How To Put Your Best Foot Forward On Discovery Day

by Rick Bisio – Franchise Consultant
& Author of the Franchise Book -The Educated Franchisee

You’ve found a franchise that seems to be a good fit. You’ve talked to existing franchisees, read the FDD, and collected almost all the franchise information you need. Now it’s time for Discovery Day.

Discovery Day is a two-way street designed for you to discover more about the franchisor, and for the franchisor to discover more about you. Not all franchisors hold discovery days, but most do. Discovery Days are generally scheduled at the end of the discovery process and are accommodated at the franchisor’s headquarters. This guarantees that time can be spent concentrating on the franchise information issues that can only be answered face to face.

It’s your opportunity to meet the franchise management team, evaluate their operation, and complete your franchise education. It’s the franchisor’s opportunity to reach a decision on whether or not you are apt to be a successful franchisee.

Make sure you put your best foot forward and avoid these 6 common pitfalls!

1. Remember to sell yourself.
A high quality franchise is awarded – not sold. This is not like buying a car. This is more like a marriage. Both parties are entering into a long term relationship. Franchisors want to be as certain as possible that you will be successful in their franchise system. They want you to strengthen the brand. They want you to be an involved learner so you won’t need 24/7 support on a long term basis. A franchisor gets more successful when they exclusive admit high quality franchisees into their system.

2.Have a financial plan
By now, you should have reviewed your finances in detail with the franchise development person. Nonetheless, be ready to prove you are financially prepared with the right finances and an understanding regarding the P&L. It indicates you are a serious business person. It doesn’t imply that you will definitely purchase this particular franchise; however, it does mean you can afford to buy this franchise and pay your bills until the business gets self-sustaining.

3.Dress appropriately
Some candidates consider Discovery Day as a day off work and show up in jeans. If you were the franchisor, would that impress you? The best approach is to dress the way you would if you were already a franchisee in that business and you were going to visit your most valuable customer. That might be business casual, but it won’t be jeans or flip flops. An even better way would be to ask the office administrator how the senior staff dress and then dress the same way.

4.Show your willingness to learn the system.
Don’t try to impress the franchisor with your knowledge of the industry and your ideas on how to improve the franchise system. Departing from the system is one of the leading causes of franchise failure. The franchisor will want to hear that you are impressed with their proven system (which you must be, or you wouldn’t be interested in buying it!) and that you are ready and able to comply with the system.

If you can’t communicate this sincerely, franchising isn’t for you. Be honest with yourself before you get this far in the franchise education process. There are people who cannot follow another person’s system. They love making up the rules, taking risks, and are disposed to assume the consequences – good or bad. This is fine! But if this describes you, get a hobby that meets this need, keep your day job, or buy an independent business.

5.Be proactive, be prepared.
At a Discovery day you want to be impressed – but you also want to be impressive. Prepare as you would be for a big job interview. By now you’ve catalogued your skills and matched them to the skills needed in this franchise (for more information on how to do this, see Chapter 4 of the franchise book The Educated Franchisee). Discuss your past experiences as they relate to running your franchise. Past success is an excellent indicator of future success – franchisors want to learn about your accomplishments and your expectations for your new business. Ask thorough questions that demonstrate your interest. Be a good listener.

6.Make sure you match the corporate culture.
If you don’t like or trust the franchisor, don’t join the system. In addition, if you are not comfortable with the franchisees that you have interviewed, don’t join the system. Sounds simple but it is important. It could mean that you are a bad fit for this corporate culture. Don’t assume you can work around this or that it will get better. Your chances for success are optimum when you relate with both the franchisors management team and the franchisees.

Avoid these 6 mistakes and use Discovery Day to your advantage. With the right attitude and some preparation you can make sure Discovery Day ends with you being in the driver’s seat!

The ideal presentation is preparation. This is why having the right business advisory support can help the best dressed become the best prepared.
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How To Develop A Professional Image

In this day of technology and the dreaded recordings, insuring that you maintain a professional image is crucial to business success.

How you come across on the phone, through your website, on a plane or at a networking event directly impacts how others (read “potential clients”) perceive you and your business. Especially if you ARE your business.

