Did you know that some research suggests that a tenth of a second is all it takes for us to start determining traits like trustworthiness, and the first impression is made within the initial 7 seconds of meeting someone?! This is the same for any premises, which is why the presentation of your entrance is so critical.
7 seconds really isn’t very long to make that lasting impression you want to leave your visitor, guests, shoppers, customers, clients (whoever they may be) with. Whether you’re looking after an office, retail shop, restaurant, nightclub, train station, school, hospital, or any other kind of building, you all have one thing in common – you want to make a great first impression.
We have put together a generic checklist of elements that all contribute to a great entrance.
Creating a Great First Impression Checklist
✔ Clean windows and doors – It’s important to make sure that you have your front windows and doors cleaned on a regular basis as this takes up a lot of the wall space in your entrance, from both the exterior and interior.
✔ General cleanliness – A clean room is always going to make a better impression than one that looks a bit run down or unkempt. From hoovering the floors to dusting the tabletops, a daily clean really does make a big difference to the overall impression of a space. And it’s worth remembering to schedule in a deep clean every few months, for those areas that are otherwise forgotten.
✔ Branding – Brand awareness is a critical goal for all business, and this is something that needs to be reinforced in your entrance. There are lots of ways that you can do this, from matching the interior design colour scheme to your primary brand colours, to the branded items you feature in the room i.e. uniforms, leaflets, business cards, posters, stationary, and of course, personalised doormats, as well as much more.
✔ Comfort – It’s important to make people feel relaxed when they enter, and you can help improve their comfort in several ways:
✓ Temperature – Make sure that you have an effective aircon/heating system that runs on a thermostat so your guests aren’t at risk of catching a chill or breaking a sweat. Ideally, your guests won’t even notice the temperature, unless they are entering from an extreme weather condition outside – for example, a cool air-con entrance is a welcome experience on a hot summer’s day!
✓ Seating and flooring – It’s not uncommon to find seating in an entrance as there is often a waiting area or reception. When choosing the seating, it’s worth considering not only the aesthetics but also how comfortable it is to sit on. The comfort of the floor is probably something you’ve never considered but it can make a big difference to the impression your entrance leaves. Firstly, and most importantly, you don’t want any trip hazards or uneven surfaces. An entrance mat is a great way to guarantee immediate comfort underfoot, and with Mats Nationwide you can rest assured that they are designed with both comfort and safety in mind.
✓ Colours – Interior designers carefully consider the colours that they use as this has a dramatic impact on a space. The colours you choose have the power to make a room appear smaller or larger, as well as impact the mood of the occupants. Our logo mat range allows you to introduce a range of colours and branding throughout the building.
✔ Appeal to all senses:
✓ Smell – The strategical placement of reed diffusers around a room can make a big difference to the immediate impact the room makes when someone first enters. However, you need to make sure that the smell isn’t too overpowering and is a fairly neutral tone that will appeal to most senses. It’s a good idea to get an opinion from a test group before you introduce a new scent as it can be subjective and you need the majority of people to approve for it to have a positive rather than negative impact.
✓ Taste – You often see bowls of mints or sweets in reception areas. It’s a good idea to leave something out for guests to help themselves to, especially if you have a waiting area in your entrance room. Wrapped mints are always a good option as they are great for freshening someone’s breath and the wrappers help avoid germs lingering.
✓ Sound – This will very much depend on the nature of your business but background music is a great way to help people relax and adjust their mindset. For example, if you have a hotel reception you might want to play quiet jazz or classical music, whilst a high street retail shop might be better suited to playing chart music at a higher volume. The quality of your sound system will also make a big difference. It’s also worth considering how you can cancel out any offensive noises, such as creaky doors (good old WD-40) or exterior sounds (sound insulation).
✔ Lighting – Lighting is commonly used to create a specific mood and atmosphere. Whilst bright white lights indicate a clinical environment, warm white lights can create a more relaxing and informal atmosphere.
✔ Easy navigation – This might sound like an obvious one, but it’s good to remember that people don’t like having to overthink things. Just because you know where everything is located, doesn’t mean that others will too. It’s always good practice to clearly signpost and leave instructions where appropriate i.e. ‘toilets this way’, ‘please ring the bell for attention’.
✔ Greenery – Did you know that houseplants are proven to reduce stress levels and boost your mood, as well as improve concentration and productivity by up to 15%?! Introducing a few well-placed houseplants or trees in your entrance can help make people feel more welcome and create a more positive atmosphere.
Where to Start
As you might have already guessed, due to the nature of our business we’re a little biased as to what the most important feature of an entrance is. Although all of the above should be considerations, a heavy duty branded entrance mat is a quick win that you can implement in no time at all.
We are the UK’s leading personalised mats supplier, for both commercial and industrial business use. At Mats Nationwide, we can design, manufacture and deliver personalised made to measure doormats to your exact specification. Personalised made to measure mats are not only a great way of immediately getting your brand in front of anyone that enters your building, but they also help improve the overall look and feel of an entranceway and help create a great first impression (and all within the first 7 seconds)!
Here are just a few of our personalised welcome mats, also known as printed logo mats, that can all be ordered made to measure.