If you’re familiar with small business statistics in the UK, you’ll know that independent firms and start-ups face significant challenges in the current climate.
While small business survival rates may now be as high as 91% after a single year of trading, for example, just four in ten will still be operating after a total of five years. This highlights issues associated with sustaining a profitable venture, and one that can continue to enjoy incremental growth.
For customer-facing businesses, it’s the smallest details that can have a big impact on future growth. Creating a positive first impression on clients is crucial, for example, particularly when they visit your premises to enter into a progressive relationship.
Below are some tips on how to achieve this:
- Focus on your Reception Area
Let’s start with the basics; as your clients are likely to form an immediate impression of your brand when they enter your reception area. In fact, studies have shown that we form an initial impression of people and places within seven seconds of being introduced, so there is little margin for error.
As a high-traffic area, it’s imperative that you keep this area completely clean and spotless, paying particular attention to the flooring and the surfaces (where dust is most likely to gather). It’s also worth introducing some appealing, pastel shades into this space, as you look to infuse colour and reflect the brand’s visual identity without overwhelming visitors.
In terms of furniture, it’s important to adopt a minimalist approach that optimises space and navigation in your reception area. In this respect, console tables can be extremely effective, as they combine style and functionality and usually boast a compact, ergonomic design.
Just as positioning your oak console table in the hallway can make such a difference to the overall look and feel of your home, it can also revitalise your office space and have a significant impact on your clients.
- Create a Culture of Politeness and Availability
While it’s important to create an appealing and well-design space, you also need to ensure that the people within your business are approachable and welcoming to guests.
Picture the scene; a potential client has attended your premises and approached the reception desk, only to find it unmanned. There are lots of people about, but none of these stop to help or inquire if the visitor needs assistance. This creates an instantly negative impression, and one that raises issues about your businesses approach to customer service and underlying integrity.
To avoid this issue, you should strive to create a culture of politeness and availability among your staff. This will ensure that potential clients are never left standing idle, and instead welcomed and looked after in a way that reflects well on your brand.
It also helps if you have a process for welcoming guests when they first arrive, such as offering them a hot beverage and ensuring that they have somewhere comfortable to wait.
- Utilise Glass Surfaces Wherever Possible – and Don’t Forget Wi-Fi!
As your clients approach and enter the reception area, you have an excellent chance to make a positive first impression on visitors. One of the best ways to achieve this is to leverage any natural light that engulfs the interior space, as this makes the office look bigger and far more welcoming.
By installing glass surfaces wherever possible, you can optimise the impact of natural light and create an inviting space that should appeal to all visitors. So long as these surfaces are regularly cleaned and all dust or smudges are removed, this can create a wow factor that has a positive impact on anyone who visits your business.
On a final note, it’s also wise to ensure that your building and reception is as functional as possible. This includes offering free and easily accessible Wi-Fi to guests, so that they can remain connected and make the most of the time that they are waiting to see you.
This type of small detail can go a long way, and create a positive first impression that turns potential clients into long-term and loyal business partners.