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Spruce Up Your Professional Image

All entrepreneurs should know how important image is to conveying a sense of professionalism, especially for start-ups.

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So when starting out, remember, what your clients see is just as important as what they hear.

Start with a coordinated stationery package that includes two-color business cards, letterhead and matching envelopes. Your logo should look distinctive. Do it yourself with the help of software, or hire a graphic designer. Ask your printer for referrals to designers. For a lower-cost alternative, try hiring an art student. To maintain a consistent message, use your logo on all your printed materials.

The next step is to create a company brochure that conveys that your company is solid, stable and professional. Check out your competitor's brochures for clues as to what works best in your market.

It's a good idea to print your forms, invoices, contracts, and estimates on letterhead to further convey a consistent, professional image.

Excerpted from Get Smart: 365 Tips To Boost Your Entrepreneurial IQ