You are setting up a new small business. You opted to rent an outside facility from which you will run your company. How will you make your office “Wow” your clients? Here are ten tips from a pro who knows.
Most of our communication doesn’t come from our mouths. We communicate nonverbally with our bodies, our facial expressions, and our attire. The place where you do business speaks to how well you do business. If you can amaze your clients as soon as they walk in the door with your professionalism and appearance, your relationship with them will be that much easier to manage. Robert Bielsky, Founder of Manhattan Commercial Realty, offers 10 enhancements to make your office “wow” clients.
“It’s important to create a positive, business-like ambiance in your workspace so clients get the right impression,” shares Bielsky. “These tips will impress your clients and project the image you’re after.”
1. Everyone is selling — always. Train all of your employees to greet visitors, even if they don’t have a functional role with that visitor. They should offer any help if the visitor seems lost or confused. Whether your company is large or small, every one of your employees is selling your product, all the time.
2. Get a great receptionist. The receptionist is the first impression when someone enters your office. Your receptionist needs to be friendly and helpful all the time, even when he or she is busy performing other tasks. They should lead the client to their destination (don’t just point the way!), or seat them in a guest area and offer a refreshment.
3. Create a personalized lobby board. Write something large and clear near the entrance that greets your client so he feels welcome and knows he’s in the right place. It also shows that you’re prepared for the meeting and that you value his business.
4. Keep it clean. Maintain a clean workplace in every area a visitor can see – especially the entrance. Have a non-employee look at the space from an objective point of view and offer criticisms. Are there worn spots in the carpet, or is the paint fading? If you can’t keep your workspace organized and free of clutter, your client will think you don’t run a business very efficiently. Put everything away, file your paperwork, and remove any refuse. Clutter creates feelings of tension and you don’t want the client feeling anxious in your office. If you’re too busy to tidy up yourself, hire a professional cleaning service to come in at night and straighten up. They won’t file your documents, but they’ll keep the bathrooms pristine, the floors vacuumed, and the dust kept away.
5. Have refreshments available. Invest in a coffee and water system and keep it available to the customers. Don’t hide it in the break room. Instruct your receptionist to offer it to the client as soon as they’re greeted. Keep some sealed snacks on hand for drop-in’s, and prepare something more elaborate when you have scheduled meetings. If you have a client spending all day in your office, offer to buy lunch. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but the gesture won’t be missed.
6. Make your company’s value known. Print up some literature about your company and hang it in the entrance area and any paths to meeting places. Your mission statement, guiding principles, photos of founding or important company figures, and congratulatory messages to employees (“Great job meeting our quarterly goals!”) are all great documents to position where a client would see.
7. Express your personality. Not all offices have to be barren, generic workplace landscapes. It is possible to inject some personality into your workplace decor though nevertheless remaining qualified. Photos, artwork, color schemes and other items that tell somebody what you’re like as a brand and what you believe in, as well as awards or certificates you’ve received in small business are a surefire way to tell an individual who you are ahead of you even have to open your mouth. Always think of what you’d feel of a provider if you walked into your office, and modify it according to the message you want to get across!
8. Dress properly. The office dress code is up to you, but be sure your employees stick to it. You shouldn’t have to worry if everyone is appropriate to have a client over. You should be able to invite a guest into your office at any time.
9. Use an efficient layout. Clients are impressed when your office looks modern. Utilize technology wherever you can and make sure your guests see it so you project forward-looking values and optimism. Use office equipment and furniture wherever necessary, and leave space everywhere else. Don’t clutter your workspace with needless items just because you can. Hang artwork if you think it’s appropriate, but don’t fill your walls unless that’s the look you intend.
10. Maintain good lighting. Be sure every room is brightly lit with natural or artificial lighting. Dark rooms are associated with gloominess and poverty. You definitely don’t want a client to struggle to see in your office, and associate that difficulty with your business. Large, open windows are especially useful, as they make the room feel energized.
Follow these tips and you’ll create an environment your clients will love. Excelling in these little things can go a long way in making a good impression with someone who will potentially spend money at your business. Don’t sell yourself short by failing to look as impressive as you are.
About Chairman Robert Bielsky
Mr. Bielsky holds a national reputation as a leader in the commercial real estate industry. His market expertise, creative deal making skills, and keen knowledge of the art of negotiation have maintained his position at the forefront of the industry.
As the founder and Chairman of Manhattan Commercial Realty he leads one of the most powerful negotiating teams in NYC. With his leadership mCr has maintained a strict dedication to tenant representation, and successfully negotiated over $1 billion in real estate transactions since its inception in 1982.