It's Only Common Sense: Looking Good!


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How good is your company’s appearance?  Remember, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

How good do you think your company is? How do you think you’re doing?  What do you do well? What do you need to work on? What do people think when they walk into your lobby?

These are questions you should be asking yourself at all times. You should be constantly thinking how your company presents itself to the outside world: what it looks like when you walk through it, what it sounds like when customers call in. Does your company appear to be a well-run lucrative company or does it look like a company on its last legs, ready to go out of business?

Then you have to consider what you want your company to be. What do you want to look like to your customers?

Walk into your lobby. What does that look like? Is it clean and welcoming? Is there a live person waiting to help you? If you must have some sort on contact system, make sure it is apparent, effective and easy to use. I have been in a couple of companies lately who are using an iPad on a stand to connect you with the person you want to see. If you’re going to have a system instead of a person, this is by far the least of all evils

Make sure the lobby is well lit, well painted and clean. It is, after all, the face of your company. Make sure your magazines are new. What do you think a 10-year-old copy of CircuiTree says about your company?

The same holds true for plaques and awards. Unless it’s the Nobel Prize for Technology, don’t display awards that are more than 10 years old! No one will be impressed with an award for your work on the Minuteman missile program.

You want your company to look good, sharp and up to date. This is not a money thing; paint does not cost a fortune, and clean floors don’t cost anything but a little soap and elbow grease. And don’t get me going about those restrooms. I once talked to a quality auditor for a large OEM who told me the first places he looked when he surveyed a company were the restrooms. He told me that was the most telling place in the factory when it came to indicating how the company was run…seriously!

Seven Ways to Create a Welcoming Company

Here is a list of seven things you can do to make your company look fresh, modern and well run:

  1. The lobby. Make sure it is well lit, freshly painted, has modern comfortable furniture and up-to-date awards and product samples. Remember that your customers and vendors will spend a lot of time with nothing to do but study your lobby.
  2. The restrooms have to be spotless, not just for your visitors but for your own employees as well. Sloppy restrooms indicate a lack of caring, and that’s all there is to it. No argument.
  3. Hallways should always be clean, the floors should shine and if you have windows that look into the various departments, they should be as clean as that proverbial whistle.
  4. All departments from the drill room to lamination to inspection must be neat and orderly. Everything should be in its place, with shelves and racks neat and well organized. They should reflect the look of a craftsman’s workshop.
  5. The same applies to the offices. Desks should be clean and organized and look like people who know what they’re doing work there. I don’t want to hear any excuses from that slob who says he knows where everything is despite the mess. Take my word for it: he does not. Oh, and make sure that the calendars are turned to the right month, never mind the right year! Or the right decade? I’ve seen that before.
  6. How about the front lawn? Let’s not forget that. Make sure that everything in front of your company looks great. That shrubs are shaped and the lawn is mowed. By the way, things should look great all around the building, especially shipping and receiving. I once visited a company that had four wet mattresses on the ground in front of the loading dock. Those mattresses completely destroyed that company’s image.
  7. Make sure all your lights work inside and out. You don’t want any dead lightbulbs. And forget that argument about saving energy by only using every other light bulb…you look like you’re going out of business.
  8. And one more. Always under-promise and over-deliver. Make sure your equipment is all up to date and taken care of. There is nothing that gives a better impression than well-maintained equipment.

There you have it. Now it’s time for you to take that walk. Look around and see what your place looks like. What do you see? Does it look fresh and clean and new and well organized? Does it look like the people who work there care about what they do?

More important does it look like the people who work there know what they’re doing?  If the answer to these questions is yes then you’re on the right path to success. It’s only common sense.

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