Clean Up Your Act

A Clean Organized Office and a Sharp Personal Appearance Can Lead to Profits and Success


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Expert Author Jeanne Kolenda

Do you think that appearances count for much? After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, isn’t it? The answer is no, it’s not just what’s “on the inside” that counts. And yes, appearances mean a lot. This can apply to any area of our lives – the personal side as well as the business side. And sometimes the lines can become blurred because we conduct our business from home. Here is what research has found…

I once heard from the president of a fairly large company that he could always determine if a business was headed for trouble by visiting its office or place of business and taking a look around at the housekeeping. In his opinion, if the work space was sloppy, unclean, disorganized or a mess by overall observation, (on the outside) then it was no doubt a mess on the inside, too. He figured that the outside mess and disorganization was indicative of sloppy bookkeeping, quality control, and customer service procedures and even sales tactics and strategies.

We do form conclusions by appearances. Consider this case study: A market research firm in New York sent ten good-looking young men out to some pre-determined corporate offices to try to get an interview. The guys were dressed in jeans and tee shirts. They were treated very curtly and sent packing by the receptionist without exception. Those same ten handsome fellows were dressed up in quality suits and ties, and guess what? Each guy was treated with respect and with courtesy, and two of them actually were given immediate interviews by upper management. Although this is not a scientific study, it does indicate that appearances matter.

If you, as a business owner, take pride in your surroundings, then so will your employees, your vendors and your customers. Confidence and pride are contagious AND profitable.

To do this, you don’t need to spend a fortune on an interior designer. No matter what kind of office or workplace you have, (a warehouse office or high-rise digs), it doesn’t cost much to keep it clean and organized – the bathrooms sparkling clean and the windows washed. Paint is cheap, and so is soap. These very simple things speak volumes about how much you care about your business.

Looking past the exterior, I’d like to talk about your record keeping. If your paperwork is a mess, disorganized and inaccurate, you are setting yourself up for certain disaster. If this is you, you’d better hope you never get randomly chosen for an IRS audit. And you’ll pay way more for your CPA or accountant to clean up your mess at the end of the year that you would normally have to pay if you just had a good system in place to start with. I am amazed when my CPA friends tell me how they discover work that was never invoiced at the end of the year, all because of sloppy bookkeeping. It just isn’t worth all the headaches. Get a good system in place and learn to keep it current. I use QuickBooks but there are other systems as well. Ask your CPA or accountant for a recommendation.

I urge you to clean up your office and your paperwork. You’ll be so much more efficient and everyone will be happier.

I invite you to visit my blog at where I write regularly on Tips for Life and Business. Jeanne Kolenda is a telecommunications consultant and a small business marketing coach. Logon to and download a free eBook entitled Local Business Marketing On the Internet. To contact Jeanne, email

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