I own a business. Recently, I have been reading Guerilla Marketing. This is a series of books by Jay Levinson that promotes marketing techniques suited to the 21st century. One of the most startling things I read is that the way your business looks is part of your marketing. Now, this may seem like it is a very obvious thing to you, but I come from a pseudo-hippy mentality that eschews the idea of being impressed by the outward. Call me idealistic.
Anyway, I love the romance of the little shop that has the best food, but it may look like a train ran through it. I love Rory Gallagher’s guitar, that is weathered to the point of bare wood and corroded pickups. I love the idea of the not-so-attractive singer who wins the competition by her sheer vocal talent, and not her cleavage. These are all very legitimate loves, and the underdog in me thrives on them.
On the other hand, when I am travelling, I know where my wife likes to stop. If there is a McDonald’s available, we will always go there. Why? I know the bathrooms will be clean. I know what the menu has. I know what the fries will taste like. I know how many McNuggets I can get. There is order. There is predictability. There is a school of thought that criticizes consistency as being the hobgoblin of a tiny mind. I see something else though. My business must look good if people are going to feel comfortable entering my doors. They pay me a huge compliment by venturing to my establishment, and I want them to feel comfortable.
So, the Christmas Lights are up. I have made sure that my grounds stay neat, and I now need to do some interior work. Painting, new fixtures, and some flooring. The goal is to put the customer at his ease. It is a marketing technique that costs you little, but offers very significant benefits.