3 Steps to a Great First Impression
The term “Curb Appeal “is prevalent on some of the home-centric networks these days. Just as a home’s look from the street can draw in or scare away a potential buyer, it can do the same for your business. Let’s face it; customers make a judgment about your business in literally seconds. You only get those few moments to impress them. If you don’t, then your chance to make an excellent first impression is gone.
As a professional Business Broker, I have the opportunity to visit businesses of all types and sizes. It is often easy to determine the businesses that are thriving and those that are struggling just by looking at the level of care that is taken to present a welcoming and professional environment.
I visited a restaurant recently in which the owners were struggling to find a way to keep the doors open. I was struck immediately by the restaurant’s facade. The landscaping was overgrown, and the trash can by the door was overflowing. As I reached the front entrance, I noticed the windows were dirty, and they had faded posters in the window. This was not a business that was welcoming to customers.
The owners were wonderful people. I think they just had formed a blind spot and had become insensitive to their customers’ experience. Being a bit out of touch is not uncommon; it is easy to get lost in the day-to-day grind which is why it is imperative to take the time to detach and try to look at your business with fresh eyes.
Here are Three steps you can take to achieve a welcoming and money-making environment for your
PRO-TIP: Enlist someone that is not familiar with your business to walk with you as you assess your business’s curb appeal. Doing so will help give you fresh eyes and to avoid any blind spots you may have when it comes to your business.
Begin your tour in the parking lot and ask these questions:
- Is there ample parking?
- Is it clean?
- Is it safe?
Your customer’s experience begins in the parking lot. Most customers are looking for convenient, safe, and stress-free parking. Pulling into your parking lot is the beginning of a positive or negative experience for your customer. Likely, this is probably one area you the business owner has the least control over. However, there are still things that you can do. If parking is limited, have your employees park in back or farther from your entrance. If you have a trash can in your entry area, take it upon yourself to clean it up. Simple things can make a big difference!
As you approach your entrance, ask the following questions:
- Is the building in good condition?
- Do you have beautiful landscaping?
- Is your signage fresh?
Look carefully at the façade and entrance of your building. The entry should draw people in and be welcoming. I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping it clean and uncluttered. If possible, place some simple landscaping or potted plants near the door as this can make a significant difference. It should be well lit, have limited professional signage, and have creative window displays.
As you enter and walk your establishment, ask yourself:
- Is your space professional?
- Is it clean and neat?
- Is your space comfortable and easy for customers to navigate?
Walk into your building and look around. Your main selling space says a lot about you and your business. The state of your office, store, or showroom tells customers all they need to know about you and your products or services.
Presentation matters! Upping the curb appeal of your business does not necessarily require a substantial investment of dollars. You can make a great impression with some simple improvements. Doing so will communicate to your customers that they are important. Your customers will show their appreciation through sales, repeat business, and referrals.
Bryan E Detwiler