Work Wear: Key to a Better Image?

May 12, 2000
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What can help your company make a memorable first impression, give your customers an added sense of security, and motivate your employees to take greater pride in what they do? Work wear.

According to current statistics, more than 32 million U.S. employees wear company clothing to work each day. And, interestingly enough, the majority of these employees work for small businesses.

By providing small businesses with the ability to present a consistent, polished, and professional image, work apparel offers the small business an important competitive edge.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” goes the old adage. Nowhere is this more applicable than in business situations. By outfitting your employees in company clothing, your small business can make a big impression.



NEBS' work wear goes beyond traditional hats and shirts.

Customization

In addition to enhancing your competitive credibility, work wear can be customized with employee names and company logos, providing you with the ability to promote customer identification while communicating a personable, friendly attitude.

And, in the home service sector, customer safety and security remains an issue of concern. Provide your service staff with work wear and reassure your customers that they’ve hired a true professional to do the job.

Here’s something else to consider: A recent study published by the Journal of Marketing Services indicates that “uniformed” employees are perceived by customers as being more “legitimate” and highly qualified.

The study further suggests that employees who wear company clothing are naturally motivated to take greater pride in their company and show greater pride in their work.

Not That Costly

Concerned about costs? Keep in mind that employee uniforms don’t have to be elaborate. A poplin shirt, embroidered polo, or screen-printed tee can look polished and professional, especially when combined with a matching cap or pair of clean, neat work pants.

Work wear can also be offered to employees as a fringe benefit. Employers who have implemented this idea have found that they often have an edge over their competition when it comes to recruiting and retaining the best employees, as the “perk” of being supplied with company clothing is appealing.

Other companies use clothing incentives as a substitute for taxable wages — a compensation strategy that can lead to measurable savings in payroll (FICA) taxes. And for most small businesses, the purchase of employee clothing is completely tax-deductible.

Shopping Tips

What should you know before you buy work wear?

First, make sure that the work wear you buy is durable. Invest in clothing that will hold up even under the most extreme circumstances, and still provide your employees with a great look and a lot of long-lasting wear.

Second, don’t settle for a limited selection of colors, sizes, or styles. One size does not fit all! Look for a reputable and well-established company that will offer you a variety of looks and extended sizes to choose from.

Third, consider how the clothing you buy will be worn and used. Make sure that your selections are appropriate for and designed to fit your employees’ true needs. In addition to appearance, think comfort, function, and protection.

Fourth, make sure that you won’t get stuck with company clothing you’re not completely happy with. Look for a company that offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, even on personalized items.

If you don’t have a company logo or would like to update your existing one, make sure you find a work wear supplier that can create a custom design for you. You can even design your own work apparel from the convenience of your desktop if you work with a company that has an online catalog.

Finally, purchase your company’s work wear from a company that specializes in servicing smaller businesses. Otherwise, you might end up paying higher prices on lower-quantity orders.

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