Marketing and brand consultant Shawn Graham shares his advice for improving your storefront appeal.
What do think your customers see on their way into your salon? “Curb appeal is often one of the most overlooked ingredients for creating an amazing customer experience and that’s really unfortunate,” says Shawn Graham, a small business marketing and branding consultant (www.shawngraham.me). “It only takes a split second for people to form an impression, and that impression often starts when they’re driving by or pulling into your parking lot.” The most important step to improving your store’s curb appeal, he says, is finding the time to think strategically about what you need to do and then actually doing it. Here’s his advice:
Visible Exterior Signage: Your signage should be visible from the street, parking lot, and the sidewalk. You also want to keep an eye out for any signs that have been faded by the sun. Either replace it or just take it down. I’m a huge fan of sandwich boards. If you’re able to use one, it can be a great way to extend your signage beyond your storefront and really grab the attention of passersby — especially if you get a lot of foot traffic. I’m also a big stickler for store hours. If you want to test how good your eyesight is without having to see an optometrist, try to make out store hours for just about any business that has them displayed on their front door without leaving your car.
Creative Window Displays: If you’ve got them, flaunt them. Use window displays to provide a glimpse into your store and your product offerings and entice prospective customers to check you out. Think about what you want to display, then experiment to see what looks best once you’re outside the store. Do your best to look through the eyes of your customers. Once you have something in place, pay attention to whether it’s bringing more people in the door or helping you sell any more products. It can be the prettiest window display in the world, but if it’s not helping you generate more business, it’s not working.
Regular Maintenance: There is no excuse to have trash cans overflowing right outside of your front door. None. The same holds true for weeds, burned-out light bulbs, and any other items that could make your small business appear disheveled. Take a walk around in the morning and look for anything that needs to be addressed. Do the same thing at night.