Whilst trying to fill the FM vacancy here at LCMB, I started thinking about the importance of making a first impression and how people make a snap decision based on the first few seconds of an interaction. But does your buildings send the right message about your business?
As you first enter a building, the space projects the business. A start-up in a garden shed is perfectly acceptable, but a 5-star hotel in an industrial estate just does not work. Your building must reflect your business culture and priorities.
A really good example is EasyJet… EasyJet started in 1995 out of a Hangar at Stansted Airport. They grew steadily into a major player in aviation and their orange livery is easily recognised across all of Europe.
In 2006 they needed to move. After 11 years of growth and spectacular performance the company had simply outgrown EasyLand (as they named their head office). An organisation this prestigious, this big and this recognisable deserves an impressive head office right?
The company moved 150 meters into a larger Hanger at Stansted Airport (called Hangar 89). EasyJet does not care whether they have oak panelling in the boardroom or not, they only want their overheads to be as low as possible so that they can pass on the savings to their customers.
For me, this is an important lesson in how we approach the space we occupy; our buildings should reflect what we offer and how we position ourselves in the market. This first impression to any visitors and potential staff is vitally important.
My 3 top tips for ensuring that your buildings make a good first impression are:
- Make sure buildings are the right size – an over-crowded or mostly empty space looks disorganised and inefficient. If you are hoarding space for future use partition it off, it looks better and you save on maintenance, heating and cooling costs as well.
- Make an effort with your reception – no matter what you do, your customers need a space to engage with you. Their first contact (physically) is likely to be your reception. Think carefully about what you do and what messages you would like to send. Your customers will be reassured if the reception supports the mental image they have built of your business.
- Review it regularly – we all get tied up in our day jobs but allow yourself a regular opportunity to take a step back and ask: what does my buildings say about me?
Here at LCMB we spend our working lives making your buildings work harder and more efficiently, if you would like any help or information please do get in touch with us.