When it comes to judging a business at first glance, every little detail matters. Small stylistic choices can say a lot about a business in terms of their level of professionalism, their protocol, and even their priorities. Many business owners overlook just how much their image says about them, and this can play to your advantage. Try to pay attention to the little details and you can learn volumes. If you teach yourself to read the signs, you will be in for a lot less surprises and be able to intuitively gauge whether or not initiating deals with a company is the right thing for you.
While it’s not necessarily right to judge a book by its cover, keep in mind that every aesthetic and stylistic choice made by a business is a message; a cue to tip you off about how they handle anything from their power structure to their service to you. Don’t solely rely on aesthetic cue, but do not ignore them. They can tell you important things that you’ll want to know ahead of time. Below are the 3 most important things to look for in a reliable company.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a website is worth a million. A lot can be learned about a company based on their website. How professional does it look? If they didn’t spend the time or money to build a professional website, it usually means one (or more) of three things: they’re very frugal, they’re a bit behind on the times, or they don’t operate very professionally.
If the website looks nice but is not very intuitive, they may not be looking at their service through the eyes of their clients. Keep these things in mind as you engage them and try to find more clues about these particular traits.
Choice in office space can be a bit hint about how a company operates. What part of town are they in? How nice is the exterior and interior of the building? Which floor(s) do they occupy? How nice are their offices and meeting rooms? More than just how much money they want to spend and who their target demographics are, you can glean details about their practice and style from questions like these. Are they more modern, and therefore generally more innovative and open? Are they more classical, and therefore generally more careful and reliable?
If you’re not sure what to compare them to, try searching around on a website like BE Offices to get an idea of what styles of high-end office spaces are where and for what price.
Everything from the way a company’s representatives speak to you (and each other) to the way they dress can tell you about how they operate. Try to discern how respectful, formal, and relaxed the office environment seems to be. If you are going to trust them with your custom, you want to know that you’re in good hands.
Do note, however, that informality is not always a bad thing. Casual work places can often be the most productive and reliable, fostering a more tight-knit company environment that encourages a sum to be greater than the whole of its parts.
These tips and tricks (as well as many others) don’t need to greatly influence your decisions, but a keen businessman chooses not to ignore free information. It’s already there, if you know where to look.