If you're running a small business, you are your business. Wherever you go and whatever you do is a business promotion opportunity. Conversely, wherever you go and whatever you do reflects upon your business; your business image is, in large part, your image.
Too often small business people forget this. They've spent "x" amounts of dollars placing ads in various places and figure that's enough. Business promotion will take care of itself. It doesn't. If you want to improve your sales figures or get more clients or keep the customers you have coming back, you have to actively work at business promotion all the time.
But promotion isn't just advertising or press releases or sales events; promotion is also how you present yourself.
Although we've all been advised not to judge people on our first impressions, we all do it. Worse, we form these judgments within two to thirty seconds of meeting someone for the first time! After that, we selectively filter our impressions of a person; sure, we'll take in new information or perceptions about them, but only in terms of how it confirms what we already "know" about him or her.
As a business owner, you want to ensure that everyone who meets you forms a positive first impression. After that, they'll be predisposed to think favorably of you. Creating a good first impression is especially crucial if you provide a service; every face-to-face contact you make reflects upon your service (and colors your business image).
That's why it pays to pay attention to your business image. Concentrating on being Pleasant, Attractive, and Knowledgeable (PAK) will help you create and maintain the kind of business image that creates a positive first impression, gets good word-of-mouth, and builds credibility.
So think PAK and be Pleasant, Attractive and Knowledgeable (100 per cent of the time, if you can manage it), no matter where you are and what you're doing. People enjoy meeting pleasant, attractive, knowledgeable people. By being pleasant, attractive, and knowledgeable to everyone you meet, you'll present the kind of business image that draws new business.