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Making A Good First Impression: 4 Things People Notice First About Your Business

2012 May 17
by Contributor

When it comes to meeting new people, we all know that first impressions can make or break the relationship between you and this new person. Well, the same is true for a business. When people walk into your offices or your storefront, they immediately form an opinion about both you as the business owner and your business itself.

So how do you know what things customers often notice first? And once you know what they are looking for, how do you ensure your business is giving a strong first impression? That’s why we’re here. Here are just a few things that customers and clients will notice first.

Your Decor

Whether you are running a storefront or an office, you want the entryway of your space to give off a warm, welcoming feeling to all of the customers or clients that are walking in. This means you especially need to pay attention to the cleanliness and decor in the front end of your space.

Plants will help warm up an area and make people feel refreshed and relax, both very welcoming and pleasant feelings. Make sure there are a couple of plants in the entryway of your office to give off the impression that this is a safe and comfortable place.

If you are operating a storefront, make sure the front half of the store is well-organized. No one likes walking in to clutter – it will give off the impression that you and your business are disorganized and don’t take good care of nice things. And let’s face it, customers won’t want to buy from a store like that.

Pay attention to the decor on your walls, as well, in both offices and stores. Again, aim to create a “homey” sort of feeling when someone walks in that will make them want to stay. Don’t drive people away with harsh decor or messy spaces!

Your Branding

If customers walk into an office and don’t know if they’re in the right place or if they are where they were actually trying to get to, you have a problem. You want people to know for sure that they have found YOUR company.

This starts at the door. You should display your logo proudly on the glass of your front door, or if you have a wooden door, you should have a logo hanging from it. For storefronts, it’s a good idea to not only have a decal with your brand name and logo on it, but also your store hours so people don’t second guess whether you are open or not when they show up.

For ideas, check out Signazon, a site that specializes in creating custom window decals for businesses. Branding is important so that people will remember you and your business from the second they walk in, and with a good logo proudly on display front and center, no one will ever second guess where they are.

Your Receptionist/Salesperson

The first person that a customer or client interacts with should be a friendly receptionist or an outgoing salesperson. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you hire the right people for these key positions.

Oftentimes, a receptionist is expected to represent the entire company to a client as soon as they walk through the office doors, so finding someone who fits your business style and personality is essential. You want someone calm, collected, friendly, professional and outgoing. A moody or unfriendly receptionist can destroy a client’s first impression of your business.

The same is true for a salesperson in a storefront, whether it’s you, the business owner, or someone that you’ve hired. Again, this person should epitomize what your business is all about and should be comfortable enough to talk to people as soon as they walk into your store.

A friendly welcome will make people want to stay and do business with you more, so make sure you have the right team with the right personalities to fit your business.

Your Furniture

Surprisingly enough, we’re going to separate out your business’ furniture from the rest of your business decor, and still list it as one of the first things people notice and judge about your business.

Decor is all about creating an atmosphere that gives off the vibe of comfort and welcoming hospitality – good furniture is about actually creating that comfort! If a client walks into your business’ office, they should have someplace comfortable to sit down if they have to wait at all for a meeting or to speak with someone in your office.

Make sure the furniture matches with the color scheme of the rest of your decor but is still interesting, unique, comfortable and most importantly – memorable. The more unique your furniture is, the more comfortable people will be in your office. The same is true for any meeting rooms.

And to you storefront operators: have furniture strategically placed around your store for sitting and resting areas. Let’s face it, women usually tend to shop with a boyfriend or husband who 9 times out of 10 isn’t actually into the shopping itself. They’ll appreciate a place to sit while their female counterpart shops around your store.

Jackie Ryan is a freelance writer who works closely with many small businesses. She particularly loves when businesses have custom logo entrance mats in the entryway of their offices or stores. It’s a classy touch that goes a long way in terms of branding and memorability!

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