Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do You Realize Your Office Affects Your Brand too?

I recently walked up to an office to meet a client. As I walked up through the entry, I noticed the building was dirty and in need of some serious paint. I also noticed the garden wasn't well kept. As I walked into the building, I saw scuff marks on the walls and dirt and grime smudged into the carpet. And finally, I arrived at my destination -- and to my disdain, I noticed the furniture was second-hand, dirty, grimy, and gross. The walls had not been painted in years and clearly had a layer of grime on them. This was a white-collar professional's office -- this might be more forgivable at a contractor's office where dirt and grime is part of the job. What impression did the lack of upkeep and rundown decor leave behind? Not a good one. It answered so many questions about whether or not I wanted to do business. This company did not care about its image, and therefore, a high probability existed they would not care about their brand. They clearly didn't invest in their own company. The question of whether or not they had any money went through my head; which therefore, led to the question of whether or not they could afford to pay me if they hired my company to do a project. If you cannot afford to have an office space or maintain an office space do not have one. Work from home and invite your employees to do the same. You can also rent meeting space or hold off-site meetings. Do not invite clients to any old office, because you think it's better than Peet's Coffee (Peet's Coffee is nice). Why? Because you really cannot afford to leave behind the impression you are either poorly funded, cheap, tacky or careless with your image. If you can't decorate or you lack style, then I suggest you hire a decorator. Here is the real deal, you cannot afford to have a rundown office space. It will kill business and business deals. Yes, "Bob" people are that shallow -- if you want to think of it that way; but everything you do, wear and where you work leave an impression. Make it a good one.

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