When operating any business, it’s very important to display a professional image. People judge you on your appearance. It’s long been said that “you only get one chance to make a first impression.”

If you’re an owner or driver, you represent not only yourself but your company and the trucking industry. This is why it is important to consistently present yourself with a positive image. Ask yourself, “what kind of message am I sending and does it benefit me and my business?” Always remember the perception of who you are will be gauged by not only your customers but by the motoring public, the DOT, shippers and consignees. Others will respect and take you seriously when you present yourself as the successful person you want to be.

When making a professional appearance, it’s important to pay attention to your dress. You may want to consider creating a (uniform) for yourself/company. This can be as simple as wearing a button down/polo shirt which includes your company name and logo.

On your personal time off from work, you might choose to wear a worn out comfortable pair of jeans and a favorite old t-shirt. However, for business these clothes may not be appropriate if you want to portray a professional image.

In the transportation industry, we work with so many different people throughout our day. When it comes to dressing for success, staying “neutral” will work best. It’s a good practice to review what you’re planning on wearing as to not offend anyone. You may have the best intentions by wearing your favorite (team, brand, religious or political) ball cap, t-shirt or jacket however someone else may take a dislike to your attire. You don’t want that person to be your customer, employee the public or law enforcement. You may want to consider what message your clothing is sending. Some people are extremely serious and passionate about their favorite sports teams, race driver or religion. For business dressing, it’s more appropriate to steer away from wearing or displaying items which will showcase a logo (not including your company logo), brand, sport team or offensive statement. Try putting yourself in your customers “shoes” and think of their reaction when you show up displaying an opposing team or political statement. Could your choice of attire offend someone’s wife, child or a person working in the office?

In regards to your image, if you ask yourself some of these questions, you can see how your attire may impact you or someone else. When dressing for success, it’s important to consider the factors mentioned above so that you can represent yourself, company and industry in the best possible manner.

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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Henry, you certainly practice what you preach. I wonder how many people you have influenced by your impressive business standards?

November 05, 2013 8:48:02 AM