A first impression is well-known to be a crucial moment for capturing attention.
“Within milliseconds of entering your office, potential clients make up their minds about you and your company. In a glance, they instantly decide how trustworthy you are, if you’re broke or in the money and, oftentimes, if you’re good enough to do business with.”
Kim Lachance Shandrow, editor at Entrepreneur.com
Which is why a reception area is so important….
The area that first welcomes potential customers should be treated in the same way as your business brand – you need to think about the image you want to portray with your reception or the message you want to give to potential customers, clients, and employees.
It’s always best to start at the beginning and with the basics. If you are planning out new office space you need to make sure the reception area is big enough.
Always check the doors in your proposed area in advance – front doors, toilets, the staircase, the door to the back room. If you allocate an area for reception and then discover that there are no clear walls big enough for a desk your entire office planning could be disrupted.
Your company logo
Your logo is your brand so it should feature prominently in a reception area – whether that be on the front of a desk, on a wall, or even just on the doors leading out of the waiting and reception room.
Wherever it is put it needs to be clearly visible, and needs to be incorporated at the planning stage – it could affect what type of reception desk you choose, or where you put your seating area.
There is a wide variety of colours available when it comes to furniture and waiting area seating – utilising brand colours is a popular choice.
As your reception area is a brand tool having it plain white – like many other reception areas – is a little like having a plain white business card. You have an opportunity to show them the brand you have created, why not use it?
A functional space
Although the reception and waiting area of a business is a first impression and brand tool, it is also a working space and you need to ensure it functions as you intend it to.
Make sure visitors know exactly where they should head on arrival, cater well for those who may arrive early and therefore need to wait, think about disabled access and seating – and especially think about what your visitors will be looking at as they await your arrival.
Products and sales
To ensure a reception area is always working for a business many choose to have products or clear services advertised, or available, in the reception area – and this is what visitors will be looking at while they wait.
Whether it be display cases, clear signs showing services, or even a glass wall looking onto a workshop, the reception area can be a useful selling tool.
In our case we incorporate all of the above – our Telford showroom uses the actual furniture we can offer clients, our stationery offerings are in display cases, and all visitors can see through glass into our working office area.
The reception desk and furniture
Investing in suitable desk and reception furniture is an extremely important part of the reception area (and we are not just saying that because that’s our business!).
It needs to look professional, attractive, be in the right place in the room, possibly display your brand colours…..but there is actually more to think about.
- Desks which are too high can be intimidating
- Low-quality desks lead to broken drawers, which give a bad impression
- Those sitting behind a reception desk need to be comfortable to ensure they can be smiling and friendly with ease.
- Waiting area furniture which is not durable will quickly look worn and also give a bad impression
- Uncomfortable waiting furniture makes visitors uncomfortable – something no business wants
If you feel your reception or waiting area is not working for you – or not portraying your business how it should, please do get in touch with our team for advice.