Most small businesses these days utilize the power of the Internet to attract customers for a reason. That said, having a brick-and-mortar store, though seemingly old-fashioned, can still be just as effective as the cooler ways to market products. The appeal of a physical storefront is still alive: the customers get to feel the product in their own hands and give their own evaluations. No more listening to marketing spiels.
Whether you have been running your business for a while or are still in the process of setting it up, you may want to consider the advantages of having a physical store. Understandably, however, small business owners don’t have the deepest pockets yet.
Here are a few tips to help you prudently improve your storefront and—eventually—your business.
No matter how thrifty you try to be when building or renovating your storefront, all your money will still go to waste if you don’t have a clear vision in the first place. For this reason, it’s best if you solidify what you want the storefront to be first before you start planning a budget. Reflecting on a couple of questions may help you get the picture you want. For instance, you could ask yourself: “What quality sets me apart from the other stores on this block?”
Another way to get inspiration for your vision is by taking a look at what similar businesses have done for their storefronts. Try to see what made them successful—and what didn’t—and try to see how you can make that idea your own.
Know basic design principles
Even if you already have someone on your team who knows about design more than you do, it’s ideal that you’re knowledgeable of at least the basic principles, too. Some things get lost in translation. No matter how many hours of team meetings you log, only you could know how to execute your vision exactly how it is in your head.
If you consider yourself a complete design newbie, a great place to start would be the color theory. Hold your scoff—this isn’t as elementary as you think. When done right, the use of color can effectively tell your target audience what you have to offer, all in a simple yet eye-catching way. For instance, yellow communicates big energy and radiance, and if that fits their demand, then get ready to hear that front doorbell ring.
Employ the right team
Every entrepreneur occasionally needs a second set of hands to help them check off the 200 items on their daily to-do list. You can have that too if you surround yourself with the right team. Now, defining what’s right for you is a crucial point. Employing topnotchers straight out of Ivy League schools doesn’t guarantee an effective team. You need people who understand and even share your main motivators for running your business. That is, of course, a top priority, but don’t forget to consider competence and credentials as well.
Speaking of competence, your team must also have the skills to use the equipment needed for your business. The more specialized your products or services are, the more important this factor becomes.
Plan out every step
Now comes the less fun and more practical part. Foresight is a big part of saving money, which is why you must spend as much time as possible planning everything out before you spend anything. If you haven’t set up a physical store yet, know that location can make or break your business. Getting a venue that would give you maximum reach and visibility is worth most compromises, even if it’s knocking on the doors of mortgage companies. On the other hand, if you already have a store and you just wish to renovate, consider drafting a feasibility study first. Indeed, this may demand more time and money up front, but it will save you from unnecessary expenses in the long run.
Oversee construction with an eagle eye
You’ve already spent all that time planning; might as well be as hands-on as possible all the way through! Granted, this is so that you can make sure that your plan is executed well. But overseeing everything yourself will also prevent unnecessary and hidden expenses.
You can save money when you build or renovate your storefront just from making sure that you have a clear vision and a foolproof plan. Those two elements can guarantee efficiency in most things. But make sure that you also have a team who understands your vision and can also professionally advise you on design (and more).