Small business owners have quite a bit to worry about on a daily basis, from managing overhead costs, to keeping up with competitors in the market. Rarely does the thought of their office’s design move to the top of their hit list, and for good reason.
Running a small business by yourself or with a small team is a constant uphill battle for most entrepreneurs, and striving for success does not leave much room for comfort. But that does not mean small businesses do not deserve to be spoiled every now and again, and having a fresh, modern, and comfortable space to get the day’s work done is a vastly underrated element of a productive team.
Particularly at a time when a person’s office is so abstract and up-in-the-air, having a singular and reliable place to conduct your business can be a blessing for most entrepreneurs in the early stages of chasing their dreams.
While cheap metal stools, faux-wood desks and disorganized filing cabinets ordered from Amazon may seem like an adequate setup, odds are you and your team are unknowingly hampering your morale and creativity compared to a business with mindful design elements incorporated into their space.
After all, the University of Warwick in the UK recently found that people who are happy are 12% more productive than their peers. Interior design presents several ways to uplift the moods of business leaders and employees, thereby helping to boost the overall productivity of a small office.
For global small business accounting platform Xero, making the lives of these small business owners easier is a top priority. Chances of success are greater when entrepreneurs can place their time and money on growth and productivity, rather than tedious financial measurements and office upkeep that can slow them down.
Stemming from this goal, the team at Xero wanted to find some way to provide this sort of relief to a small business owner in the form of an office facelift, without pulling them away from more important work.
“Xero Beautiful Business” Contest, an opportunity for one US small business owner to receive a $15,000 office makeover at the hands of renowned stylist and designer Estee Stanley. With expert third-party guidance and a dedicated budget, this contest kept the design job out of the lucky business owner’s headspace and highlighted Xero’s wider purpose of empowering entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and circumstances.
So how did it work?
Simply put, the Xero Beautiful Business contest sought out owners of any organization with 50 employees or less, asking them to share photos of their office on social media or via email with an explanation of why their workspace was most deserving of an aesthetic refresh.
Following several months and a meticulous review of many thoughtful submissions, Xero settled on a winner that fit the bill as a prime cultural and entrepreneurial match for the contest: Alissa Millett spent all of her personal savings bringing her vision of sustainable and chic swimwear to life in her company Soulteria.
Her home office was put together with the scraps she could set aside for basic workspace needs, but it didn’t quite match the spirit and identity of the Soulteria brand. With the collective creative collaboration of Estee, Alissa, and the Xero team, that vibrant identity was unleashed in the Soulteria home office.
This office makeover was a dream come true for Alissa, as well as for Xero—being able to elevate the brand of a sustainable, woman and minority-owned business is a significant point of pride for the Xero team and goes above and beyond to spread the message of inclusive encouragement in the small business marketplace.
While this initiative benefitted one lucky business owner, it also is a significant step toward acknowledging the importance of workplace design in addition to other elements of culture.
Amy Murphy is the Head of US Marketing for Xero.
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