In order for you to survive and thrive in the cutthroat and competitive universe of commercial and industrial business, good interpersonal business behavior is essential. The last article, which we sincerely hope you all enjoyed, dealt with matters related to how you conduct yourself in the workplace or business or customer services environments. This article will be more motivational than anything else. The reason is that while we advocate good business presentation skills during interpersonal meetings, it is rather a case of easier said than done.

Unfortunately, there are many who fear failure and find it difficult to relax in the company of others on formal levels. So, our mission here is to get all our new readers to relax as far possible. By relaxing does not mean you will be adopting any degree of complacency, far from it. Perhaps, it would also do well to suggest to you that there are exterior exercises you can implement in your personal life to help you to relax when you return to work, say, for argument’s sake, if you have aspersions towards running your own catering business someday.

  1. Exhuming confidence – This is not a matter of puffing yourself up with pride, but rather a case of showing your client, partner or business leader that you are, indeed, confident. When you are meeting someone for the first time, make sure that your posture is erect and the formal to smart casual clothing you are wearing fits perfectly and is comfortable.
  2. Knowing your business inside and out – One of the reasons why poor salesmen stutter and stumble their way through a product introduction is that they know very little about the product they are selling. If they had the self-belief and inherited belief in the product they were selling, they would have invested time in getting to know in detail how the product works before selling it.
  3. Direct eye contact – The client or business partner that picks this up about you will mark you positively. Not only is there a recognition that when you make sincere eye contact, you exhume confidence, an element of trust also sets in. The client, in his turn, also relaxes somewhat, but be warned, is not likely to drop his guard. Neither should you.
  4. Personal hygiene and good health – Enjoying good health leads to enjoying a better personal and business life. You need to make time in your schedule for some physical exercise and also make sure that your daily diet is balanced and healthy. Make sure that you are exceptionally hygienic. Not only will the client pick this up, you will be confident, self-assured and comfortable with your persona.
  5. Corporate pride – You well and truly need to believe in your ability to produce the best possible product. When you have produced the finished article, you truly have to take pride in it. By the time you are selling your goods and services to clients, the sincere pride in your work and products must be instantaneously recognized by the client. It is no use having a lack of belief because clients will quickly pick this up and won’t have the necessary confidence or conviction to take you up on your service or product.

If your small company has a corporate logo and staff are to wear uniforms, make sure that these are crisply clean as if brand new. When you greet clients, make sure that you wear your corporate badge with pride.

We do hope you thoroughly enjoyed our last article on how to ensure efficiency of purpose in your business office environment. Like the essential criteria of the catering business, presentation is everything. The selling point is always this; good presentation skills always sell. In this short, inspirational note we deal briefly with the importance of good presentation when dealing directly with clients or potential employers. In lieu of the fact that many of you reading this note are seriously considering starting up your own new business, consideration is also given on how you deal with your staff, if any.

  1. Good presentation is art – In many commercial and home-based businesses, presentation is part and parcel of the trade. This could be considered a blessing in disguise for them but you would be amazed at just how many artists choose to ignore the importance of good business presentation skills.
  2. Catering presentations – For the professional caterer, it could be do or die if they don’t get their presentations right. From the first moment they have met their client, they need to put into stock how their unique culinary brands can be blended into the client’s commercial environment.
  3. How you should dress – This is an enduring rule that is never going to go away. Clients and business owners, no matter how small or large their businesses are, remain impressed by how men and women present themselves physically upon the first meeting. It is appreciated that a mark of respect is being accorded and there is also a great deal of personal affirmation coming from the business prospector who dresses well and appropriately for the occasion. Depending on this and the client, the dress code remains formal to smart casual, nothing less, nothing more.
  4. The important matter of greeting – This must not be overlooked. In fact, if you are still quite new to this formal, traditional greeting, why don’t you practice it with family, friends or colleagues? The handshake is firm, but never bone-crushingly overpowering or limp. It must exhume both personal confidence and respect for the client. The next article is going to discuss the matter of confidence when meeting a client or business partner for the first time.

