I frequently walk into stores to introduce myself and my services to the owner. Some people cringe at cold calls but I look at it as a chance to get out into the real world to talk to business owners. You can’t really get the full effect on a phone call.
I’ve got to say I am frequently blown away at the condition of many of the stores. The number that are absolutely filthy, dark, dreary and poorly organized is amazing. I’ve seen these stores in all types of areas so they aren’t limited to certain types of neighborhoods. There is not a single store I’ve entered that’s in this type of condition where the owner says business is doing well.
What got me thinking about this was a local florist I called on that was not only dirty but was actually quite dark and dreary with garbage laying on the floor, display cases with windows so dirty it was hard to see the flowers and a display of candles that were so dusty and dirty that they had zero chance of being picked up, let alone being sold.
I realize that we are all products of our environments and “clean” can be a relative term but when you are running a retail business, the reality is that you will turn away large numbers of potential clients if you don’t take the time to get your store in order. Large retailers spend a fortune on merchandising and store layout and often hire talented designers to lay things out.
Why do so many local companies totally miss the boat? I don’t know if it’s lack of knowledge, a lack of ambition, if they are lazy or just sloppy. Either way, the lesson is that if your store looks like a garbage dump, you will attract shoppers used to shopping at dumps.