Whatever you call your business, you and it are joined at the hip. Your reputations are one and the same and, though it takes time to build a reputation, you can lose it in a heartbeat. This goes deeper than avoiding posting inappropriate tweets (though your virtual self is an equal part of the entity). People will infer an awful lot about how you conduct business from how you conduct yourself.
Having mentioned social media flippantly, it’s actually worth giving it a serious thought. Don’t feel afraid to be funny or light-hearted online – social media is intended to be an opportunity to let people see your personality.
Like real life networking, too much time spent plugging your business gets boring quickly. Have fun; just remember it’s a publication. If you wouldn’t be happy with what you type being quoted in a paper – don’t type it!
But what about the real world? For starters, don’t be late. We all know there are nightmare occasions when the travel gods conspire against the very best of us, but there are many more occasions when a bit of preparedness can prevent lateness.
Always allow sufficient time – even if that means arriving early. If you have to sit and wait for a while in a coffee shop across the road, it’s no bad thing – catch up with some emails.
Why is this important? Because of the inference people will make. If you cannot deliver your physical presence on time, people will (consciously or subconsciously) question your ability to deliver a product or service. Not turning up at all is worse. Not turning up without explanation…unforgiveable.
The same goes for keeping promises. If you fail to deliver the (relatively inconsequential) email you promised would be sent that afternoon, you sow the seeds of doubt as to what exactly your promises are worth. Can you deliver when it matters? At all?
I’m not sure when the magic transformation happens, but after being late or failing to deliver x number of times, you become known someone who is late and doesn’t always deliver. Think about your contacts and you will know some ‘late people’. You don’t want to become one in other people’s eyes. That’s why it’s worth making every effort, every time.
If you want to demonstrate that your business can deliver results and deliver them on time, you need to start by showing that you can deliver. Live out your business code of conduct in your personal conduct – show people what you can do!