First impressions can be tricky. They’re incredibly important, especially when it comes to business relationships. The first few seconds of getting to know a new client – and of them getting to know you – can be vital when it comes to building a solid, long-lasting and productive relationship.
Most business owners already realize how important it is to prepare for these first meetings. Odds are you know to dress the part and be friendly and professional, but have you considered the fact that your office needs to be prepared, as well? A well-designed office can improve the image you give your clients, but a poorly designed office can shatter it just as easily.
The good, the bad and the ugly
If your office looks neat and clean and is inline with your brand, you’re on the right track. Even though there’s always room to improve, a middling or simple office is unlikely to harm your image on the first impression. Ideally, however, your office will go above and beyond and actually boost you in your client’s eyes.
The best way to do this is to consider your office’s design. It should match the overall tone and message your company gives. Are you a formal, dignified company? If so, you probably don’t want your office to have trendy informal touches like chalkboards or a game room. If, however, your business has a more laid-back culture, these details can cement that for your client. You want your office to give people an at-a-glance impression of who you are as a company – and it should line up with whatever it already knows.
There are some things, however, that will actively damage your chance at a great first meeting. For example, clients might be put off if your office is too small or too large for the number of employees you have – an overpacked office gives the wrong impression, but so does a mostly empty one. Another serious mistake that some business owners don’t consider is their office’s state of organization. If you and your workers all have desks full of cluttered papers or random notes, you can give clients the idea that you’re scatterbrained or overworked. Give your office a walkthrough before important clients arrive, and make sure things look tidy.
Not sure what kind of impression your office’s design makes on first look? Check out our consultation and design service to see how you can improve.