Running a brick and mortar business has its fair share of pros and cons, you benefit from foot traffic and can utilize space on busy highways and in heavily frequented cities but must cover staff costs and building costs.
There are internals and the type of ambiance you want to create to consider and once you have found your location, how best to use the available space. All of which add to the fun of opening your new business location, but it needs careful thought to make sure you catch the attention of your potential customers.
When customers pass by your business, whether it’s a cozy cafe, a contemporary coffee shop, or a hip bar, you want to make sure you have a look that makes them interested and want to step inside to find out what you have to offer.
Part of this will serve your external decoration for your target audience, such as offering comfort outdoor garden furniture (suitable for British weather i.e. hot and heavy rainy days!) for guests to sit outdoors and a refuge from the elements, furnished with enough signage to indicate you are open and what offers you currently have.
Once you’ve settled on a location and are in the process of planning the best way to set up your property, keep these tips in mind to ensure you make the best first impression and attract customers to your business.
Use Color Effectively
Consider your target audience and the atmosphere they prefer to sit in and build a color palette that will reflect and enhance the environment. For example, soft pastels and earthy, natural tones present a more serene and relaxed space, compared to bright, highly saturated colors that encourage high-energy feelings.
There are studies all around color theory in the hospitality industrywith proven results how consumers react to certain colors such as red to simulate energy and passion, orange to indicate good value and yellow to encourage passion and happiness.
Plan for Efficient Lighting
Lighting must be carefully planned as it creates an atmosphere and is certainly the first thing customers notice when they walk in. While a romantic setting or late night party will require darker, moodier lighting to create the right environment, make sure safety areas, customer interactions, and amenities are well lit for safety and accessibility reasons.
Lighting should suit the use of the location, if customers are going to sit and chat with friends or relax with personal items such as computers and books, it is best to create the area bright enough with day light. Colored lights can be used to highlight features, walls, and artwork, but can be a disappointment to customers if they have to constantly strain their eyes.
If your business is on a property with no front room, where space permits, have something in your walk-in area, that doesn’t compromise on safety or exits but grabs your customers’ attention and draws them in from the outside of the building.
Some effective walk-in features include water features including wall-mounted waterfalls and small fish ponds, ‘lucky’ statues that customers touch as they walk in or eye-catching works of art.
Have an Online Presence
These days, almost everyone has a smartphone in their pocket with access to the internet and will usually reach for their device when they want to learn something new, check reviews of a location or are looking for a place to visit.
You don’t need to be too complicated with your online presence, but a simple, color-matched branded website with all the information customers need such as opening hours, information about your services or products and ways to contact your business can help get your potential customers in the door.
Social media will help you reach a larger audience although it requires resources to keep updated and communicate regularly with followers.
First impressions are important, especially when attracting people to your property, but don’t stress over complicated details to begin with, focus on providing a place that appeals to your audience and meets their needs.
Coupled with quality customer service and building strong relationships with returning customers will soon see your business succeed and thrive.