Set the Stage for Success

Ways to Make Your Business Look More Professional

When you work for someone else, your employer provides you with a computer, a phone, an email address, and business cards. The company has a logo, a website, and established procedures for how to get the work done.

But … when you work for yourself, you start with none of that. It’s up to you to provide these things for yourself. And even though many solo professionals have come from a corporate past, they don’t bring many of these things into their own businesses. I believe they should.

Solo professionals and entrepreneurs may assume that because they are small, they are under the radar and can get by without pulling together all the essential components of their business. But, whether you are just starting out or already established, here are five things that let the world know that you are a professional, and that you mean business!

  1. Get a business card. It would be ideal to have one designed by a professional with your logo, updated information, and nice card stock. I designed and printed my business cards with Canva. Your card makes an impression every time you hand it to someone – a small investment in a professional looking card will make a good one.
  2. Get an email address with your own domain. While Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail addresses get the emailing done, an address with your own domain name can be impressive. If you have a registered domain (, it’s just a few more steps to use it for email ( It’s worth the little bit of extra effort to demonstrate that you are serious about your business.
  3. Get a professional head shot. This should be retaken every couple of years and used on your website, your LinkedIn profile, your bio, etc. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be done by a pro in a professional setting.
  4. Get a consistent look. Presentations, brochures, online materials, etc. should feel consistent. Instead of reflecting a new expression of creativity in each piece, use consistent fonts and colors, as well as consistent wording in the way you describe who you are and what you do.
  5. Don’t skimp on your tools. Make sure you have what you need to run your business well, including a good computer, a reliable printer, and a dedicated place to work without background/home noises. Invest in the software you need not only to do your work, but to maintain your business on the back-end too.

All five of these things are easy to implement and relatively inexpensive. By doing them, not only will you give the world a better impression, you’ll set the stage for success!