According to research, it takes only seven seconds for people to form a first impression. If your first impression is lackluster, it could also be your last impression. A successful sales rep already knows the power of a friendly greeting, a warm smile, and a firm handshake in making a positive connection quickly. But what about your office space?
People also make quick assumptions about you and your business based on your ‘curb appeal,’ or the first impression they get from your place of business—but it goes beyond what they see from the actual curb. A neat and organized space is a must, but there’s much more you can do to create a space that reflects how you’d like your business to be perceived: Modern and forward-thinking? Trustworthy and stable? Friendly and community-focused? You decide–then consider these ideas for creating your desired impression, starting with your front door and ending with whatever lies behind it.
Color: It can be tempting to choose a personal favorite to paint the office space we inhabit every day, but it may not be the best choice based on your business goals. There’s a whole science to color—successful brands know this and choose colors strategically. That doesn’t mean you should splash every inch of your space in one color, but finding a way to weave it into your decor can help you create the vibe you’re going for. And don’t forget the front door—it’s the first thing your customers may encounter.
Furniture: Making thoughtful choices can enhance the comfort and professionalism of your office—and take it from shabby and amateurish to chic and professional. You don’t have to spend big bucks on new furniture; even thrift store desks, chairs, and sofas can feel modern, fresh, and welcoming with a simple coat of paint or updated upholstery. Remember, the more comfortable your customers are, the more open they’ll be to your message.
Accents: Choosing a theme for your office can be a way to add personality to a sterile space—and again, make a memorable impression. If you’re a sports enthusiast, consider hanging framed pictures of local teams or your personal heroes. If you love travel, a collection of travel posters. Music, animals, cars—almost anything can be the key to a memorable theme. Just take care to keep it subtle, understated, and professional. You don’t want the theme to overshadow the nature of your business, but rather tastefully enhance it. If you’re not sure, ask a trusted friend or colleague for feedback.
As an independent agent, you likely spend the bulk of your time at work and invest a lot of energy into your business. You want a space that’s comfortable for you and conducive to getting your work done. Taking an extra step towards being strategic about what your space communicates to others can be the ‘secret sauce’ that gives you that extra edge.