In this 2-part series I will tell you how you can make your business look like it is out of business. I’ll start off today on the outside and in a later post I’ll give you some tips you can use inside your office. Before we get into the how, lets talk about the why. You want your office to look like this to keep customers at bay – the last thing you want is a customer trying to get into your office to pay a bill or something. It is also a great way to keep creditors like the landlord, shareholders, and investors out of your hair. Perhaps the best advantage is that it is very difficult to be served legal notices if there is nobody to give a notice to.
Below is a photo I took today outside the office. You may think this was after hours, but you’d be dead wrong – I walked outside the door with my iPhone and snapped this in the middle of a normal business day.
I’ll walk you through what makes this look work for your office:
- Lock your door – This is the most basic step. You keep the people you don’t want out of the building giving the people inside the ability to concentrate on their work. If a landlord gains access to the building and starts asking questions about rent, you can bet employees will start asking questions as well. Better to avoid the whole situation
- Turn the lights off – Any and all lights visible from any entrances or windows should be off. This gives the illusion nobody is home. Better yet, turn off all the lights in the office and save a few bucks off your utility bill every month.
- Don’t put people in front of the door – Two reasons for this; It goes further to show there is nobody in the building to the casual observer peeking in, and if a client does somehow gain entrance to the building (your CDO forgot to lock the door) then they have that awkward feeling of ‘should I just walk in or wait….?’ maybe they will just turn around and leave.
- No company signs or logo – ‘Is this the place?’ is what people will think when they get to your door and find it locked. After all, there is no company sign anywhere so anyone visiting will naturally assume THEY made the mistake of visiting the wrong place.
- Put some old mail in the door handle or on the floor – Nothing says ‘nobody home’ like mail outside the door. Even better – mark it all as ‘WRONG ADDRESS’ to throw them off your scent.
- If you have windows at ground level, consider frosting or heavily tinting the glass so it is impossible to see inside. Alternatively you can save a few bucks here by simply taping paper to the insides.
Using these simple steps should eliminate most if not all awkward encounters at the office with clients, investors, and landlords while saving you money at the same time.