Tag Archives: First Impressions

Web Presence



These days, to legitimize a business, it must have a website. Gone is the time when pulling out the yellow pages or calling “information” got you the contact information for the business or service you wanted. Today, most people “google” what they are looking for on the web.

An effective website can cost as little as $12 per month. A website can be a simple landing page, or something with multiple pages, showing a range of home services, a professional practice, product, art or charity. It can be multi-functional to include direct sales, connect to your social media, have forms or applications for download, submission, and provide a blog that allows for comments, or not.

When I began my website, I was afforded an array of options to build from with providers like Squarespace, WordPress, and Wix. It was a year ago, and now there are even more from which to choose. The first thing I did was secure a domain name. You can search from the build sites, or go to a domain host like “GoDaddy” and type in what you want and see if it is available then you purchase the use of the name /address on the web for a year or multiple years. Other actions will include writing a bio for yourself, or a description of your business or service. Just as important, choose images to “tell your story.” Images are the universal language and set the tone of your message.

Recently, I was helping a friend with her website. Looking through several images that she had on hand, none were simple or bold enough She decided to take some photos that were in line with the image from the sample website that she had liked. Hire a professional to take custom images, a headshot, and other images as they relate to your business because it is necessary to set the proper mood and message. There are also providers where you can buy images such as Adobe, iStockphoto, and Dreamstime. among others.

Use an editor always for good copy, and hire a professional web developer if tech is not your strong suit. You can get online editing help with Grammarly though nothing replaces a human editor.

The old adage is true, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Another comes to mind, “It’s too late to shut the gate when the horse has left the barn.”

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit, Greenways for Nashville in 2015. Renee is inspired by nature and enjoys hiking, birding, and the garden. She contributes to HerSavvy, a blog featuring writings from a group of well-informed women wishing to share their support and experience with others. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, enjoying flora and fauna is a family affair.

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First Impressions

Business Handshake

We all know that first impressions are important and that we never get a second chance at making one.  I think about that adage each time I drive past the store of a local business owner.

It all started several months ago when I joined a business networking group and began to contact other members.  My goal was to ask for a brief meeting to introduce myself, to learn about the other business’s product or service, and to explore how we can help each other grow our businesses.

One of the first businesses I contacted had a new owner who said he was also new to the networking group.  I set a time to meet him at his store. Two weeks later, I showed up at the appointed time.  The guy wasn’t there.

The woman at the store said the owner had left to run an errand.  She didn’t know where he had gone, when he would be back, or that he was scheduled to meet me that afternoon.  After a few minutes of chatter, I left my business card and went on my way.  Sure I was disappointed because my time was wasted, but I’ve screwed up appointments too, so I was willing to give this guy the benefit of the doubt.  What happened?  I never heard from him.

Here’s where first impressions are important.  Missing an appointment is minor; it happens to all of us at some point.  Not following up to apologize and perhaps reschedule is major.  My first impression of this business owner is that he’s sloppy and uncaring about details.

Based on my first impression, I know that I will never buy this guy’s product or service.  I also know I won’t ever recommend his business to anyone who could use his product or service because I’m not going to burn my contacts by recommending someone who doesn’t care about how he treats potential customers.

I think about what sort of first impression I want to make on the people I meet. They may never need the service my company offers, but they all know someone who does and I sure don’t want to blow all those future potential relationships by making a lousy first impression.

About Norma Shirk

Norma started her company, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor, to help employers create human resources policies for their employees and employee benefit programs that are appropriate to the employer’s size and budget. The goal is to have structure without bureaucracy.

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