Published May 15, 2012
Attracting customers is a fundamental part of running a business. While advertising campaigns and promotions can help build your customer base, sometimes simple "curb appeal" may be all it takes to draw in new customers.
Tactics for attracting passing customers can vary depending on your product, location and a variety of other factors, so you should consider your strategy carefully. Here are some pointers to help add curb appeal to your business.
The façade of a shop is the single most important factor determining its curb appeal, according to Jim Lowenstein, owner of Castle Real Estate in Newton, Mass. "The façade is the first impression that consumers will see of your business so it is vital that you have attractive signage, colors that don't clash, and depending on what your landlord will allow you to do, upgrade the façade in various ways," he says.
For a traditional look, Lowenstein suggests using maintaining a fresh coat of paint, and installing window boxes and moldings. For a more modern feel, you might consider featuring sleek lines, modern colors, and modern industrial lighting.
Oftentimes, a store's window display will provide customers with a lasting impression of your business, and an engaging one can help lure extra customers in the door. To create an effective window display, Lowenstein stresses the importance of properly conveying your desired message to the consumer. The way this message is conveyed will depend greatly on positioning, he notes.
"If the distance between the pedestrian and the business is far the message has to be bold, large and concise. If the pedestrian traffic is closer the message can be more involved and compelling," he says. Bright colors, unusual photos and professionally designed window displays can all be used to further engage with customer.
Promotions and Gimmicks
Street promotions can generate hype and create a spectacle to help increase customer traffic through your shop doors. Businesses could try creating an entire "event" based around a special sale or giveaway. Outdoor speakers, signs and announcements can all add an energetic atmosphere to your storefront.
Certain promotional gimmicks, if done correctly, can help your business stand out on a busy street. For example, Lowenstein suggests hiring promotional models during low traffic periods to attract attention to the business. "They should be smiling, friendly to all and they should have little promotional trinkets to hand out along with promotional coupons."
Depending on the nature and location of your business, adequate parking facilities can have a huge impact on its overall curb appeal. If you are located next to a busy road, or tend to sell particularly bulky items, convenient parking is essential. But it's not enough to simply make parking available, says Lowenstein. You must also ensure that it is clear of debris and in good shape, which includes fixing the pavement and having clearly marked parking lines.