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Am I overthinking my appearance...?

Ryan G

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Dec 6, 2017
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Iowa
Hey, what's up, everybody? I could use a little input...

My business partner and I are in the process of starting a local technology services business, and I feel like we're getting too hung up on how we should dress.

We've both spent the last 13+ years in corporate America being forced to dress in mostly business and business casual attire. So, here we are now...looking to avoid that corporate feeling in our own business, but we still want to be taken seriously.

Any thoughts on how to approach this?

We aren't exactly in Silicon Valley, but at the same time we are a technology shop, so there shouldn't be an expectation for us to dress to the nines.
  • Should we simply test out casual vs business casual vs business and read impressions from our prospects and clients? Then make a decision...?
  • Should we decide what our brand represents and stick to that image? Basically, if a local business doesn't want to work with us because of our casual appearance, we'll just move on...?
As I'm typing, I feel like we're definitely overthinking this.

We're meeting with our first business prospect tomorrow. I'm not too worried about our attire for this first meeting since I have a personal connection with the company. However, I feel more concerned about the businesses in the future when we officially launch outside of our initial 3-4 trial use-case companies.

Any thoughts or virtual smacks to the face are welcome...

Thanks!
 
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Solrac

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Hey, what's up, everybody? I could use a little input...

My business partner and I are in the process of starting a local technology services business, and I feel like we're getting too hung up on how we should dress.

We've both spent the last 13+ years in corporate America being forced to dress in mostly business and business casual attire. So, here we are now...looking to avoid that corporate feeling in our own business, but we still want to be taken seriously.

Any thoughts on how to approach this?

We aren't exactly in Silicon Valley, but at the same time we are a technology shop, so there shouldn't be an expectation for us to dress to the nines.
  • Should we simply test out casual vs business casual vs business and read impressions from our prospects and clients? Then make a decision...?
  • Should we decide what our brand represents and stick to that image? Basically, if a local business doesn't want to work with us because of our casual appearance, we'll just move on...?
As I'm typing, I feel like we're definitely overthinking this.

We're meeting with our first business prospect tomorrow. I'm not too worried about our attire for this first meeting since I have a personal connection with the company. However, I feel more concerned about the businesses in the future when we officially launch outside of our initial 3-4 trial use-case companies.

Any thoughts or virtual smacks to the face are welcome...

Thanks!

Maybe at your office you can be casual. But if meeting with clients for the first time, I'd tend to think one should err on the professional side.

You will never get yelled at for dressing the part, however you might for not.


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Kak

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I argue in favor of professionalism, that's it. Whatever that means in the space. Be professional.
 
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Action Mike

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I think it is best to have a professional look when de4aling directly with customers, maybe even a logo'd shirt to show a sort of uniform.

Back in the day IT people could dress in shorts flip flops and a wife beater in a corporate office if they wanted to because so few people had the skills needed at the time they could get away with it but that's not the case 99% of the time now days.

From my experience there is still a "right" to be casual attitude with a lot of IT people but there are a lot of competing technology based service businesses out there so whatever you can do to make sure you set your self apart is good.
 

Ryan G

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Dec 6, 2017
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Thanks for the feedback!

I definitely want to maintain a professional image, so we’ll adapt over time to find the right look for our customers and brand.




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Thomas Baptiste

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Jun 8, 2018
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Honestly, it's a personal preference and style is really overrated, but I usually go with a Polo style T-shirt with a good dress pants. The most important is shoes though. Shoes should be classy and well cleaned all the time. I've seen the difference it makes with sponsors when they took in my attire. It's all up to you, attire aside the value you offer is more important.
 
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