Appearances Count: In Business, Presentation Is Everything
Have you ever wondered how much your appearance matters to the people you meet, or how much it matters in business? Many people spend a great deal of time working on their personal appearance because to them, appearance and presentation is everything. Consider the exploding personal care and grooming industry. Both men and women are both highly conscious of others’ perceptions. Economic studies even equate personal grooming to the level of income you make.
Presentation extends to business as well: Have you ever walked through a museum, art gallery, or other exhibition or event and noticed the attention to the displays, stands, lighting and pedestals that highlight the product or offering? I’m guessing you have—and after reading this article you will likely pay closer attention still.
In respect to the importance of presentation, here are two entrepreneurs in two entirely different industry’s who’ve created successful businesses by serving America’s need to present the right ‘face’.
When the White House calls your business, once you move beyond the shock, you realize it’s a sign that your company is doing things right. Greg Glebe, founder and President of PedestalSource.com is getting increasingly used to the calls. He creates custom pedestals for museums, galleries, tradeshows, events and private exhibitions. His experiences in serving clients such as Victoria’s Secret, Dell, eBay and Microsoft (in addition to the United States’ most important residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.) prove that presentation is, indeed, paramount.
Many of the world’s largest organizations spend millions of dollars to get the look to be “just right” for a two-day event.
Says Glebe: “When our customers say jump, we fly. When we’re asked to turn around a project in a week or less for Graceland, we get it done. We have to balance the fact that our pedestals will be displaying things like Napolean Bonaparte’s original documents while managing the manufacture of 20-30 custom pedestals per day. We haven’t met a deadline we couldn’t beat yet, however, which makes me extremely proud of my team.”
In parallel to PedestalSource, another entrepreneur, in Utah, spends his days helping real people with their personal presentation and appearance. In a similar vein to the theme of Can Dressing Well Increase Your Income in 2013, the company TruShape LLC purports to improve your physique and body shape in 50 minutes. Kade Shumway, CEO and Founder of TruShape, doesn’t yet work with the nation’s celebrity brands, but he notes that his clientele are highly aware of their looks and have solid reasons for wanting to improve the appearance they present to the world.
Says Shumway: “Many times our clientele consist of women who’ve just gotten through a particularly challenging experience such as a pregnancy or a stressful time in their life that has left them feeling unattractive. We help them look and feel better in such a short period of time, many of them are too amazed for words. The best part is that we’re offering a solution with no surgery, no side effects, and no down time besides the actual 50 minute therapy.”
Shumway’s company promotes a non-surgical ultrasound mechanism for producing fatloss. The ultrasound and radio frequency technology it uses is proving to be a boon for many people who are intrigued by the idea it presents but are deterred by the risks and costs of conventional surgery (the technology was covered by Good Morning America in the video segment TruShape shares on their website below.) Reviews of his business are positive, and I admire the entrepreneurial innovation his company and idea represent.
Glebe and Shumway have successfully created businesses out of the need and desires of people and companies who want to present themselves in ways that engender esteem and respect.
For product displays, it’s undeniable that physical presentation and artifice matter. In fact, they matter a lot.
For appearance enhancement, while I believe personally that great grooming and appropriate dress can have a positive impact, and maybe even a highly positive impact, on business, I hold the strong opinion that the greatest part of a person’s positive confidence must come from within.
When a person feels confident, healthy, happy and grounded in their own skin and within their personal brand, the world will most typically take note and respond. For entrepreneurs, however, the beauty industry is a good revenue bet–FranchiseHelp notes that while spending on discretionary services declined slightly during the recent recession, the industry grows steadily at about 3.3% CAGR per year, with spending and interest increasing for both women and men. SpaFinder research from SkinInc reports the beauty and aesthetics industry is also providing to be a rich source of new jobs in 2013.
It’s a well-established fact that people do business most readily with other people they trust and feel most comfortable with. And few things invoke more confidence than a person who is comfortable and happy enough in their own being to focus the energy and substance of their presentation on what they can be providing for you.
But if a little help from an image-boosting provider can give you the confidence edge to really nail that next presentation, why not? And kudos to Glebe and Shumway for the successful ventures they’ve started.
Is there a similar business idea in your future? Regardless, as you prepare to make the next sale or close your next business or career negotiation, consider the way you are portraying yourself or your product. Perhaps there are some tweaks you can make to your own presentation that will put your product over the top or give you the confidence and assuredness edge to win that account.