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One of the most challenging aspects of starting a successful business is getting noticed as a professional organization. Consumers are on constant alert for scams, and unless a company looks entirely professional, many potential buyers will look elsewhere. This can happen to any service, no matter the quality or value of trustworthiness. The visual impression and affect of that impression on a customer’s intuition is absolutely crucial. Many start-ups get caught up in trying to simply maintain a budget that covers the bare minimums of operation, but some funds need to be left to provide a professional appearance. Without one, even the best laid plans will fall flat. Business cards are not enough. Every element of your business’ presentation must be perfect, and there are many ways to do this.

The most important element of making a business’ copy look professional is simplicity. While colorful, complex logos and designs can be very attractive, professionalism is not just about being pretty. The content needs to always be the focus, and visual design needs to compliment the content. Otherwise, customers will be distracted from the important details, and will never be drawn into what your company is actually offering. Getting attention is important, but the attention needs to be on what services you provide that they cannot get elsewhere, not on how good your artwork is. Ways to grab your potential customers while remaining simple and professional are plentiful.

Using color wisely will do wonders for business cards, brochures, websites and any other presentation material. Any color usage should be unified throughout anything that your company puts out. Think of major corporate entities out there today. Almost all of them have a certain set of colors that universally come to mind when imagining their advertising work. Often, established companies will change old schemes to freshen up their appearance, and make their products more attractive to the current generation. As a new business, try to establish your look in reference to the well known companies in your field. Think about how your offerings compare to theirs, and adjust accordingly. If what you do is similar to their work, with a few important distinctions that set you apart, then try using similar colors, with a few small, but distinguishing differences. The similarity in hue will connect audiences to the major company, but the difference in details will point out to them that you are offering something new and different. Perhaps what you offer is a completely different approach to the same products as a time-honored competitor. Then, try to purposely oppose the color scheme used by the opposition. A third rule to color choice is to think about your audience. Colors have different effects on people of different generations. Plan accordingly. How will your choice of color effect your primary audience? Choosing the right colors is a crucial part of designing any advertising and logos. Within that, you should stick to two or three primary colors, and one or two accenting hues to focus on. As your company starts to grow, recognition is important. Consistent use of color will create a great sense of recognition, and allows your current customers to recognize you immediately.

Managing text is a second key to appearing professional as a start-up company. When a potential customer looks at your company’s offerings, they are usually curious, not necessarily interested. Therefore, excessive text can prove to be a deterrent, as many will not read long paragraphs unless one is very interested. Therefore, avoid clutter on items with text that is discovered early in a customer’s viewing of your business. Leave white space, and do not intimidate potential buyers. Simply stick to the essentials of what you offer, how those offerings differ from other companies and what you can give that separates you from the rest. Wait until interested parties get deeper into your services to give them the long, detailed explanations of what your company can provide. Otherwise, you will push them away and look like you really do not know what you are doing.

Once simplicity in visuals and text have been figured out, it is crucial to get your company’s brand on just about everything you put out. Folders, portfolios, brochures, business cards, postcards, newsletters and websites are all viable ways to advertise for your start-up business. Having a little bit in each of these areas will make you look more professional. Established companies can often afford to give out countless stationary items to potential customers, and if you can do the same with your start-up, you will look like you belong with the professionals. That appearance is crucial, and should definitely be a part of your budget.

About The Author

Nick Kakolowski is a freelance writer who writes about business and networking, often describing is specific aspect of networking such as business cards

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