Your business premises are more than just a place where you get work done. They’re also an extension of your company. It’s not the four walls and ceiling that count the most, but how your business is represented within the space (and also outside) that counts. This will help to give your company an identity, and allow your workers to be more productive. It’ll also have a positive impact on how your business visitors view your company, too. As you’ll know from your visits to see other businesses, it’s not just what people at the company say that influences your perception. You were also influenced by the overall look and feel of the space.
So it’s important that you’re working hard to make sure that what they see is positive. In this blog, we’ll look at a handful of ways you can ensure that your visitors look with a positive view of your business.
Your visitor’s impression of your company begins before they’ve walked onto your premises. Think about how they’ll get there. While in some instances, your location will be obvious, it’s important to remember that what’s obvious to you may be confusing to someone else. Will your guest arrive at your site without any problem if they put the address into Google Maps? If there is any confusion, or even a chance of it, then make sure you include some useful information when you’re interacting with them beforehand. You may also want to add a sign that effectively tells visitors they’ve arrived at the correct place, too.
OK, so your visitor has arrived at your site. Will they be able to park OK? If parking is usually tight, then you may want to specifically reserve a spot. It’s fine for one of your employees to park on the street for a few hours, so your guest can roll right up to your place. Of course, if you’re located in a city, then you may not have the option of reserving a car space. In that case, you should tell your visitor the nearest place to find public parking. It’ll be courteous to reimburse your visitor for the cost of the parking ticket. Alternatively, if you really want to push the boat out and make a positive impression, then you could look at sending a car to pick up your visitor. This will be more appropriate if you know they’re traveling from a different part of the country, rather than if it’s just a standard local meeting.
Most of your energy will go towards making sure that the inside of your workspace is presentable, clean, tidy, etc. However, while it’s that area of your office that may get the bulk of your attention, it’s important that you don’t overlook the outside of your space. This may not even be technically under your control (let’s say: it’s a public place), but it can have an impact on how people look at your business, so you’ll want to make sure that it looks good. There’s a big difference between the perception of a business that has a chaotic and dirty exterior, versus one that looks presentable. At a bare minimum, you should work on ensuring it’s not in an unkempt state.
Managing Potential Problems
It doesn’t matter where your business is located: there’s always the chance that something will go wrong. While there’s not much you can do about some things happening, there are usually things you can do to be prepared. It’s all about thinking ahead and identifying what type of problem you may experience. For example, it could be that you live in an area that receives heavy rainfall, which will increase the likelihood of flooding. That could cause problems for your visitor, not to mention your preparation process. If this is a threat, then look at commercial drainage options. They’ll help to ensure that mother nature can’t disrupt your plans.
It’s kind of strange how often you walk past respectable businesses and see that the sign at the front of their business is missing letters. What’s happened is that the business owner has just gotten used to it. They walk past the sign every day, and now it’s just no big deal. However, think about the view that your visitor will have. They’ll be seeing your place for the first time, and there’s no avoiding the fact that if your sign is looking a little worse for wear, then they’re going to notice — and it might just cause them to have a slightly lower opinion of your business. If your sign is missing letters, then just pay to get them replaced. It’s an easy task that won’t take a long time or cost you much money.
If you have a reception area, then take steps to ensure that this is a comfortable place for your guests to relax before you arrive. If you don’t have a dedicated reception area, then you can set up a place in your office for them to wait. Make sure that you’re providing drinks and other refreshments while they wait. You don’t know if they’ve had to rush to get there — they may be hungry. If they don’t want to eat, then no problem — your staff will gladly sweep up any of the treats and coffee that you’ve supplied.
One thing that many people overlook when it comes to their office is that the working space does reflect your company’s branding and overall vibe, whether you like it or not. So it’s important to check that your working space reflects what you want your company to project. For example, if you’re a young and progressive company, then it wouldn’t make all that much sense to have a space that’s more suitable for a traditional company. There’ll be a disconnect if your working space is radically different from what you project to the world.
You’ll be the primary person that your guest interacts with, of course, but you won’t be the only one. There’s also the matter of your employees. They’ll have a big impact on your visitor’s perception of your company. If they’re positive and happy, then the view will be positive. But what if they’re negative, surly, and there’s a bad atmosphere in the air? Those things you just can’t ignore. It’ll be a red flag for your company. Of course, everyone has off days — and you can’t expect your staff to be in a good mood all the time. But if it seems like there’s a recurring bad mood, then you’ll want to look at improving things. Sometimes a little bit of engagement can do wonders for staff happiness.
Private Meeting Areas
Make sure you’ve put together a nice space for everyone involved in the meeting to talk. There should be no distractions, and everyone should be comfortable.
You’ll be on your best form if you’re feeling relaxed and calm. So look at clearing your schedule in the hour or so in the lead up to their arrival. This will give you a chance to get everything ready, and, crucially, to avoid the problem of letting them stick around for too long in the waiting room.
Also think about the final impression you’re leaving them with. If the whole meeting has gone well, then look at putting the final touches on things by letting them leave on a positive final note. What this is will depend on the type of company you’re running and what’s appropriate. If they’re from a different corner of the country or world, it could be a local item. If you manufacture products, then you could give them one to take away. You’ll have a feel for what’s appropriate — the key point is that you make the gesture.
Finally, let’s think about you. So far, we’ve discussed your actual work premises, and how you can make sure that they’re on point. But ultimately, even the best office in the world can’t make up for a business owner who isn’t quite sure of themselves or the meeting. If you’re going to invite someone to your place of business, then be sure to take steps to prepare yourself, and to put your best foot forward. That’ll involve having a plan of action and making sure that you’re getting plenty of rest the day before the visit.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be having visitors to your site just for the fun of it. There’ll be coming for a reason, and it’ll probably have something to do with developing your business and pushing it further forward. While there are no guarantees in the business world, you can make it more likely that things will go your way if your business premises are on point. Take the steps above, and you’ll have confidence that all you’ll need to do is put your best foot forward, and the meeting will be a success.