There comes a point during your growing contracting business that you WILL need to have an office space. You will come to a crossroads where your team will need a place to gather and discuss contracts with clients. It is not only important to procure an office, but also to create a good first impression with your new space. The office doesn’t necessarily need to be exceptionally large, but Contractor Talk, in their article entitled Make a Good First Impression with Your Office, discuss a few ways to get started. The following are their findings:
Cleanliness is Exceptionally Important
Whether you decide to keep your office in your home or rent commercial space, make sure to keep it clean. Job applicants and customers will notice grimy windows, door knobs and floors. Make sure that washrooms are kept well stocked and immaculate: this definitely makes an impression, even though it’s not directly connected to your professional capabilities.
Display Examples of Previous Work on Walls
Instead of decorating your walls with prints or paintings, use the blank canvas of your walls as an opportunity to display examples of your work (with clients’ permission). You could display “Before and After” photographs or simply show examples of finished work. Be sure to note on the pictures that the work was done by your company.
Paint colors don’t necessarily have to be neutral; you can choose to paint one wall in your office a bold tone and then balance it with the other three other in a lighter shade in the same color family. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be able to focus and do work in the environment you choose, so find a color that you like, but that won’t be too distracting.
Make Visitors Feel Welcome
All visitors to your office should be greeted warmly and directed to a comfortable waiting area. The furniture should be clean, comfortable and in good condition. Potential clients will take note of the condition of your waiting area. Right or not, it’s natural to draw conclusions about you and how well your business is doing based on the condition of your outer room.
Make sure to offer all visitors, whether they’re potential customers or employees, vendors or supplier a beverage when they arrive. Coffee, tea and bottled water should be available. Some simple hospitality helps visitors feel comfortable and makes a good first impression.
Use Multiple Lighting Sources
Since you’ll be likely be going over paperwork during at least some of your office meetings, make sure your office is well lit. Overhead lighting may produce glare that makes looking at a computer or tablet screen difficult, so provide at least one alternate source of lighting in your office. Well placed floor or table lamps allow you to focus on the material being discussed in comfort.
Natural light is always an option when reviewing contracts or other documents during daytime meetings. If you have large enough windows, open your office curtains or blinds to take advantage of it whenever possible.
Be Conscious of your Desk Location
You may not think about the importance of where your desk is located when holding meetings at your office – but you should. If you invite visitors into your office to sit opposite your desk, that piece of furniture can be seen as a barrier between you.
And a desk piled high with files and papers creates another type of problem. Do you really want people you’re meeting with to see the items you have on your desk? They may inadvertently be able to see papers that you would prefer to keep confidential.
If you don’t have the space for a conference room, consider creating a conference area in your office by setting up a table and chairs in another area of the room. You’ll appear much more approachable and it puts meetings on a more personal level than talking to someone across your desk. If you don’t have the space for a conference area, at least take the time to clean off your desk before scheduled meetings or interviews.
Keep these tips in mind to help you make a good impression when welcoming visitors to your office. The good impressions you make on others will pay off in higher revenue and professional good will.