Here are a few tips for maintaining a professional image in all that you do:

1. Dress for success and act the part.

If you need to attend an event or may otherwise come into contact with potential clients, you should dress for success. This does not mean you need to wear a suit, but you should be well-groomed and your clothes should fit you properly. I try to dress in the Corporate equivalent of “business casual” when going out. This insures that I am *ready* to meet with someone should the occasion arise — even on a plane. :-)

On a flight to Los Angeles last year, I was jotting down some thoughts to clients when the gentleman sitting next to me complimented me on my diligence and said that my boss must be pleased with my dedication. I thanked him and said I was. We proceeded to have a great discussion and he has since referred many leads to me.

2. Make the telephone work for you.

Whenever possible, answer your phone during business hours. It is so rare these days to get a “live voice” that your caller will be immediately pleased.

You should also sit upright or walk around while on the phone in order to inject energy into your voice. Before every conference call, I do a few jumping jacks and toe touches to get the blood flowing again; I am much peppier as a result.

3. Underpromise and overdeliver — always.

There are multitudes of companies out there and it’s pretty easy for clients to change who they do business with. In maintaining a professional image, you want to do what you say, when you say it (or earlier!).

The old saying of “underpromise and overdeliver” has never been more true than it is today. If you can give added-value to your clients, do it. This holds true for any committees you are part of, nonprofit groups you join — in all situations, you want to be known as someone who always delivers.

4. Read and reread

I read and then reread everything I send out. Whether a quick email or a longer note, you want to be professional in your communications. You want your clients/potential clients to focus on your message, not on your misspelled words or poor grammar. It *really* does make a difference.

Always remember, the first impression is often a lasting impression and that people do business with people — not with faceless entities. When people think of you/your business, you want it to be in a complimentary manner.

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Business Casual Dress Guidelines 9 Tips For Looking Sharp In Womens Casual Clothing

Are you confused about business casual dress in the workplace?

Here’s an explanation of what business casual means, and how you can put together a wardrobe that still looks professional.

Business casual dress combines the formal, dark colors of business wear, with the relaxed, comfortable look of casual wear. It’s not weekend wear, or sportswear. It’s somewhere in the middle ground.

Here are 9 dress guidelines for business casual attire:

1. Don’t think that anything goes. The biggest mistake in creating a business casual wardrobe is to think that you can just throw on anything you like. That may work for a few days. But you’ll soon find that you are running out of things to wear.

2. Keep your outfits simple. Pair a crisp shirt or blouse, or a nice sweater, with pants or a skirt that fit you well, in a neutral color. Add some accessories, such as a good watch, classic necklace or earrings, and you’re set for the workplace.

3. Plan your wardrobe. You have to plan your business casual wardrobe in the same way you plan a business formal wardrobe. You have to think about your needs, your body shape and personality, and your work environment. Then you have to shop carefully to put together a wardrobe that won’t cause you grief every morning as you wonder what to wear.

4. Create a capsule wardrobe: Create a capsule wardrobe based on a neutral pallet of navy, grey or black. Put together a few basic such as a jacket and pants or skirt that fit you well. Now you are all set to add color and accessories to suit your work style. This way you always have something to wear, and you’ll know that all the parts of your outfits work well together.

5. Dress for your industry and for your company. If you are meeting clients, in most companies it’s a good idea to have a jacket handy. A jacket instantly upgrades your look, and presents a polished, professional appearance, even if you normally wear business casual.

6. Choose your accessories carefully. You may be wearing a sweater and pants, but make sure your shoes are shined and stylish. Carry a good quality leather briefcase or handbag. Invest in a sharp-looking watch with a leather or metal band. Wear a leather belt to tie your look together.

7. Coordinate colors. Keep your color pallet simple, so everything works with every else. You don’t need to dress in charcoal grey or navy exclusively, but these neutral colors are a great basis for a capsule wardrobe. When you begin with 2 or 3 pairs of pants in black, navy or grey, you can add any color shirt or sweater and still look business-like. When you top it off with a jacket, you look ready for any business event.

8. Check your grooming. Make sure your hair is clean and has a style that suits you. Check that your fingernails are filed, with no jagged edges. Sometimes we don’t realize that we look less than fresh at the end of the day, when we may be heading out to see clients.

9. Give yourself a once-over in the mirror before you step outside. Look for loose threads, missing buttons, and scuffed heels. All of these details play an even bigger part of the picture when you wear business casual attire.

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Professional Presence: Its Importance To Your Career

If you want to advance in your career, you can borrow the idea of positioning from the marketing world. Positioning has a simple objective: to make a target group of people see a particular brand of product as the best of its kind.

