What your office space says about your business
It’s an exciting time when you reach the point in your business when you need to rent office space.
At this time it’s important to take a step back and plan how you want to come across to your clients and consumers in your new office space. The way you decorate and run your office can send powerful messages to your clients and customers, so it’s important to consider what your office space says about your company. Here are a few things you need to consider.
Be wary of the traditional office model that puts a desk between the client and the business owner. It can be intimidating and impersonal for the client and might inhibit them in their decision to invest in your services. If your business is a modern start up, you might like to consider a couch or ottoman for meeting with clients. A large round table will also act as a good equaliser in a negotiation setting. If you want to come across as friendly and approachable in business it’s best not to put any physical obstacles in your way.
It can intimidating and impersonal to put a desk between the client and business owner.
It’s important that your decor represents the ethos of your company and depending on what type of business you run, the importance of the decor will vary. If you run a design based business for example, it’s essential that your interior design reflects this. There aren’t too many clients that would trust a designer who has generic plastic outdoor furniture in their foyer. Similarly, if you run a business that makes products for children, you might like to consider making your office space welcoming for your younger customers.
The foyer is the most important part of the client/customer introduction as this is the first experience they will have with your business. Make your clients feel welcome with a comfortable waiting area. Invest in plants for your foyer as they have been proven to be a mood elevator. Make sure that the decor of the foyer matches the rest of your office and the ethos of your business. You want to ensure that the client’s transition from the foyer to the meeting area is as smooth and seamless as possible.
The aim is to make your office so comfortable that clients don’t notice the temperature.
Temperature is one of the most underrated elements of a cohesive office experience. When you first start renting your office, spend some time getting to know the heating and cooling systems as well as where the sun comes through the windows and at what time of day. Temperature is not only important to your staff, but clients and customers will be much happier in a temperate environment. The main aim is make your office so comfortable that your clients don’t even notice the temperature.
Obviously cost is huge factor in location selection but it’s important to consider the kind of message you’re sending to customers with the location of your business. For example building supply stores and gardening shops are usually located in industrial areas so a boutique children’s clothing store or a high-end fashion retailer wouldn’t necessarily work in that environment. Before you sign the lease on an office space, have a think about whether or not that is the street or area you want your clients or customers coming to.
Lighting is similar to temperature in that it’s something that your clients and customers shouldn’t notice. Natural is obviously the best if possible but consider using lamps or gentle overhead lighting. Fluorescent lighting can be harsh and energy draining so be sure to consider this when you’re setting up your office.
If your business runs on a large a scale and it’s necessary to have a sign in system that’s fine, but you should try to avoid this as much as possible. A relaxed and seamless entry system to your business will keep your clients and customers happy and calm which is exactly how you want them to be.
Read more: Staff-friendly office fit-outs