Looks Really Do Matter

shutterstock_197539625People say that looks don’t matter. It’s all about what’s on the inside, they say. But let’s be real, we are all influenced by appearance, at least initially. If you aren’t, then you have become a superior breed of human and I applaud you. If you are, welcome to humanity.

Recently, Peake Media — the mothership in which Box Pro resides — got an office redesign. I’m talking new flooring, new paint job, new furniture, the works. A wall or two might even have come down — literally and metaphorically. The sleek look, complete with a sectional and shiny white desks has turned the place I work at from an ordinary environment to one that inspires creativity.

And naps. The couch inspires daily naps.

Anyways, you wouldn’t believe what the changes, even the simple ones, have done to the culture of the company. It has allowed us room to breathe and grow. It has given us freedom to move about. It has helped us collaborate on a new level, and has fed one of our core values: “Have fun, period.” Who knew a few rugs and a lamp could have such an impact? Maybe Martha Stewart, but we didn’t ask her.

Here’s the part where I relate the above to business: As I contact Box after Box, I often ask for photos to go along with the story I’m working on. You can be sure that one of those will show the interior of the gym, displaying its rig, racks and more. I’m sure you all have seen at least one issue of Box Pro showing the innards of NorCal or CrossFit NYC.

Sometimes, when those photos come in, I go, “Woah, that’s a nice Box.” The layout is clean, even for a warehouse/garage setting. It looks like it fits and works together. The design is slick, with the logo graffitied on the wall or hung on a snazzy banner. Sure, I’ve never been to see how a class operates and if people are tripping over equipment to get to other equipment, but it looks sleek and like some thought went into the design. From the appearance I would want to go and do a WOD there.

That reaction is not always the case. If I get bad photos, you can probably guess I wouldn’t want to visit.

Now, I’m not saying you need to clean up and look like the health club down the street. I’m not saying hire Miss La-di-da Interior Designer and put in some faux fur rugs. That’s not what CrossFit is about — grunting and sweating doesn’t work in an environment like that in my personal opinion. However, you’d be surprised what a little more thought in layout and design could do for the culture of your Box.

Yes, I know your gym is probably smaller than NorCal and CrossFit NYC. Yes, you’re focused on other things like growing your revenue. But let’s face it, potential members are going to judge you by looks when they first walk in. So, you need to start thinking outside of your Box and look at it how first timers see it. First impressions are everything, even when you wish they weren’t.

There’s a reason when you are going to visit someone that they usually clean up their house for you. There’s a reason why when you were in school, that first-day look or first talk with the professor mattered. There’s a reason Peake Media got a redesign.

Think about it. Maybe dream about what you want your Box to look like. Then, go from there.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.