When people approach your brick and mortar business, they should have a visual feast before them that starts with sharp-looking window graphics and signage that continues (with style) in the lobby.
The last thing you want as a business owner is for foot and car traffic to pass you by without a second glance. It happens all the time when well-meaning entrepreneurs line up their financing, make certain they have the best product in their industries, open their doors for business but, quite literally, their doors are boring and so is their storefront, lobbies and windows. In cases such as those, the loss of rightful attention can be a painful hit in the wallet of otherwise viable business owners with valuable services to offer that no one notices from the street. If you really want to cover every corner of marketing, you need to do it literally through signage and graphics that start on the curbside and continue to decorate your storefront and interior so you can stop that traffic and help lure them inside where their first transaction with you awaits.
Window Dressing Counts When it Comes to Your Business
Keith Cawley, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for the Minnesota and St. Louis / Missouri regions, has many years of experience helping entrepreneurs find their way into the business services industry as new owners of the modern printing industry’s leading marketing services franchise, Minuteman Press. An integral part of each center set-up is making sure every client that comes within viewing distance of their location is impressed with a professional and inviting look as they approach it from the street. He says, “I tell every owner that I work with you need your business to look and feel welcoming for your clients and employees. Your employees are spending one-third of their life in that place so you want it to feel good for them and help them represent your company so they can be most productive. The way you present yourself includes the way your physical location presents itself to the public. Remember, it’s that first impression that gets you that second meeting.”
Minuteman Press franchise owners have a world-wide, well-respected brand with which to adorn their curbside signs, storefront and lobby, and that is a major advantage of buying a franchise. The good news for other small business owners is they can visit their local Minuteman Press and with a design and marketing consultation, not only come up with graphics, a slogan and accompanying signage and displays for their location, but also a complete range of marketing collateral that will reel-in their target audiences.
Parris Frisby, Minuteman Press, Akron, Ohio, has the advantage of an internationally respected brand and well-known logo with familiar colors and a consistent, professional look. Visitors have absolutely no Minuteman Press franchise complaints, thanks to the care to detail Parris puts into the aesthetics and the general comfort of his location. He says, “We recently updated our outdoor window vinyl, added additional promotional product shelves, and painted our front lobby with an orange accent wall. Our customers are always commenting on how inviting it looks. We are adding additional signs and pictures to the front lobby to showcase our various products and services.”
Parris offers these two tips:
1. De-clutter the front lobby and any area that customers can see.
2. Keep your bathrooms super clean. Customers have been known to use our restrooms and a dirty restroom says a lot about “attention to detail” in the eyes of a customer.
Minuteman Press franchise owners are reputed as partners to their clients and that partnership begins immediately upon the first greeting. In keeping with that tradition, Parris advises fellow entrepreneurs, “As a business owner, we should not just focus on customer service, but on ‘the customer experience.’ That would include having a front lobby to be proud of rather than have a front lobby where customers cannot determine where the front lobby ends and the production area begins.”
Consider the view from the outside:
- Curb appeal should begin with curbside signs. With just the right logo and attention to typography only a design specialist can provide, you can capture the eyes of pedestrians and motorists alike.
- Continue to cover every corner of marketing with customized signs that promote your special offerings, hours of operation and tie it all in with window graphics that complement your brand. It is well worth the effort to make your storefront alluring and welcoming.
Once inside, set the stage for business with the right touches
Not a single potential client will walk through your doors if you have dirty windows, cracked paint or bland walls. You need to stay on top of such details and maintain them. Walking into your business should be a pleasant experience that encourages transactions and repeat visits.
Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you greet your potential clients:
1. Receive them with class: Your reception area must be comfortable, clean and encourage people to feel relaxed and ready to tell you what they need with no distractions. If you have room, make sure to arrange your lobby furniture away from the door so that your guests don’t get an arctic blast every time someone opens the door. Set up either a coffee machine or other refreshments for an added touch of class.
2. Eliminate chaos and keep it safe: Your lobby will (hopefully) be a very busy area and that’s great, except for the temptation to let things like boxes and deliveries pile up along with whatever folks are tracking in from the street with their shoes. Have your marketing specialist help you design a nice, sturdy, branded rug at your entrance to help keep mud and debris off your clean floors while making your logo the first thing they see as they step foot inside.
Make sure to look organized and professional by having a large enough desk area and storage so that daily packages and deliveries are not underfoot as unwelcome obstacles for your guests.
3. Let them behold your brand: Now that you have made your exterior sharp-looking with branded window graphics and curb signs and your guests are comfortable in your clean lobby, it is time for them to behold your brand at every turn. Your company’s colors should decorate your freshly painted walls and finely printed marketing materials including brochures, menus, business cards and more should be neatly placed at reception. Your reception desk could be affixed with a sharp-looking adhesive that brandishes your logo and slogan and you could install a monitor that can display your logo and promotions instead of innocuous talk shows.
Kathy Hunter, owner of Minuteman Press in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, enjoys helping her clients within the business services industry as they launch their ventures and begin the process of marketing their products and services. Making sure that their signs, window graphics and lobby displays are of the highest caliber is one of the many ways that Kathy puts her role as marketing services provider to work towards stronger business growth for those who seek her help. She refers to her own physical location as a standard by which her clients can judge exactly how curb appeal, storefront and interior excellence is done in just the right way. She says, “We use our franchise logo and graphics consistently in our store and in our marketing material. Consistent use demonstrates the professionalism any large company would insist upon and our example is frequently referred to as a model when consulting with customers for their own businesses.”
Whether it is the first or 50th time someone enters your lobby, they should always enjoy the experience and there should be no question your brand is at the top of its game. Make it a priority to cover every corner of marketing, quite literally, from the street through your front door, where every detail is aligned with your brand message. You will make them want to stay where they will discover that you have great products and services and that will make them want to come back for more.
As Keith Cawley concludes, “I’ve never seen a successful company look bad at being successful. If you have the best product in the world but fail to present it as the best – starting from the view you give people from the street, they won’t see your best from that first impression. They may never know how great your business is.”
Are you looking to improve the image of your business or brand through signs, graphics, printing, or marketing? Find your local Minuteman Press franchise at www.minutemanpress.com
To learn more about joining the #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise family, call us at 1-800-645-3006 or simply fill out the contact form on this page.