What does this have to do with you? Well, if you’ve ever wondered why you don’t seem to get the respect you deserve, the financial rewards you expect or recognition for your contribution, perhaps you have not positioned yourself as a professional. You need to establish your “professional presence”.

Where do you start? Here are three aspects of your working life in which you can make the necessary changes.

Visibility

Think of yourself and what you do as a product, and the people you work with as clients. Manufacturers keep their products and brands top of mind for their customers. In the same way, you need to make sure the right people understand your value to the organization.

It’s your responsibility to know what skills and talents you have to offer, and what value they create. Look for assignments and projects that will showcase your special abilities. Take any opportunity to talk about the company to senior people, and learn as much as you can about the company so that you can do so intelligently. Can you reasonably and logically introduce something about your own department or work into the big picture?

Look out for creative ways to position yourself as a professional, whatever your job may be, so that the right people recognize your potential for upward movement and growth in the organization.

Image

It’s said that we make up our minds about people within six seconds of meeting them. Obviously, these fast impressions are superficial, but if they are having such an immediate impact then surely it is worth managing them.

How do you dress for work, and what does your appearance say about you? The gradual loosening of the rules around how we dress for work has been welcomed by most, but many have shown lack of judgement in how they apply the new styles. What is “business casual” anyway? It’s openness to interpretation is what causes the problem. A great deal depends on the culture of your organization, what type of business you are in, your geographic location and whether it is a city or small town, and whether or not you meet personally with clients.

There is one old piece of advice that still stands: dress for the job you want, not the one you have. Who are the people you want to respect you? Whose good opinion would you like to cultivate? Take a look at how they present themselves, and consider how you might emulate them. If he always wears a jacket to meetings, don’t show up in shirtsleeves; if she wears a smart pantsuit while others show up in jeans, veer towards her style. People relate to others who are like them, and your appearance is an important first step. In response to a survey I did on the subject of business casual dress, one woman said she liked to stay fairly formal because, as she said, “I’m young and pretty. It’s hard enough to be taken seriously, and if I show up in jeans and a teeshirt I don’t stand a chance.” Is your appearance sabotaging your professional presence?

Relationships

Develop and cultivate a respectful relationship with your peers, those above and below you on the organizational chart, and clients.

Unfortunately, many people spread gossip and unpleasant rumors about their colleagues. This is not professional conduct. In business, as in life, my mother’s advice is still good: if you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all.

Try as we might to be positive, it’s not possible to be upbeat and bright all the time. Still, performing your job professionally means giving the same service with the same attitude regardless of your mood. It’s not the client’s fault that you overslept this morning and missed your train; act like the professional you are, and your mood will take care of itself.

You must first see yourself as a professional before you can communicate that position to others. You’ll soon notice people see you in a different light, and you’ll have chances to undertake higher level projects. If you are job-hunting, your interviews will be more successful.

Cultivate a reputation for doing things well and on time, getting along well with others and providing first class service to clients. That’s professional presence, and it can be a strong force in helping you climb the career ladder.

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Top 10 Chinese Business Culture dos” And don’ts”

1. The traditional Chinese “handshake” consists of interlocking the fingers, waving them up and down several times. This greeting is rarely used today (except during festivals, weddings and birthdays of the elderly), instead using the Western-style handshake. A slight bow should often accompanies the handshake, but do not bow from the waist in the style of the Japanese. The Chinese prefer a gentler handshake than the firm grip expected in Western cultures. Physical contact other than a handshake is highly discouraged unless you know someone quite well.

2. Chinese names are “reversed” from Western names. The surname is said first and then the given name. For example, Bruce Lee’s name in Cantonese is Lee Siu Lung. Lee is his surname and spoken first, and the given name (Little Dragon) is spoken second.

Professional, social, and family titles always follow the name as well. Dr. Wong would be Huang Yi Sheng (Huang Doctor). Likewise, Xiansheng (Mr.) and Taitai (Mrs.) are said after the surname. Never call someone by only his last name, and unless specifically asked, do not call someone by his first name; always address your Chinese associates by their surname followed by their title.

Also, never address anyone as “Comrade.”

3. Business cards are routinely exchanged at the first meeting. Carry bilingual business cards with one side in Chinese, and the other in English. Include:

* Company’s name
* Job title
* Special qualifications

When receiving a business card, receive it using both hands and compliment the card itself. Instead of immediately putting it away like in the West, keep the card out during the meeting.

