Everybody knows that first impressions last, but is your business letting you down at the first stage?
Whether you run a high street store or a B2B agency, your place of work needs to portray the high quality of your business. Something that a tatty old doormat will not do!
Numerous studies have shown that aesthetically pleasing, quality entranceways create a great first impression. If your customers and clients are walking through those doors about to make an important decision, that great first impression might make your next sale.
Employees, too, have been proven to be more loyal and productive in offices that are well branded. So, help them start their day with an entryway reminder of why they love working for your business.
Entrance issues and practical considerations
Your entrance is the commercial hub of your business. It can quite literally make or break you. Not only does it need to look on-brand, clean and tidy, but it needs to be safe. That means no trippy rugs and no wet floors, especially if you are customer-facing.
One bad accident in your shop, school or restaurant and the outcome could be irreparable damage to your reputation. It is easy to make sure your entranceway is safe, just install a high-quality non slip entrance mat to remove water and dirt from shoes before it gets inside.
Now you have safety sorted, you can move onto the fun bit – designing an entranceway for your business. Start by considering the following questions:
These questions show that an entranceway is a lot more than just a door. It’s an environment. That understanding is the key to good entranceway planning.
Once you have your answers to these questions, you can start to get more specific.
What sort of entranceway goes well with your business?
No two businesses are the same, so neither should their entranceways be! Depending on the type of business, you’ll see a lot of ideas, some really great and some really bad. Take inspiration from businesses that you admire, as long as they portray a similar personality as your brand does. Fun and quirky creative agencies won’t want the same entrance as industrial offices or banks – so think about how you want to be perceived.
To kickstart your planning, here are some ideas we have seen for entryways:
Good ideas for entranceways:
Bad ideas for entranceways:
An example of an industry that relies on a great entrance layout is restaurants (and hospitality in general). To turn passers-by into customers, a restaurant has to look good. Not just good, but better than its competitors. A lot of effort goes into the exterior presentation, particularly around the entrance. Restaurants have the additional requirement of patron safety, especially around hot food and sticky liquids.
The ‘restaurant look’ can be applied to any business, though. Even if your focus is clients and other businesses, your entrance is still providing that all-important first impression.
Setting up your entranceway
Now you’ve decided on your style, it’s time for the practical part. The process of setting up your entranceway is as much a commercial proposition as a design issue. When planning the design of your entranceway, you could leverage it to balance out commercial priorities at the same time.
That might mean displaying stock and services around the entranceway on a needs basis. As your promotions change, so can your entrance! The entranceway is a flexible space that can be used to store and advertise stock – just make sure it is displayed aesthetically and consistently with your brand.
The most important point: be sure to avoid clutter. Less is more. Stick to value-based displays so people can see things clearly without getting distracted. That might sound contradictory to making spaces multitask, but as we said – design FIRST, practicalities LATER.
For non-retail commercial offices, the entranceway can be an information zone. If you’re providing a service, tell people about your service right there at the entrance. Make sure that the presentation is truly professional-looking and clearly laid out.
In malls, your entrance can also be a good display zone, similar to the examples above. The goal is to catch passers-by and give information to existing local customers. Then, you can simultaneously show off high-value products and clearance items.
Switching it up
If it suits your brand and you have the resources, it might be nice to switch up your entry’s design. This could be something as simple as seasonal decorations – a Christmas tree and an easter display. Anything that brings a smile to your customer’s face gives your first impression a little boost.
Always keep your entranceway fresh by keeping it clean and tidy. If mats, doors and furniture need replacing, replace them. If your walls need a lick of paint, paint them. Maintenance is just as important as the initial design – if not more.
You are now ready to design the perfect entranceway for your business. Hopefully, you will find it fun and exciting. Remember to keep it on-brand, clean and safe. Experiment with your options, you’ll appreciate the results.
We would love to see your entranceways, so please share your old, new or upgraded entranceways with us! If you need any help deciding which mat can enhance your business the best, have a look at this article that highlights different benefits for different businesses.
If you already have a mat in mind, feel free to reach out to one of our friendly matxperts!