When I was at school there was a kid in my class, who for the sake of this article shall remain nameless. He was a pretty nice guy; I’d even go so far as to call this guy my friend. In our first year of school he came in with a rather messy haircut, not too dissimilar in appearance to a birds nest, and as I’m sure you’re well aware kids can pick up on things like this rather quickly. His nest-like barnet earned him the nickname “Pigeon Head” and from that moment on, that was his name. Poor Pigeon Head, he couldn’t win. He grew his hair, he styled his hair, he even shaved it all off! But he was still Pigeon Head.

Pigeon Head, the unfortunate hero of this tale, serves a fantastic purpose... First impressions are VERY important. If you head to a business meeting with a new client it can be something as small as a poorly knotted tie or an un-ironed shirt that they remember you for. As people, we can make up our mind on someone within a tenth of a second! Once we’ve made up our mind on someone, it’s pretty hard to change it.

It’s not just with people we make up our minds quickly on though, it’s brands, businesses and products too. Once someone has formed their opinion about your business, it’s going to be an up-hill business to change their mind.

With so many of our dealings these days being performed online, often times the first time we make contact with new businesses or potential new clients will be though a screen. With this in mind, your opening pitch wouldn’t be set in a cluttered office, so why would you look like that online?

A great tool for you to see what people first notice about you and your website is this little thing ClueApp.com. This site takes a screen shot of your website and then gives you a few seconds to see what you remember. Once you’re done you can send this to other people and see what they remember. This will allow you to assess what stands out the most on your website and what people remember about you.

Poor ol’ unfortunate Pigeon Head didn’t have the option to assess what people would pick up on about him when he came to school that day and his fate was sealed when he left the brush on the bedside table. What you as a business owner have the luxury of is learning from his mistakes. What you can do is test the market before you launch and see what people will pick up about you. You also have a wealth of professionals (like us at Estate Apps) to steer you in the right direction and advise you along the way.

So keep in mind this cautionary tale and get someone who knows what they’re doing to look at your online presence. Online consumers have an incredibly short attention span and aren’t likely to put up with something that’s difficult to use for very long. Digital difficulties with your company might not just have your customers getting bored and moving on to a competitor, it may leave you in the public’s mind as something worse... A Pigeon Head.