4. Color symbolism is very important in China.

* Red is considered lucky and used in many celebrations. However, do not use red ink to write correspondence. That symbolizes the demise of a relationship.

* Yellow is associated with prosperity, and gold is especially appropriate.

* White is symbolic of death, which distinctly contrasts with Western cultures.

5. Lavish gift-giving was once an important aspect of the Chinese culture. Official policy currently forbids gift-giving since such gestures may be considered as bribes. For this reason, approach gift-giving with discretion. The policy is softening, but sometimes a gift will be declined under all circumstances. Be gracious if this circumstance is to occur, and politely withdraw the gift. Smaller. Less expensive items usually avoid this scrutiny.

The Chinese will politely refuse a gift several times to reflect modesty and humility. Accepting a gift quickly is believed to make them seem greedy or aggressive. Opening a present in front of the giver is also judged the same.

6. The Chinese will often avoid eye contact during conversations, especially when talking to the opposite sex or to strangers. Traditionally, it was considered impolite and aggressive to look directly into another’s eyes while talking, and as a sign of respect, the Chinese sometimes lower their eyes slightly when they meet others. The Chinese typically have a “blank” facial expression during introductions. This is not a sign of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, or unfriendliness, but reflects the belief that there is virtue in concealing emotions. Chinese communication is ambiguous, indirect and highly contextual. In conversation, the real meaning, especially if it’s negative, is often implied rather than stated. What is not said is often more important that what is said.

7. Chinese typically share food from a number of dishes placed in the center of the table rather than the Western practice of individually served dishes. Each party at the table will take food from the common plates. Sometimes, in order to show their friendship and sincerity, Chinese hosts will pick from dishes with their own chopsticks or spoons for you, and place food on your plate. Never place your chopsticks upright in a rice bowl; it replicates the bowl of sand or rice with two upright incense sticks that is traditionally
placed at the shrine of deceased loved one.

8. When meeting someone for the first time for a China sourcing business meeting, you should engage in general conversation before turning to business. Casual conversation topics in China differ from that of English speakers. It is not impolite to ask about:
* A person’s job
* Annual salary
* Marital/dating status
* Age

Your answers do not have to be extremely specific, but avoiding direct questions will be viewed with wariness and suspicion. The willingness to answer questions is the important take-away from the conversation. Questions about family tend to be deflected or avoided which is nearly the direct opposite of Western culture.

9. Six, eight and nine are considered lucky numbers, since their homophones have auspicious meanings. Six, liu in Chinese, implies that everything about you will go smoothly. Eight was originally deemed lucky by the Cantonese, since in Cantonese, the word for eight is fa, which means to make a great fortune in the near future. Later, the auspiciousness of eight was taken up by all Chinese. Nine, jiu, implies lasting forever, especially in friendship and marriage. Four and seven are unlucky numbers; the former implies death and the latter means gone.

10. Many common Western gestures are considered rude in China.

* Showing the soles of shoes

* Pointing with the index finger – use a face-up, open hand instead

* Beckoning someone with the index finger – use the hand with fingers motioning downward as in waving instead

* Whistling to get someone’s attention

* Finger snapping

Following the aforementioned 10 tips will add help build relationships with your Chinese business partners and greatly increase the prospects for success of your china
outsourcing project.

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Business Casual Dress Guidelines 9 Tips For Looking Sharp In Womens Casual Clothing

Are you confused about business casual dress in the workplace?

Here’s an explanation of what business casual means, and how you can put together a wardrobe that still looks professional.

Business casual dress combines the formal, dark colors of business wear, with the relaxed, comfortable look of casual wear. It’s not weekend wear, or sportswear. It’s somewhere in the middle ground.

Here are 9 dress guidelines for business casual attire:

1. Don’t think that anything goes. The biggest mistake in creating a business casual wardrobe is to think that you can just throw on anything you like. That may work for a few days. But you’ll soon find that you are running out of things to wear.

2. Keep your outfits simple. Pair a crisp shirt or blouse, or a nice sweater, with pants or a skirt that fit you well, in a neutral color. Add some accessories, such as a good watch, classic necklace or earrings, and you’re set for the workplace.

3. Plan your wardrobe. You have to plan your business casual wardrobe in the same way you plan a business formal wardrobe. You have to think about your needs, your body shape and personality, and your work environment. Then you have to shop carefully to put together a wardrobe that won’t cause you grief every morning as you wonder what to wear.

