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You've seen the makeover shows on TV where they transform someone's home, or yard, or body, wardrobe, car... there was even a show on The Learning Channel where they would make over a business. The producers selected a small business that was having some problems, then they brought in four coaches to turn the business around in a short amount of time. One of the coaches was an expert in Management. Another coach specialized in Instinct. The other two coaches specialized in Branding and Style - i.e., two of the four coaches were focused on Image.

That implies that companies should be spending a significant part of their time investing in their image. Some people will say, why should I spend money on that? I'm concerned about sales. If you are in a competitive industry, image can be what differentiates you from your competition, all other things being equal (price, service, product).

How can a business enhance its image?

Logo. A professionally-designed logo can go a long way. It not only adds impact to your stationery and signage, it can dramatically affect the professionalism and originality of your advertising.

Web Site. One of the first steps for any business wanting an image makeover is to get a web site that they can be proud of. A web site has the potential to be seen by anyone in the world. It should emphasize your brand and bring out your competitive edge. It should be clean, polished, and compelling.

Proactive Communication. A third way that businesses can improve their image is by communicating proactively with customers. Have you ever received a lead, called them once, then given up on them if they didn't close right away? Many small businesses just don't have time to follow up with prospective clients the way they should.

Follow-through can make a big difference in your close rate. You can use tools on the web to follow through with all of your customers and prospects in minutes. A monthly email newsletter is great because it's cheap to produce, cheap to distribute, it's not intrusive, and it can be sent out in minutes. Even if your newsletter is not opened, your recipients will know that you're still in business and that you want to do business with them. It indicates that your company is active and successful.

It's important to look your best.