You’ve only got one shot to impress a client and the first place you’ll likely get the chance is in your office. When clients and prospects visit your business, what is it that they’ll see? If they enter your office to find an unclean, disorganized, rundown space, they may decide to take their business elsewhere. Why? The condition of your office says a lot about your brand. It shows clients how much you care about your brand and their satisfaction.

If the floors are dingy, the furniture is dated or broken, files are all over the place, and the area has a foul odor, it says that you’re unkempt, disorganized, unprofessional and that your client’s comfort is the least of your concerns. Since appearance can mean the difference between making a sale and ruining your reputation, you might consider these design elements when creating an office where clients frequent.

Choose Colors Easy on the Eye

When choosing a color for your office design keep in mind that colors can evoke emotion. The idea is to create a  professional office setting so you don’t want to get out of hand with the colors. Try to choose shades that make a statement without being blinding or distracting to the eye. Blues, greens, grays, and tans are all highly recommended and pair well with other colors which you can use to add a bit of character to the office.

Opt for Comfy Furniture

It might be tempting to grab the hard plastic or metal chairs for your clients to keep the company budget low, but it’s not going to make a great first impression. Depending on the type of business you’re in, your clients could be sitting for several minutes waiting for you. If they’re not comfortable, they may decide to leave without doing business. Choose furniture that makes clients feel at home. A sofa, side table, and canvas painting from furniture makers like the Designer Living home decor collection can make a dull office feel roomy and inviting.

You Need Lots of Light

The lighting in your office is very important. You don’t want to blind your clients but you also don’t want to have a space so dark that it gives off a sad and depressive vibe. If you have lots of windows in the office buy window treatments like blinds and shades so that you can allow the natural light to flow into the office. If not, you can always add a desk and floor lamps to provide additional lighting.

Refreshments and Entertainment

How can you let a client know that their business is important to you? You can have an office that has an entertainment and refreshment area. A flat-screen television, some comfortable seating, and a few tables filled with magazines can keep them occupied. Throw in a water cooler, a coffee pot, some tea bags, and donuts or cookies and you’ve got a happy client.

Throw in the Decor

An office is not complete without decor. It adds character to space and makes clients feel more comfortable. Here’s where you can add more color and personality. Hang paintings on the walls, add sculptures or vases to the tables, place area rugs on the floor, and maybe throw some pillows on the couches and chairs for extra comfort. Plants are also a great addition to add to an office. They have plenty of nice looking plants that are fairly easy to care for.

Tidy and Organized Workspace

The waiting area isn’t the only part of your office that needs to be in order for your clients, so does your workstation. When you take the client back to your office, they should be equally impressed. Make sure the space is thoroughly cleaned. Organize files in cabinets and invest in organization bins to place things like paper, pens, clips, tacks, and whatever else you might need to store. You should also have a comfortable, but a sturdy chair for them to sit in next to your desk. Lastly, you can throw in some decor including paintings, motivational posters, plants, and more to show your individuality.

What are you telling clients (without saying a word) when they step into your office? Are you telling them that you’re a clean, organized, business professional who cares about their needs? Or are you telling them to take their business to the next guy? If it’s the latter, then you’ve got some work to do. Incorporate these ideas into your office design and you’re sure to make such an impression that clients will be happy to work with you.