
Article by: Cassidy Franklin
Startup Tips: Introduction to Venture Capital
Image credit: Embroker
Venture capital is a way of financing a startup, especially when seed rounds and investments from angel investors run dry. In a nutshell, early stage businesses with high growth rates receive funding from established firms through a dynamic venture capital ecosystem. This ecosystem can be intimidating for many new entrepreneurs, so knowing where to start and best practices is key to navigating the VC ecosystem.
What is Series A funding?
Series A funding is commonly known as the first step on the road to venture capital. Starting a business likely requires some form of fundraising, especially in the initial stages. Running a business is expensive and not everyone has change sitting around to just jump start a business idea and that where Series A venture capital comes in.
Venture capitalists can make low-scale fundraising efforts look minuscule. In 2018, the average Series A funding was greater than $11 million. This shows how venture capitalists can significantly impact the power of a business.
Furthermore, data on growth rates and quarterly income can prove to investors the value of your company’s products or services. Ultimately, VCs want to invest in companies with high ROIs.
Identify the Right Venture Capitalists
Research different venture capitalist firms and identify the firm’s core competencies and areas of conviction. This could help narrow down your search because some venture capitalists may have investments in competitors.
Network with Venture Capitalists
Getting a meeting with a venture capital firm is a lot easier said than done. Cold emails blasted out to firms won’t do you much good. The power lies in networking and warm introductions—it’s all about who you know. If you can manage a warm introduction, this is a great place to start. A warm introduction can be described as when a third party recommends an entrepreneur to a venture capitalist. This helps venture capitalists efficiently manage their time and meet with business owners relevant to their interests.
Of course social networking is always a great place to get your foot in the door. Networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn are good places to find investment communities and become part of the discussion. Identify the active partners who invested in a recent venture-funded startup and connect with them online.
Making the decision to transition to Series A venture capital funding isn’t an easy task. However, educating yourself on the ecosystem and how to position yourself for success can help diminish intimidating factors. To help set you up for success Embroker put together a guide to raising venture capital that covers terms, pitch deck best practices and tips to help you prepare for a meeting with venture capitalists. Be confident and reach new heights with venture capital funding!
Find the full resource here
Study : Psychology and Pain Points of Today’s Business Leaders
What do you imagine when you think about running your own business? You envision financial freedom, flexible work hours and the ability to make important decisions. This is possible, but the reality is, many entrepreneurs experience failure before experiencing success.
What’s it really like to run your own company? How many American business owners feel prepared to handle changes in the market? Robbins Research Institute partnered with Survata to find out how 152 American business owners felt about their companies. Here are a few insights into what they uncovered.
How You Can Afford to Quit Your Day Job
Many aspiring entrepreneurs begin their business venture so they can take control of their income. Instead of working to produce income for someone else, they want to create an income stream entirely their own. Yet, being in charge of how much you work and make can actually make things more complicated than before. With the new responsibilities of managing every sale and service, as well as deciding where to spend or reinvest your profits, it can be very easy to lose money when first start out on your own.
Anyone with a dream of quitting their day jobs understands that pursuing their passions will cost time and money. They’re prepared to live off of a savings for a while, and bootstrap any essentials they need. Yet when it actually comes adding up all the costs, things are often forgotten. You may be aware that you’ll have to advertise on social media or start a website, but do you know how much a domain name could cost, along with hosting? If you’re going freelance, do you know exactly how much taxes will cut into your profits?
Finding the money to follow your dreams won’t always be easy, but with thorough preparation, nothing should stand in the way of what makes you happy. You may have to cut a few cups of coffee or dinners out, but you can reach your goals. To learn more about the unexpected expenses of going freelance, and how you can afford them, check out this visual below by Turbo.
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