Does your business have curb appeal? I was walking through a small downtown area recently, and I got to thinking about what caught my eye, what drew me towards a shop, and what repelled me.
I started looking for examples of good curb appeal. Here’s my checklist. Maybe you can use it, if you have a bricks and mortar store.
- Clean sidewalk area in front of the shop. I was repelled by the number of shops that had cigarette butts, pigeon poop, swirling papers, sand and dust all milling about in front. I think we can take a lesson from European shop keepers here. Sweep in front of your shop.
- Exterior décor. The shops that had floral displays, outside seating, canopies and decorative touches were far more welcoming than those without. And those that had sale tables outside…well, I couldn’t help but browse.
- Clean windows. Does it really take effort to keep windows clean, so that we can see the…
- Ever-changing window displays. A front window display is one of the finest forms of advertising a shop can have. And changing the display frequently keeps me coming back. Ick factor: dead flies, dust and cobwebs…yuck!
For the stores that drew me in, I liked:
A welcoming hearth. Much like your foyer at home, the space you step into sets the tone. Is it cluttered with “stuff”, or open, appealing and welcoming?
People like to enter a space and feel it’s inviting, and not intrusive. That’s why homes have a front foyer. It lets guests get accustomed to the space, without feeling encroached upon or overwhelmed. Are there shopping baskets or carts within easy reach? Are the first few steps someone takes into your store unobstructed? Does it smell nice? Does it look nice?
How does staff greet customers? There’s a big difference between an honest, welcoming, sincere acknowledgement, and a formulaic vulture attack. Or worse still, an apathetic or complete lack of acknowledgement.
Marketing starts at the curb, before the customer even opens the door.
And if you’re not a “bricks and mortar” business, where is your curb? Where does your marketing start?
Maybe it’s time to do a curb appeal check for your business. How’s your curb appeal?