Have you recently been downsized and decided to take this opportunity to start your own business?

Start by having professional head shots taken. You will need high quality photos to use for business cards, social media, newsletters and more. With one click your picture can be uploaded and used for 100’s of items. Remember there is a huge difference in quality between what a professional can do and the camera on your phone. Take that wonderful head shot and put it on your business card. You want to keep your face and your company name in front of people all the time.

In my opinion your business card is you passport into the world of new business. This is what people will remember you by. On the front you want to have your picture, company name,and logo, your name and contact information. By putting your picture, you are making the card more personal; it also makes it easier for people to remember you or recognize you. Adding your website or e-mail address is a good idea. You want to make it easy for people to contact you. The biggest mistake people make in designing their cards is they forget to use the back. This is a blank canvas you can do anything with. Would you waste a prime real-estate location? No probably not, you would want to maximize your space. Some ways to do this are, list the services you offer. When you meet people you only have thirty to sixty seconds to get your message across, you can’t possibly tell them everything you offer and the potential client won’t remember all that you said. By listing your services, you don’t have to worry about this. Other options are to offer a discount or coupon on the back. Putting a tip calculator on the back would give people a reason to keep your card handy.

Let’s not forget the wonderful new world of social media. Linked In is a great way to start. Contact all your colleagues whom you have a good relationship with and reconnect with them. You can update your profile with your new CEO position. Again that head shot will come in handy. When updating your profile, update your photo. Make sure you reach out to your contacts to write a testimonial about you. Nothing will go further than honest feedback from others. If people are hesitant to talk about your new services, you can offer them a trade or discount. You will provide your services at a reduced rate or for free in exchange for a testimonial. Use this on all your social media and in print.

Remember the idea is to gt people thinking about you in your new position. You want them calling you when the need arises.

Originally published in the Democrat & Chronicle on April 2nd, 2013.