Let us close this article on good, personal business presentation on an inspirational high by inviting you to have a little creative fun with your wardrobe. Initially, it might be a bit challenging if your current dress sense is nowhere close to how it should be on the business level. It can also be difficult if your budget is constrained and you are fretting over how or what to buy. The encouraging thing here is that when it comes to updating your wardrobe to include a more formal dress sense, you need not break the bank.

No matter how much you are making, you shouldn’t be spending a fortune in any event. Take a look at the world’s leading entrepreneurs, all billionaires a few times over, and with very few exceptions, and see how they dress before the public eye. You could easily be deceived into thinking that they are no less different from you. And that, indeed, is how they perceive you.

 

If you are from that generation of men and women who had to visit a nearby insurance agent to shop around for new policies and benefits, you might have had this vivid experience, bearing in mind that your horror or disgust was from the point of view of the customer. Also, you could still be nipping out late at evening to get some emergency supplies at a nearby small business grocery store.

By the time you stepped into the agent’s office, you were already having second thoughts. Quite frankly, you had not encountered such a slovenly mess before, not since the messy classroom dunce’s desk was avoided at all costs. There were breadcrumbs and sauce from takeouts strewn across the desk and what could be important, confidential client documents. Piles of client files, all tattered and grubby, were arranged helter-skelter, looking like they could tip over at any moment.

By the time you plucked up enough courage to take your seat, you found that the chair was tattered, torn and uncomfortable. You could never see this, but this poorly dressed man, to your mind, could not have been any good with numbers, occupying a grotty office in a run-down part of town. Today, thanks to software technologies and new and updated legislation, such men don’t exist anymore. We wish we could say the same for nighttime grocery stores, where shelf goods are soiled goods and unpacked boxes lie in the very narrow aisles, dangerously in the way of customers.

We know that, today, new clients of yours will never be having such experiences once they step into your new office or store, part and parcel of your own new business. But just to be safe, we thought we’d provide you with a few more words of encouragement and tips towards keeping everything efficiently in shape and, indeed, quite impressively presentable.

  1. Filing tips Whether you are going to be using hard cover files like the defunct insurance agent mentioned above, or relying on computer hard-drives and software packages (which we recommend), do make sure that you have set in place a good numbering system which makes it quick and easy for you to a draw a file when needed.
  2. Up to date records An important part of your business is making sure that all records, from tax returns to regular client invoices, are kept up to date at all times. Make sure that these records are ordered in date order.
  3. Office administration It would be ideal for you to have someone assist you with all efficiencies of the day to day administration of your office, the nerve center of your business. You may need to have a small staff complement, in any case, so invest part of your budget in employing an efficient administrative assistant or office manager, qualified, reasonably experienced, and with good resume records.
  4. Good housekeeping Another investment worth making where human resources are concerned is having at least one staff member who is going to ensure that the office or workshop is neat, clean and presentable to clients. If it is an industrial space, regular cleanups need to be carried out anyway, more to do with the safety of both customers and staff. To this end, you could also outsource a cleaning services company to come to your aid here.
  5. Software packaging Another outsource investment well recommended, in fact, quite essential today, is that of an information technology expert, also with good credentials, experience and references, as well as the up to date knowledge to deal with continuous rounds of computer and software upgrades. He must be sufficiently expert in assisting your business with servicing and/or maintenance work that needs to be carried out quickly and efficiently to ensure that there are no disruptions to the daily running of the business.

We hope and trust that this short list of efficient office administrative tips were sufficiently informative for you. More importantly, perhaps, we would like to believe that this little bit of subjectivity has motivated you to know that you need not be overwhelmed with your workload and that with the necessary checks and balances in place, you will be able to focus on more ambitious future projects to ensure that your company can continue to grow without being stalled by unnecessary administrative cleanups, such as filing tax returns or hunting down non-paying clients, or franticly tidying up the office in the expectation that a potentially good client will be calling on you at any moment.

Another important facet of good business and office administration is always being prepared, even if it means having to work a little overtime. But then again, and this much has been proven, even when the business is extremely busy, smart and efficient office admin ensures that you and your staff could potentially be working shorter and more flexible hours. In essence, you are also working smarter and not unnecessarily harder.

The next short article deals with presentation skills. We trust that you will enjoy that one as well.

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