Whether you’re starting a new business or looking for ways to improve an existing company’s curb appeal, your entryway is literally the first point of physical contact with your customer and your opportunity to create the best first impression.
A thoughtful and well-designed entryway speaks to your company’s commitment to professionalism, acts as a point of brand marketing, reveals your dedication to customer satisfaction, and creates an attractive focal point that increases traffic.
As you plan your business entrance, you will, of course, want to consider the most attractive options, but you should also take into account issues of safety, security, the function of your company, and what you see as the primary uses of the entry space.
Once you’ve come up with a plan, you might consider some of the following options for creating an inviting and functional welcome space for clients, employees, and visitors.
The Wrought Door for the Right Style
The beginning point for any stylish entryway is choosing a door that offers elegance, strength and durability. One of the most attractive options, particularly for hospitality-based businesses is the wrought iron door. Wrought iron doors combine the beauty of sculptural latticework and framing with strength for a design that says “welcome” but protects your business from the elements and from the “bad elements.”
And you can customize your door with attractive hardware that offers the security of ¾ inch steel and deadbolt locks. In addition, you can choose various glass finishes, depending on the level of visibility you desire, from clear to frosted glass. For additional security, choose glass that is impact resistant.
Plant It and They Will Come
One of the most cost-efficient ways to draw attention to your business facade is to craft attractive symmetrical planters to bracket your entryway. Well-kept planters not only create an aesthetic appeal that draws attention to your building, but also can be used to reinforce brand recognition through color design and patterning.
The plants you choose for your entryway should stand up to area weather conditions, be hearty, and be easy to maintain. After all, this is your chance to welcome clientele, and nothing is less likely to do so than wilted, dead plants.
If it’s within your budget, it’s a worthwhile investment to find a landscape company your trust to maintain your planters. You might also consider changing planters seasonally both to create a dynamic sense of your business and so you are not left with empty planters or weather-damaged foliage.
Awnings Can Save You Money
Have you ever thought of awnings as a cost saving measure? You should. Awnings provide protection for you and your customers from the worst of weather and are a nice place to enjoy the outside while hiding from the hot sun. But did you know that an awning can lower the temperature of an interior space adjacent to a door by as much as 12 degrees? Awnings thus save energy costs, potentially as much as 25%, and can be fitted with solar panels to further lower your energy footprint.
Awnings can also be built of a variety of materials, such as cloth, metals, and wood, to suit your aesthetic. And many manufacturers will use color samples to match your awning to existing exterior structures or to meet branding needs. Match your awning to your company colors and include your name and logo for additional brand recognition reinforcement.
Mats Are a Safety First
An easy to overlook but important element of your outdoor design is a sturdy, absorbent welcome mat. The popular rubber-backed waterhog mat can be embossed with your company logo. Mats are not just functional; they are important safety features.
A well-made waterhog mat will absorb as much as a gallon and a half of moisture, which means less water on your floors and less chance of unfortunate accidents. Choose a simple rectangle or an elegant runner with an oval end to keep dirt off your floors and your clients and workers safe.
A Thoughtful Touch of Outdoor Seating
If you’re in the food and beverage business, providing an outdoor seating area is a must. Even if you don’t provide service outside, customers may want a place to sit while waiting for takeout or to be called for a reservation. A place to perch is also nice as customers say their last goodbyes or slip outside for a bit of fresh air. An attractive, thoughtfully positioned bench or set of chairs says to your customer “stay a while.”
But any business setting is enhanced by exterior seating. Match your benches to your wrought iron door or, for a less formal setting, try some wood rockers to provide extra waiting space for those who prefer to be outside. During weather events, outdoor seating can be crucial for those trying to escape the elements. And even though they may not be there for your business, if you treat customers right, they’ll remember you.
Ellie Batchiyska is a writer for Abby Iron Doors, where she offers advice to homeowners and businesses about how to create curb appeal and enhance exterior design.