First impressions are made in just seven seconds. While many businesses focus on the importance of the impressions made by interpersonal connections between customers and staff, what many neglect to consider is the role the building plays in that first impression. Whether the business is in hospitality, retail or property sales, the very first encounter the customer has with it is from the outside of the premises. Proper maintenance and upkeep of the physical space is therefore essential to the success of the business, as well as maintaining the value of the property should a sale be on the cards in the future.
Maintenance And Upkeep
Basic maintenance is the foundation for keeping the outside of a business place in pristine condition. Heavy winds and rain can cause damage to gutters and roofing, so ensure that your property is regularly inspected. Overflow from blocked gutters can instantly create a negative impression, which could have a knock-on effect on your business. Replace loose or damaged guttering immediately in order to minimise this risk. EasyMerchant supply commercial guttering, which is heavy duty and able to carry large amounts of rainwater away; repairing damaged gutters with this type of product will prevent future damage and maintain the look of the property in the long-term. Similarly, loose tiles, damaged windows and cracked walls all create a negative first impression: as soon as damage is identified, these should be repaired to ensure a professional appearance is maintained.
Dress It Up
With basic maintenance taken care of, consider how you can dress your business up to draw customers in. The more attractive your property looks, the more likely it is to attract attention. Customers are drawn to plants, and adding hanging baskets, planters and shrubs to the outside of your premises will make it more appealing to new clients. Ensure that all your paintwork looks fresh and reflects the company’s image and ethos. If you have a company logo, consider using the corresponding colours to paint doors and window frames. If your property boasts large windows with a good view of the inside space, make sure this too reflects the image you want to convey. Keep windows clean and the inside space well-lit. Whatever your business, you want your customers to see it and be enticed to investigate further. Ensure pathways are swept and the entrance is accessible and inviting, and display any offers you may have in a prominent place. If your business is an estate or travel agent and relies on displays to draw customers in, ensure that these are large, and that care is taken to display them in a professional and appealing manner.
Make Your Building Reflect Your Business
Think about the image you want your business to convey and make sure this is reflected in the exterior of the property. If your niche is a serious one, ensure that all image choices reflect this. For example, a law or accountancy firm should look authoritative and trustworthy from the outside, without appearing intimidating. A café or bar, however, should look warm and friendly. If your business has a particular personality – a fun smoothie bar, for example – use vibrant colours and light-hearted signage to show customers what they can expect when they come in.
First impressions count, and the outside of your business does a lot of work for you before your clients even set foot in the door. In order to use this to advantage, keep on top of essential maintenance, and ensure that your property is conveying the message you want your business to communicate.