Customers, clients, suppliers and other professionals will all need to visit your premises at one time or another, even if you don’t operate a retail outlet. The impression they gain within the first few seconds of walking through the door will colour their perception of your business, and if it’s a bad first impression, you will find it difficult to recover the situation.
Why Do Bad First Impressions Matter?
Imagine if an important prospective client walks into reception and is greeted by a dead plant, dirty floors, untidy seating area, and a receptionist too busy checking her Facebook messages to ask him if he wants a coffee. Is this the type of first impression you want to make? No, probably not.
If you were greeted by such a scene, you would probably walk out after a few minutes – and who could blame you! It hardly sets a scene of enormous professionalism. Instead, it makes your business appear uncaring and unlikely to be prosperous. In short, it’s unprofessional and reflects badly on you and the business. For a business very much in demand, you might get away with such a shoddy reception area, but more often than not, presenting a poor image at first glance is immensely damaging.
People won’t want to do business with you if they suspect you are one footstep away from financial ruin. After all, anyone who takes so little care over their business premises and can’t even afford to hire a commercial cleaning service must surely be on the verge of bankruptcy. Luckily, it’s not difficult to create a great first impression, and you don’t need to spend a fortune on original artwork and glamorous receptionists.
Clean and Tidy
No matter how humble your business premises are, there is no excuse for not keeping the place clean. Since your employees might not want to scrub toilets and mop floors after hours, hire a commercial cleaning company to maintain your offices and other business areas. Depending on how many people work there and how large the premises are a cleaning crew will need to come in once, possibly twice, a day. They can vacuum and mop floors, dust, empty bins, clean kitchens and bathrooms, and ensure everything is tidy and hygienic. After all, nothing creates a better first impression than shiny floors and sparkling bathrooms.
Other Ways to Create a Great First Impression
Receptionists need to be polite, friendly, and above all, helpful. Always greet guests and customers with a smile, and if appropriate, offer them some refreshments. Provide a pleasant place for guests to relax while they wait, including comfortable seating, magazines, etc.
Pay attention to décor. Peeling paint and dingy colours don’t create a good first impression. Interiors need a full decorative refresh every 4-5 years, or sooner in a high-traffic area. Install good quality flooring and fix broken trims, handles and anything else that wears out.
Don’t neglect your public areas. Clients and customers do notice the small stuff, so every week or so, go around and look for problems. And if the cleaning is not up to scratch, look for a different contractor.