4. Create a capsule wardrobe: Create a capsule wardrobe based on a neutral pallet of navy, grey or black. Put together a few basic such as a jacket and pants or skirt that fit you well. Now you are all set to add color and accessories to suit your work style. This way you always have something to wear, and you’ll know that all the parts of your outfits work well together.

5. Dress for your industry and for your company. If you are meeting clients, in most companies it’s a good idea to have a jacket handy. A jacket instantly upgrades your look, and presents a polished, professional appearance, even if you normally wear business casual.

6. Choose your accessories carefully. You may be wearing a sweater and pants, but make sure your shoes are shined and stylish. Carry a good quality leather briefcase or handbag. Invest in a sharp-looking watch with a leather or metal band. Wear a leather belt to tie your look together.

7. Coordinate colors. Keep your color pallet simple, so everything works with every else. You don’t need to dress in charcoal grey or navy exclusively, but these neutral colors are a great basis for a capsule wardrobe. When you begin with 2 or 3 pairs of pants in black, navy or grey, you can add any color shirt or sweater and still look business-like. When you top it off with a jacket, you look ready for any business event.

8. Check your grooming. Make sure your hair is clean and has a style that suits you. Check that your fingernails are filed, with no jagged edges. Sometimes we don’t realize that we look less than fresh at the end of the day, when we may be heading out to see clients.

9. Give yourself a once-over in the mirror before you step outside. Look for loose threads, missing buttons, and scuffed heels. All of these details play an even bigger part of the picture when you wear business casual attire.

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Writing Business Memos 10 Tips For Getting Action And Results

The business memo is a simple way of communicating information inside an organization. It conveys information efficiently and effectively, which can save time-consuming meetings. Writing a clear, well organized memo is a valuable business skill.

Memo is short for Memorandum. You can use either term, depending on how formal a tone you want.

Memos are used to communicate information and get results by focusing on one clear call to action. They are generally short, with one to four sentences.

Most memos use a common format. Your organization probably has printed forms for its memos. They generally follow a specific order, but the order and placement of items may vary. For example, the date may be on the right. Follow your company’s format and simple fill in the template.

A longer format might have several paragraphs but should never be longer than one page. If you need to communicate more information it is better to write a report. Memos do not require a salutation or a closing statement.

Memos are best used for:

Requesting information
Confirming a conversation or agreement
Changing a current work procedure
Introducing information such as policy changes
Persuading people to take an action such as attending a meeting
Announcing policies
Transmitting data
Presenting goals or expectations

Here are 10 tips for writing a memo that will get the action you want.

1. Audience needs: Think of the audience and their needs. This is essential in the call-to-action. For example, tell your readers how they will benefit from attending an extra meeting or how they will increase productivity by following your ideas.

2. Audience level: Consider the education, background, and company status of your readers, and write to the level that matches their needs.

3. Tone: A business memo is somewhat formal, but it’s less formal than a business letter. It won’t help you to address a group of co workers in a very formal manner. It’s fine to have a friendly tone, but still be business-like. Match your style and tone to your audience.

4. Common language: Make sure everyone understands you. If you work in a technical field, be careful about using jargon that some readers may not understand. You may want to write different versions of the same memo to people in different departments.

5. Informative subject line: This explains simply and clearly what the memo is about. Similar to a subject line in an email message, the subject line is crucial to getting people to read your memo.

6. Write the bottom-line first: The first sentence or two should give the main point. Don’t add extra information leading up to the point. Remember, this isn’t a story, it’s a business document.

7. Clear and concise: Check for extra wording; keep the memo to one page or less, and use attachments or separate summaries for additional information. Keep the memo structure simple and logical. Limit paragraphs to one idea.

8. Factual: Use a neutral or positive tone. Avoid emotionally-charged words.

9. Conclusion: If needed, add a conclusion to reaffirm or summarize the main points.

10. Formatting: Use the standard format outlined in many guides, or follow your company’s guidelines.

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Dress Code Tips: Possibly The Most Misunderstood Part Of Dress Code Is Knowing What Is Appropriate

Are you confused about what is the appropriate dress code for interviews, business meetings, special occasions, professional attire, or dinner parties? The meaning of dress codes has changed so much through the years that many of us are confused about what acceptable attire is and what isn’t.

Let’s say you receive an invitation that states the dress code for a special occasion with terms you’re unfamiliar with. The invitation might say that the dress code is casually elegant, smart casual, chic casual, dressy casual, or creative dressy.

