Let’s take a trip down memory lane: try to visualize every single detail of your appearance and attitude as you were preparing for the last important meeting you were going to attend. In all likelihood, you put on your best, classy, neat suit, your sophisticated pair of pumps perhaps. You’ve done your hair to be fresh and tidy, and you put on your favorite pair of shades or bold red lips. Did you drive into your potential client’s parking lot in a shabby Chevy or a sleek four-wheeler, such as a sedan?
To get one thing straight – cars are not the one and only reflection of your personality and values, but they do matter in forming the right image around you and your personal brand. We all know that in the fast-developing world of business, especially a competitive one, a powerful image means the difference between long-term success and quick and painful failure.
So, just like no entrepreneur would neglect their personal appearance or their business etiquette during a presentation, you should also never underestimate the importance of how your ride can add to your growing reputation.
The structure and purpose of your business matters quite a bit in choosing your own car, as well. If you were just about to kick-start your own green fashion line, or set up an IT business that focused on more sustainable solutions, it would be unwise – to put it mildly – to opt for a vehicle that goes against all you stand for. After all, much like you’d gladly put on your Veerah heels and your Komodo dress, you’d do your absolute best to invest in a ride that speaks volumes of your beliefs and priorities.
If you would still like to maintain a luxurious image, you can go with a sporty Lexus GS300h, or a more humble variety such as Prius. What matters is that you do your homework when it comes to the latest four-wheelers for your business, so that you choose something that will fit your budget and your image.
Working in a particular niche will often demand spending time in company of potential investors, VIP clients, or executives from long-standing companies whose trust you have yet to earn. It’s only natural to want to “fit in” while also standing out, so that those whom you meet at the negotiation table perceive you as an equal while also recognizing that you’re not just another average business person.
Whether we like it or not, just like our attire, our car will play a role in the impression we leave. For those looking to earn their spot in an industry, you need to consider what will get you there in the eyes of your potential partners. You want them to take you seriously, to respect you; and in order to achieve that, you need an equally impressive car to complete your image, whether it’s a Mazda CX-5, or something more future-oriented, such as a Tesla.
We live in a fast-changing world, and the business landscape is no different. If anything, it’s even more prone to fluctuations, and few brands are able to deliver on the promises they initially make, both to their clientele and their business partners. However, when you’re in the business of building trust and long-term relationships with your audience, you need every bit of your personal presentation to represent that goal and evoke trust. Would you believe that a person is looking for a committed relationship if they were driving a flashy Porsche? Not really. As stunning as such a car may be, it screams of a one-night stand, as opposed to a lifelong partner.
On the other hand, some of the latest SUVs belonging to the Ford collection are the perfect balance of robust power, ease of maneuvering, safety, and adaptability from one terrain to another. An intelligently-built vehicle with plenty of features to ensure long-term safety is a comfortable choice that says you’re someone who stays for the long haul and delivers on the given promise. In fact, such a smart choice is another way to show you’re not using your car simply to compensate for your shortcomings, which is unfortunately often the case with extravagant machines.
Keeping your priorities in line
Beyond the price tag that every car comes with, how well you take care of it is an excellent reflection of your personality and character. Are you devoted to keeping your car clean and neat at all times? Do you regularly fill up your tank so as to prevent any mishaps during a long trip? How about accessories and their purpose for your work, such as a charger, a phone mount to use your GPS device, or your first aid kit? Your car should never be too cluttered, but well-equipped for the sake of safety and comfort.
If you happen to attend a networking event with an important client, and they enjoy one drink too many, taking them back to their accommodation can be an enlightening moment. Greet them with a messy car filled with empty water bottles and long-forgotten gym sneakers, and their impression of you may just be affected. Offer them a fresh seat, wet wipes, or a protein bar, and chances are they’ll be impressed by the effort and the sheer maintenance level of your ride. Not to mention your driving style – handle your ride with confidence, and you’ll win their hearts over.
Attracting top talent
Finally, an aspect of business that many entrepreneurs forget about when it comes to building up a lasting image – their potential employees! If you wish to add more people to your team and you want to attract the right people, you’d be surprised the level of impact your car can have. When they see what you boast on your parking lot as they approach your office, they’ll either wonder about the legitimacy of your business or they’ll genuinely be inspired to some day follow in your footsteps.
Your ride of choice is a statement for everyone, including your potential colleagues. If they are about to represent your brand, you want them to understand what you stand for, and we’ve already established how much your entire attitude and appearance contribute to forming the right impression.
At first glance, how we dress and what we drive may seem like superficial factors to take into account when building a business. However, we’re very visual creatures, and we have already established the most vital symbols of success and trust in business, one of them being your car of choice. Do your best to choose the right ride for your industry, and you’ll instantly elevate your image to match your professional skills and your ambition.