People Can and Do Judge a Book By Its Cover!

imagesCall me old fashioned, but I rarely leave home without making sure I look nice.  Yes, there are those days when I’m not all gussied up, but I never leave home dressed in such a way I’d feel uncomfortable if I ran into customers or clients.

People make fun of me sometimes because of my focus on appearance.  A lot of friends and business associates say, “It doesn’t matter.  No one cares.”  But people make assumptions about you and your abilities based on your appearance.

Since the1990’s there’s been a shift in what’s considered appropriate business attire.   Leading experts proclaimed employees would be more productive if they dressed casually and comfortably at work.  So companies started permitting team members to trade in business suits for a more casual wardrobe.

Today, the pendulum is beginning to swing back — unless perhaps if you’re Mark Zuckerberg.  Experts are finding casual attire often results in casual or sloppy performance. In fact, The New York Enterprise Report quoted Guy Kawasaki as saying, “Likeability starts with a great smile, a great handshake and appropriate dress.  Though they are duh’isms, many people don’t do them.  In fact, most people don’t do them.”

As a business owner, it’s important to recognize that what you wear and how you look is an important element of your business brand.  Whether you like it or not, people have a tendency to make immediate impressions of your professionalism from your appearance.  Dressing professionally provides instant credibility and signals to clients, customers and colleagues that they’re working with someone who takes the position seriously.

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