You may be wondering to yourself…

What are these labels supposed to mean?

Let me tell you right now, you are not alone if you are clueless as to what these dress codes are meant to be because these trendy dress code names are not helping anyone.

As if the invites confusion is not hard enough, there are also workplace dress codes for meetings, interviews, the regular workday, and casual Friday. These are a bit easier to understand than the special occasions dress codes.

This is how I see it…

** Interview Dress Code: Whether you are a man or a woman, always wear a suit to an interview. When you are dressed in a stylish suit, you give the impression of being in control of the situation and confident in you own abilities. It’s all about getting your foot in the door and business formalwear is just the way to do it.

Just picture yourself strutting into the interview in a men’s navy, single-breasted, two piece pin striped suit with a blue dress shirt, tie, and a silk handkerchief in the pocket.

Can you feel the self-confidence building within yourself as you present a professional, stylish impression on your new employer? Yes, you’re already thinking, ‘new employer’. That’s the feeling you get for being on top of your game, self-assured in your classic, business suit that says, “I’m the one. No need to look any further.” You get the idea of what a dynamite business wardrobe can do for your self-image.

** Business Outing Formal Wear: For a more conservative, yet contemporary style for business formal wear, try the double breasted suit in charcoal or olive. This is an ideal choice for the up and coming executive or maybe your company is throwing its annual cocktail party and you’ll be rubbing elbows with all the VIPs’ and CEO’s. You’re sure to leave a lasting, professional impression on the people who have a say in your future success by dressing the part.

** Interviews and Business Meetings: A women’s black suit with either a skirt or pants is ideal business wear for interviews or business meetings. It is professional and stylish at the same time, giving an impression of confidence and experience. This business suit presents an air of authority that is a plus during any interview.

Break the mold with an unusual, chic women’s suit that sports a long, navy, knee length jacket with black pants and blouse. This is a contemporary style with a professional flair. Just the right message you want to give when going to that important interview or business meeting. When you are wearing this suit, you emanate success. You will be seen as a modern, informed woman ready to take on the business world.

** Casual Dress Code: If your workplace dress code is more flexible and you can wear business casual attire at work, you want to make sure that you’re comfortable but clean and neat in appearance. Business casual does not mean jeans and a t-shirt. Unless your company states that jeans are allowed, don’t wear them.

** The no-no’s: Shorts, warm-up pants, and sweat shirts should be avoided. Feel free to wear sweaters, polo shirts, button down shirts, and sports shirts as long as they are clean and neat. Heat up the iron and put a crisp seam in your casual cotton or synthetic pants.

You don’t want to be too revealing for business casual attire. Dresses are acceptable but don’t wear anything too low cut or too short. Wear a dress or skirt long enough so you will feel comfortable while sitting in a chair and it won’t be offensive to co-workers. The dress should also have sleeves that cover the shoulders and upper arms. Although you might look sexy in a strapless dress, keep it in the closet until you go out for a night on the town. It is not appropriate for business casual wear.

Although the dress code labels have become more complicated through the years, it’s always a safe bet to be neat and groomed in appearance. Have fun choosing your work fashions and take pride in dressing for all those special occasions and moments in your life.

Dress codes are all about finding the perfect balance of comfort and style for all occasions.

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5 Significant Reasons Why You Should Consider Working From Home

When it comes to earning a living, you basically have a choice of working for someone else or working for yourself. While there are pros and cons associated with both, more people choose to work for someone else. If you have made the choice to work for someone else or you are about to enter the workforce and are not sure which option to choose, the following benefits just may help you make up your mind.

#1. Spend More Time with Your Family. No one can deny that family is important. The minute you leave your home to work for someone else in an office or other work environment, your become distant from your family and their needs. The needs of your employer become a priority and only in the direst of situations does your family have a higher concern. We’re all too familiar with how work can destroy the unit. People are spending more time at work and less with their family.

Of course, it is possible for people to become workaholics while working from home, but getting out of this mode and learning to balance family and work is much easier than when you are distant from your family. When you work from home you can greet your children or spouse as they walk through the door. You can easily arrange your work schedule to coincide with family events.

#2. Cut Your Expenses. Working from home means that you are commuting less, spending less on gasoline, eating more home-cooked meals, taking care of your children yourself, and spending less on clothes. Cutting these expense result in you having more money to save and to spend on things that are important to you.

