HOW TO BE AN IMAGE-MAKER

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With so many products and services in the market, what usually makes the difference is the image you project for your business. An image is a cluster of impressions and perceptions, often hard to define but it does influence the way your clients or prospects think of your company and is an important deciding factor when it comes to choosing you over the competition.

The space in which your business is located has a direct correlation with the image you project. The same is true about a restaurant, hotel or other area used for commercial purposes. Before you even sample what they offer, you begin to make judgments about the kind of place it much. Isn’t this also the case with the people you meet – the better groomed and presentable they are, the more likely they are to make the right impression.

When it comes to the business center in which you would like to locate your office, think about whether it will project the right image – and whether that will image will reflect favorably on your business.

What are the elements in a business center that can project the right image. To start with, there is the location or address. The center should be located in a prime business area and have the right address. It is surprising what an impact, good or bad, the address alone can make.

Now let’s look at the ambience, furnishings and fittings. It’s time to explode a few myths here. Just spending a lot of money decorating the business center does not always create the right image. Just as someone who has spent a lot of money on an outfit doesn’t spell class, so also a business center that doesn’t have the touch of originality and class cannot help your image. Everything must be in good taste and designed to comfort and ease of use and should not shout, “Look at me”. Timeless, classic furniture is best. And the advice, “Less is more” works particularly well. You’ll find that the fees of a good interior decorator a worthwhile investment.

When you create an elegant ambience, make sure that the equipment and amenities are modern. Technology changes fast and outmoded equipment can affect your image negatively. It will make you seem outdated too. So make sure you have the latest equipment which is streamlined and compatible with what the rest of the world uses. Incidentally, make sure you have dealt with that cluster of wires. They can easily be hidden to give your office space a more streamlined look.

An oft-neglected point that reflects on the image projected is attention to detail. This could mean so many things. Does the space need a fresh coat of paint? Is it well dusted and maintained? Has equipment that is not working been replaced? Are the flowers on the desk fresh? Is the picture on the wall straight?

When a client walks into a business center where you have an office, he or she is forming impressions straightaway. So the person at the front desk is important. Good grooming matters but also whether the person is exuding charm and being genuinely helpful. Too often we see a receptionist talking on the phone for minutes while a client is waiting at the counter for her to finish. She may be cryptic in her answers and not really bother about the client’s real concerns. It might well drive him or her straight to the competition!

As more and more companies are taking up offices in business centers instead of buy or leasing an maintaining an office of their own, it’s important to check out the business center first. Because the image it projects reflects on the image of your company or business.

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