Choosing new work uniform is a major decision in any company regardless of size. Getting it right first time is a huge priority as it saves you time and money. It's vital that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

We've put together the following list of things to avoid when choosing a uniform for your business to help you get the most from your budget.

In short, the most common mistakes when choosing are:

Read on to find out why you need to avoid these mistakes with your next work uniform order.

Rushing The Decision

It's easy to believe that uniforms for a business are something that can be sourced and allocated quickly.

Man rushing towards a goal

By trying to choose a uniform quickly, it can lead to missing out on the fundamental benefits they can offer and getting less value for money. What works for a competitor may not necessarily work for you, especially if the uniform in question transmits the wrong message.

This leaves potential room for complacency. Given the vast benefits uniform can offer, you might miss out on real benefits if you rush.

Benefits such as making your employees easily recognisable to your customers, improving your business's image amongst the locals, or cementing hierarchy throughout your workforce.

And please don't forget, no work uniform provider can magic your new togs out of thin air. We need to procure your chosen garments, set up and check artwork, test, get it through the production cycle, through quality control, into dispatch and from us to you.

Everything takes time. We recommend giving us at least 10 working days from your order to get the finished uniform to you.

Take-Away: Take your time to make decisions (we'll happily help) and give us plenty of time to work our magic (not magic). Uniform is rarely urgent unless you make it urgent, even with new hires.

Inappropriate Design

As your uniform is one of the first impressions your prospective customers get about your business, it's vital that you don't waste that opportunity by confusing them.

A uniform should transmit a clear, focused and well-tailored branding message to your target market. This helps you quickly capitalise on any first interest they may have. 

You do know your target market right? Put yourself in their shoes... what do they respond to?

Escheresque stairs

For example: You're selling mortgages. You targets mid-30's willing to make the biggest financial decision of their life. A multi-coloured contrast polo and shorts just isn't going to cut it. You need something formal that induces feelings of authority and trust, like shirts or blouses, well fitting trousers or skirts, maybe a knitted jumper or a cardigan. All these can be branded.

For another example: You're selling trainers. You target mid to late teens spending their pocket money or daddy's hard-earned. Fitted trousers and a waistcoat over a pressed white shirt will put those kids off coming into your shop at all. A sporty contrast polo in your brand colours or a printed T Shirt with a pair of shorts would match the characteristics of your product range.

Yet another example: You and the lads rebuild parts of people's houses. Even though your customers are spending large sums with you, you wouldn't rock up in a 3 piece suit. You would need hard wearing trousers with a top designed for ease of movement, like a raglan hoodie or t shirt.

These are just examples picked off the top of this writer's head in the heat of the moment. Your business, it's target market and the correct image you should portray are your own to decide.

The more appropriate your employees work uniforms, the more likely you are to achieve that delicious cost-efficiency we spoke of earlier.

Take-away: Think about what your customers will respond positively to. What will they understand about your business by the clothes employees are wearing. Will it make them think trustworthy and knowledgable? Will they want to give you their money?

Excluding Company Branding

It takes time and skill to set-up machines to embroider or print uniform with your logo, so you might be tempted to skip this step to save money.

Scene from Pretty Woman
Big mistake. Big. Huge!

Yes your staff might be wearing something that looks a little like a uniform, but if it doesn't have your business branding, what's the point? They just blend in.

Along with skimping on cost and not planning uniform in time, ignoring the branding altogether is another mistake. It could solve the first two problems, but it makes the whole exercise pointless.

Game Over sign
It's pointless

Like we said, it takes time and skill to create high quality embroidered logos, and the same for quality uniform print, so obviously it is going to come at a cost. But it's part of the cost-efficiency in work uniform policy. The negligible extra in having your uniforms showing off your business name or logo will pay dividends in the future.

The minor initial outlay is made up for in the intangible benefits from increased brand awareness, keeping your business name first in your customer's minds and placing your employees in a position of authority and trust.

These all improve and bolster your other marketing efforts - even if that's the only marketing you do, its still worth it.

Of course, once you have a uniform decided, made (hopefully by us) and implemented, you need to have a well considered uniform policy to ensure everyone stays on brand.

Take-away: Your business brand name or logo plastered across your staff is your main reason for having a uniform. Don't skip this to save a few quid, it's not worth it.

Not Involving Employees

If implementing a work uniform is a new idea at your company, it's fundamental that you involve your employees in the decision process to avoid further complications down the line.

When your decisions concern fitting and comfort, style or practicality, you need to let your employees be heard. Sometimes religious or cultural considerations with business uniform need to be made too and getting those wrong could lead to legal trouble.

Man not listening
"People unconsciously know when you are not listening to them. Then they say 'No' to you.” – James Altucher

Your budget may only stretch to certain styles, fittings or materials, so it's crucial you get it right the first time through a unified agreement among your workforce. 

Involving your employees will not only boost morale but they may highlight better possible opportunities to better utilise your budget.

And the best way to get a workforce to buy into a uniform is to allow them to have a say in what they wear. Unless you have an established uniform and policy going on you should get the opinions of as much of your workforce as possible.

Take-away: You can't do everything on your own, and you can't know everything about what other people do. Involve those who will be wearing the uniforms and everything will go much more smoothly. Everyone will take better care of their uniform. Garments will be suitable for the tasks that make up your business, helping them last longer. And you'll get fewer complaints about the clothes staff have to wear for work.