#3. Unlimited Earning Potential. When you are not your own boss, someone else dictates what you are worth. Yes, you have the option of changing employers to make more money, but a certain dollar amount is attached to your job title. People in sales positions who work on a commission basis do have the potential to make a lot of money, but part of that money goes to the employer.

As your own boss, you are truly unlimited in the amount of money you can earn. This potential is only limited by the amount of work that you decide to put forth.

#4. Casual Work Environment. One of the many sheets of paper that you receive on your first day of employment with a company are the company rules. Within these rules is the list of clothing that is acceptable for work environment. Business casual is the option that most businesses prefer. If you work for a company that involves a significant amount of contact with clients, there is a possibility that you will have to wear more professional clothing.

People who work from home choose the attire that is acceptable for them. Many people who work from home step out of the shower and put on casual clothes and begin working. Shoes, socks, and even clothing are optional. Your workspace is your own, so you determine the dress code. Home-business owners who interact with clients face-to-face are usually not looked down upon when they are in casual clothing.

#5. Do What You Enjoy. When they work for someone else, it is seldom the case that people do what they enjoy. What is more common is that people get locked into performing a certain type of skill and just keep doing it to keep food on the table.

Life is too short for people to go around unfulfilled. When people work from home they have the option to choose the exact tasks that they perform. This one aspect of working from home can make the difference in an individual’s outlook on life and themselves.

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You’re Only As Smart As You Look: Know The Clothing Etiquette For The Professionals

Are you confused about how to choose a professional wardrobe that is diverse enough to be appropriate for any business clothing etiquette? Do you have business attire that is suitable for the boardroom, the company outing, or casual day?

Whether you are an executive mom, an office manager, or a CEO, you need professional attire that is right for your job and all the functions that require a variety of dress. How often do you find yourself standing in front of a closet full of clothes, not being able to find anything to wear?

If this describes your morning, it’s time to refresh your professional attire. Remember, bad wardrobe decisions are a serious career mistake.

What you need to do is get a clean start, building up your wardrobe for all the seasons and all the functions that take place in your workplace and your social life throughout the year. When you do this, you will find that you always have appropriate clothing of business casual attire, boardroom professional suits, or executive mom suits.

*** Professional Look ***

Let’s begin with women’s clothing that you can find to look your best. Consider styles that withstand the test of time when choosing a woman’s suit. Classic styles in beautiful textures and fabrics are ideal choices for the professional woman who wants to dress for success, following the clothing etiquette for the professional. The Audrey B suit line has classic women’s suits with money saving deals. An all purpose jacket to compliment crisply creased trousers is also downright professional attire.

These tips also hold true for men’s clothing. A truly striking color for a man’s business suit is a steel gray with a white dress shirt. The effect is striking and eye-popping.

Give yourself a heads up on co-workers, wearing an Italian wool suit that is fit to your proportions, not saggy or droopy. The suit pants should fit comfortably at your hips. You will not go unnoticed if you walk into the boardroom wearing a well fitted suit which enhances your strength and authority.

*** Business Casual Attire ***

Now for business casual attire; the clothing etiquette for the casual day is neat, yet business like. Both men and women can create a business casual look with a dark, all purpose blazer, or jacket with contrasting trousers which are a staple of any wardrobe. Don’t forget a pair of men’s loafers or women’s pumps to balance out the outfit. Casual business attire is all about fit, proportion, and comfort.

*** Professional Clothing Etiquette ***

One of most difficult thing to nail down is what is appropriate for work and what would be too extravagant or awkward to wear in an office environment. Followings are basic rule to follow so that you don’t make a career mistake.

- Nothing beat a clean, well pressed dress or suit with polished shoes.

- Some company have dress codes, if you work in a place where there is a dress code, all you need to do is follow the rules. If there is no dress code, make sure you create your own.

- Women should wear pressed blouse (plain colors are better under your jacket) with knee-length skirts or slacks and closed-toe shoes for more professional appearance.

- Men should wear collared shirt with a jacket and tie when going for a business. The outer jacket or tie may be optional when there is no meeting Nice tailored quality pant and leather shoes to make the appearance more presentable

Another thing to keep in mind when you shop for professional attire is to choose women’s clothes or men’s clothes in subdued colors, textured fabrics, classy, yet edgy, and dynamic.

If you follow these clothing etiquette guidelines for the professional, you will build a wardrobe that is comfortable and suits your good taste.

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