Spring is here and we are fast approaching the start of Summer. With the warmer weather comes an influx of visitors to Wyoming businesses ready to see what you have and spend their money. Just like at home, now is a great time to do some spring cleaning around your retail space to make a great first impression.

 

First Impressions

Start outside and look at your business the way customers do. Your windows and window displays should be used to get people’s attention – those walking by, and in some cases, those driving by. Make sure people can see the display by having it well lit, especially if people tend to see it at night.

Also, wash the glass, vacuum up the dead flies, and remove faded items (that Wyoming sun fades inventory quickly!).

Avoid using your doors and windows (prime display space) for advertising all the local fundraisers, high school team schedules, and so on. It’s great to support those activities, just do it at a separate location (bulletin board, etc.) within the store.

What about your signage? Can it be seen by those walking by your store? Blade signs that are perpendicular to the building or hang from the awning are more effective at this than a sign positioned flat against the building 15 feet off the sidewalk. Sandwich boards can work too, if your community allows them.

 

Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

Once they are in the door, the space should smell good. Not overpowering, but pleasant. Soft, appropriate music can also help. You want to create a welcoming, enjoyable ambiance. How about a fresh coat of paint?

Use small signs near the merchandise to help customers find what they are looking for. If you can do this in a fun way to make them smile, even better. Consider using large format photography to help highlight various lines. Lean on your suppliers for this as many have some large posters they will give you if you simply ask. Remember, your merchandise should be displayed from the knees to about six inches over the customer’s head. They don’t want to (and usually won’t) bend over to get items off the floor or they simply won’t see them.

 

Make Changes that Can Improve Sales

Most stores don’t have enough light. People won’t buy it if they can’t see it. Replace burnt out bulbs. If possible, use track lighting to light up the merchandise, not the wall or the floor. And finally, get your customers to touch the product. They are much more likely to buy it if they pick it up and look at it, smell it, feel it, and fall in love with it.

 

Help is Available

If you really want to get ambitious and rearrange your space, there are a number good articles out there about retail traffic flow within the store that will give you good ideas to explore. You can ask your local Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network advisor to swing by and give you some ideas to consider. Wyoming SBDC Network services are always available and no cost to you and are completely confidential. Click here to get in touch with your local advisor.

 

About the Author: Bruce’s experience as a former banker and Economic Development Finance Professional helps him to assist clients with all things numbers: loan applications, financial analysis, business planning and projections, and crowdfunding ideas. When he’s not in the office, Bruce loves travel, good food, and an occasional round of golf!

 

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