One of the great perks of being in business for yourself is not having to conform to office culture and wearing a corporate “uniform.”
As an entrepreneur based in a home office, you can wear whatever you want. You can work in your bathrobe! You can technically attend a Skype meeting with no pants on!
While being a small business owner means you now have the power to wear (or not wear) whatever you want, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should. As any serious entrepreneur will tell you, with great power comes great responsibility.
When you’re a solopreneur working alone at home, you can get away with anything. But when you’re meeting a client, or at a networking event or attending a seminar, it’s show-time.
At some point, you need to dress to impress your client and potential client. Does this mean putting on a constraining power suit? Not necessarily.
Here are a couple of guidelines on what to wear when you’re an entrepreneur.
Know your audience.
By all means you need to dress for the occasion and the location (you might dress differently for a night-time networking event on a yacht than you would at a fundraising gala, for example).
But above all, remember who it is you are trying to impress. What do they expect from someone they want to hire or refer business to?
A power suit might make some potential clients have confidence in you. But at the same time, the same power suit might intimidate or turn others off. Know who you are trying to appease and dress accordingly.
Hopefully, what you wear to attract your audience will be in line with what you like to wear. That is a sign that your business branding is in line with your personal brand.
Know your (personal) brand
If you work in a creative industry, look the part. Don’t dress like a banker. Convey creativity by wearing some colour and showing some style.
As with any brand, try to stand out. If you’re at an event, wear something in your hair or a brooch or watch that sparks (the right kind of) conversation so that people remember you.
When in doubt, play it safe
Sometimes, you won’t know quite what to expect. During these occasions, it’s best to play it safe by dressing up (as opposed to dressing down) and being conservative with your style of dress.
Resist the temptation to argue that Steve Jobs got away with wearing black turtlenecks or Mark Zuckerberg enjoyed huge success despite wearing hoodies. When you’re as big as those guys, you can wear whatever you want!
Need a hand with your business brand and marketing? Call Kim Speed at Purple Moon Creative today!!