A friend of mine recently put her home on the market and quickly sold it. Part of her success was because she worked really hard on her curb appeal–making sure the outside reflected the benefits on the inside.
Curb appeal isn’t just for home owner’s trying to sell. Curb appeal is critical for business and is a “must” on areas that simply have to always be kept up. There are several aspects of curb appeal that are important for business owners.
The facade of the building is simply the outside structure. It includes the architecture, paint, signage–anything that is on the outside of the building. Jim Lowenstein, owner of Castle Real Estate in Newton, Mass said, “The façade is the first impression that consumers will see of your business so it is vital that you have attractive signage,[and] colors that don’t clash.”
2. Window and Equipment Displays
Window displays are a way to help encourage a customer to come inside your store. It’s important to have window–or other types of displays–to an appropriate scale. A window display inside a mall, or somewhere that there is heavy walking traffic can be much smaller and more complex than window displays on a busy street with a lot of vehicle traffic.
In addition to signs on the building itself, lots of businesses take advantage of signs closer to the road. Make sure that signs are legible, and uncluttered. Large font, few words and correct use of “white space” or “negative space” help draw the eye to the message you’re trying to convey. A marque-type board, where you can change the message regularly can help draw customers in and be quite fun.
In Jan of 2011 an Orem-based dessert cafe, The Chocolate, put up “Break your resolutions here” on their marque sign and made everyone chuckle while still selling cake.
4. Access and Parking
“Adequate parking facilities can have a huge impact on its overall curb appeal,” a Fox 13 Small Business Center article noted. But adequate parking is only part of the equation. Is should be clear where the exits and entrances are and the parking lot should be well striped and free of debris.
Writer Lisa Danes said, “Your parking lot should also be clean and evenly paved. If a customer has to step over garbage, holes and puddles to get to your door, it is likely they won’t come in.
Once repaved and striped, you’ve created an inviting environment that makes it easy for customers to come into your store or office.
5. Think Like Your Customer
Drive by your store or office from both directions evaluating what you see. You likely spend a lot of time inside your building and it can be easy to take the exterior for granted. Lisa Danes recommends that you make sure your exterior represents well what you do and is clean, inviting and professional.