At every seminar someone says, “I would really like to come to your office and see how you do things.” I have no objection to visits from members other than my concern for their possible disappointment. There is no magic tax problem resolution power to be found here. I’ve felt that there’s really nothing to see. But, after thinking about it, I guess there might be some lessons to learn here. I’ve been in business thirty-nine years and counting – so, here’s a quick visit to my office.
Past visitors have found, we have attractive, modestly impressive, comfortable, professional, and somewhat upscale offices. The appearance speaks of success without crossing the border to ostentatious. Good taste attracts and makes a positive impression, while grandiose repels prospective clients. Prospects will assume pretention equates to exorbitant fees.
A more important notion is the orderliness that visitors observe. We have no piles of records stacked around for visitors to see. Files, other than those being worked at the moment, are returned to the file room cabinets. Further, nearly all files are rather small. The majority of the formerly paper files are now .pdf files stored on their own multi-terabyte server and accessed on-screen at our desks. Most of us have twin monitors to facilitate using the scanned documents.
Many years ago, I entered another firm’s offices and was hit with the immediate impression that, if I were their client, I would never leave any records here. I would be sure they would lose them in the clutter. I vowed to never have a visitor feel that in my offices.
The appearance of the office is important to make a proper impression on prospective clients, continuing clients, vendors, prospective employees, and any other visitors. A successful practitioner will pay careful attention to these issues. That said, the atmosphere and attitude in the office is even more important to the success of your firm. I’ll try to give you a look at that in the next post.