After working for so long, I had finally taken the next step; I had moved my small company into our very own offices. My wife was sick of our home being used as our base of operations, couldn’t blame her really, I had originally forecast the use of the room would be for no more than a year, but it had actually taken closer to three. The day of the move had been awful. Even though the offices were fully set up, the actual transfer of the information vital to us had been a nightmare. We had been forced to stop operations for two full days, as the software engineer we had employed had been unable to transfer our data in one single move. On the third day we had been able to open our doors, in our newly acquired offices and face the world.
When I had made the decision to move into premises, it had been made with the knowledge that the company was bringing in enough money to pay for it. The work coming in via the telephones had been steadily increasing, but the members of the public seemed to be somewhat hesitant. They would come in, have a look around but then leave without using our services. If anything the income generated from the public had actually dropped.
The offices were already painted, prior to our acquisition by our landlord, and the beige carpet wasn’t that old, but one of our customers had explained how the waiting room felt dull and flat. I needed inspiration. Many companies had made our town their home, some hugely successful, others more modest and I needed to discover their secrets. I visited several of these and the difference in aesthetics and therefore atmosphere was obvious. The companies who had an interesting first point of contact had appeared to be more successful. The public access area also had to be engaging. You really could feel the difference between dull earth colours and a bright vibrant theme. If you are forced to make customers wait, then at least occupy them. I had seen enough, I knew what I needed to do.
My company is primarily focused on days out. We would arrange for large numbers of people to visit castles, the seaside or safari parks. Our offices now though were generating almost 20% of our business. The dull brown carpet had gone; a new bright blue one now covered our public area floor. The usual green leafy plant had been replaced with a large circular fish tank, although a little expensive to have maintained it did keep those kiddies happy. A smart and articulate older lady had been position in the area itself, our fourth employee, as first point of contact. The secret weapon though still draws the attention of our patrons. Everywhere we travel to, we take photos. Images of the mountain peaks, castle walls and cheeky monkeys now hang in our public area. More than photos, being just flat images behind glass frames, our displays actually engage our viewers. They are mounted on canvas. It brings the image itself to life, gives it something more than just a photo, and they are priced reasonably enough to replace with new images regularly.