5 things to remember about your public image and business
In the hustle and bustle of daily barn life, it is easy to forget that how you portray yourself and your business on a daily basis, at shows, on social media and beyond matters. COVID times when most of the world is living in sweatpants and there are less reasons than normal to keep things neat and tidy in all aspects of life, make it even easier to forget that it is far harder to overcome a bad impression than it is to maintain a good one.
Because of this, we have put together 5 quick barn and beyond tips and reminders to keep your business appealing, your image intact, and your professional reputation in sight during these unprecedented times.
- You have heard the saying dress for the job you want not the job you have. In riding, the way you present yourself trickles down to your clients and the customers that come your way. Tuck in your shirt, wear clothing that looks like you put in some kind of effort or care about being professional. This does not mean you have to spend a ton of money on your wardrobe. Little things like wiping off your helmet, wearing a belt, keeping your hair in a hairnet or toweling off your boots can make a huge difference. Doing these things show that you not only care about being professional and about your appearance, but that you take pride in your business as well.
- Always assume someone is watching. Whether it is a little kid who looks up to you, someone you do not even know in the stall next door at a show, or the powers that be, carry yourself in a positive way. From the moment you step out of the truck you are making an impression in some way and you get to choose what way that is.
- Sometimes it is what isn’t the focus of the photo that really matters. If people see overgrown grass or weeds in the background or maybe trash or an unkept aisle, that will be a direct reflection of how you run your facility. The last thing you want is people thinking you don’t care about what your facility looks like.
- Consider not just the way you will interpret something, but how others will. For example, if you post a photo on social media with tons of manure in the background behind your horse, you may know that the image was taken early in the morning while stalls were still being done, but the person who sees that image may not. They could assume you do not take superior care of the horses in your program, when in fact this is not the case. The same goes for considering how your barn looks behind an image for sponsors. Does it come across neat and professional or a bit array?
- Be authentic but also professional. Remember that you are running a business and influencing many people you know and may not know. The decisions and things you share via your channels may be a bit censored from what you choose to say or show to your closest friends. CEOs and business leaders in all industries have personal opinions on topics but as businesspeople, you must choose and remember that what you say and do is a reflection of your brand/company or business, not just of you as an individual in the world we live in today.