There's more to your business than what's on the inside of your store. Improve your business curb appeal to increase foot traffic and sales.
We've all seen them before: dilapidated storefronts with old and faded products in the windows, collecting layers of dust. The sign out front is weathered and worn and barely legible. The store exudes zero business curb appeal; even the paint is peeling.
Yes, we've all seen these stores before. And we've all walked right past them without giving a second thought.
Like any first impression, the business curb appeal of your store makes a huge difference in both customer foot traffic and product sales. If people see a store like the one mentioned above, they're likely to assume that because the business looks shoddy, the products or food must also be shoddy. That may not be true, but as a business owner, you'll never have the chance to prove that if customers pass over your store.
Fortunately, improving business curb appeal doesn't have to be a massive undertaking, nor does it need to break the bank. In fact, some capital improvements even qualify as tax write-offs. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Flaunt your windows
Storefront windows are one of the first things people see when they pass your business. It's important, then, that you make them as appealing as possible. The most crucial first step in this is to ensure that they're clean. It sounds like a no-brainer, but neglecting window washing is an easy mistake to make. You see your windows every day and don't notice the dirt and grime that cake on over time. New customers, on the other hand, will notice right away.
Once your windows are clean, use the space to draw some attention. Window displays, sales signs, and unique lighting schemes are all ways to get passers-by to stop, approach the window, and hopefully, peer inside.
Be mindful of signage
Signs are another important aspect of business curb appeal. Neat, tasteful signs that name your company and the product or service you offer will get you a lot farther than a generic sign that doesn't provide much information.
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is that their signs aren't visible from the road. While walk-bys will inevitably still happen if you're a Main Street business, most people drive these days. They need to be able to see and read the sign early enough to make the quick decision to stop.
And of course, if there's no sign at all, very few people will know you're there.
Trim those hedges
Just as you like to keep your yard at home looking lush and green, you'll want to pay the same attention to landscaping at your business. If you have a small lawn out front, be sure to trim it once a week. Do the same with any hedges or shrubbery that might be there. Pluck weeds from flower beds, cut away dead plants, and keep the area free of garbage and debris.
If you have patches of dead grass, invest in fertilizer and restore it to its natural green beauty. It's true that this one will take longer than a weekend, but the result will be well worth it.
Sidewalk sales and promotions
There is perhaps no business curb appeal more persuasive than moving part of your store outside. If people see the products you sell from the road or sidewalk, they're much more likely to stop and check them out. During warm spring, summer, and fall days, take an extra fifteen minutes each morning to set up your best-selling products in front of your store. It's almost a guarantee that people will stop to look, and many of them will then venture inside to see what else you've got.
Sidewalk sales don't work year-round, but regular promotions do. Put a temporary sign out front advertising discounts and other in-store promotions. People will come in to see what kind of deals they can get, and they just might buy some of the regularly priced items, too.
The same goes for restaurants. Add some tables to the sidewalk in the warmer months to attract those who want to dine outside in the fresh air.
Maintain parking areas
Business curb appeal even extends to parking areas. Make sure they are clean and clear of debris, especially if you sell bulky products that people will need to transport to their vehicles. Fix cracks in the pavement and reseal the lot every year or two at least.
Treat your store like a second home
No one wants a shabby-looking yard or an unappealing house facade. Apply the same discretion to your store that you would to your home and maybe even more. Remember that your business relies on customers, which means you need to make an even better first impression with your store than with your home. Business curb appeal shows you take pride in your work, which then becomes a reflection of the products you sell.
You've worked hard to fix up the outside of your store. Protect it with a business insurance policy from Pekin Insurance.
What steps do you take to give your business curb appeal? Share your ideas in the comments below.