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You don't get a second chance to make a first impression, so it's said, so it's important that you take all the steps you can to make sure that your visitors' first impression of your business is positive and long-lasting. Small efforts can make a significant impact on how your visitors feel about you, and can affect whether they make use of your services again or whether they recommend your services to others.

We've put together a list of things to help you give a positive first impression:

  1. Correspondence. Your visitors' first encounter with your business often takes place electronically, when they contact you by phone or over email to discuss your service offerings and the ways in which you might be able to meet their needs. Make sure you are always polite, helpful and efficient in your correspondence.
  2. Parking. Before your visitor even encounters a representative from your business, they are already garnering an impression of the way you work. Do you have parking available for your visitors? Is visitor parking clearly signposted? And once your visitor exits his or her car, is there adequate signage on how to reach the entrance to your establishment?
  3. Reception. Theo Joubert, deputy general manager at the Drakensberg Sun, says: "A beautifully cared-for garden and an inviting entrance will help your guests feel welcome straight away." Is your reception area clean and tidy? Are there small touches that make it inviting, such as a vase of flowers?
  4. Greetings. Perhaps most importantly, is there someone at the reception of your business to greet your visitors with those essential welcoming staples: a warm smile and a genuine handshake, not to mention a helpful, friendly attitude and all the information your visitors might need?
  5. Refreshments. Offering your visitors a glass of water or a cup of tea or coffee will always be appreciated. Of course, there is more to consider in this regard if you work for a restaurant: take a look at this list of tips for waitrons.

What do you do to make your guests feel welcome? Share your insights with us today by engaging with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

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