What Your Office Décor Will Say to Clients about Your Start Up
By Dixie Somers
When starting your own business, there are a thousand boxes to check on your “to-do” list in order to get things up and running. Additionally, there will be limited funds to spend on anything but the necessities until you start making a profit. However, once things are settled and your business has officially launched, you will likely move to a legitimate office or place of business where customers and clients will visit you. Although money will be tight, it is important to consider what your office décor is saying to customers about you and your company. Just like a great suit says a lot about a person, the décor of your office can say a lot about your values, product, or the way you conduct business. Keep reading to get a few tips for office décor that will help you to properly portray your start up’s image to the client based on the type of company you are running.
A bright wall color, modern furniture, art pieces on the walls, and focused, gallery-style lighting can project an artistic vibe to an office. If your business specializes in creating logos, graphic design, fashion, or developing a creative product, an artistic and modern office will show your clients that creativity is deeply rooted in the company. A drab, beige office will not instill confidence in your ability to produce anything innovative or attractive. Studies have shown that changing up the artwork on the walls and moving the furniture around the office will help inspire creativity since employees aren’t looking at the same boring walls all day. Not only will this boost the creativity of your workforce, but it will show clients that you are open to change, and innovation—two important keys for creativity.
If you are running a conservative business like an investment group, your own law firm, or even a consulting business, your office should air on the side of simplicity and organization. However, this doesn’t mean the office has to be a boring vanilla color with an ugly fake plant in the corner. Use a neutral color for the walls, to provide a calm atmosphere. Your wall fixtures and furniture should be modern, but not funky. Using silver, gold, white, black, and rich wood throughout the office will create contrast without being overwhelming. Clients want to feel like the company handling their money will use it wisely, so excessive and lavish décor in the office might be less impressive to some of your customers.
Even if your start-up business is just getting its legs, you don’t want your client to think things are in shambles. A smart idea for a hip start-up business is to work with a modern, playful décor palette. If your target customers are young, adding a touch of whimsy to the office will show clients that your business isn’t outdated or out of touch. A textured accent wall made of wood or stone would be a great addition to this type of office. Minimalist furniture goes fine with this vibe but it should not look cheap. Ironic pieces of art or a fish tank would be a cool addition to an office where innovation is key.
If your business is a green business or based on a naturalist-type customer, a rustic, organic style is a good choice for your décor. This could include bamboo floors, wooden beam ceilings, energy efficient lights and upcycled furniture. You want to show that you practice what you preach if you are working with an ecofriendly client base. However, you don’t need to go overboard—don’t just use “green” or outdoorsy décor to impress the client. Make sure that the office still has order, and remains professional so that clients know they can trust your performance as well as your values.
No matter what kind of business you are running, your office décor should reflect your image to the client. If you plan to meet clients at your office frequently, you must consider what they will be thinking when they walk in the door. No matter what you say to your client, your appearance, the appearance of the office, and the appearance of your workforce will send non-verbal messages to the client about the company. Help the client gain a sense of the company’s values and mission from the moment they walk in the door, and you’ll likely have more success as you attempt to strike a deal. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at D&R Office Works who specialize in office interiors, furniture, and products.
Dixie Somers is an Arizona-based freelance writer. Follow her @DixieSomers.