Make your premises look great, with a lick of paint and extra signage, to improve its on-street visibility and, hence, the number of customers
Being a small business owner is tough, right? You have so much to think about, and so much to take into consideration that it can sometimes be overwhelming to get it all done. I own a cafe and have been running it for around seven years now and in that time, I have learned a lot about merchandising, marketing and about building your presence in the community. I wanted to share some of this with you today in the hopes that it will make for a more successful business journey for you. I want to speak specifically about maximising your on-street visibility, because one of the most common ways that new customers will find you is by simply walking down the street and finding your business. If you have a prominent and smartly marketed business, people are more likely to notice you – and even if they don’t go in to get a coffee from you this time, they might next time. So let’s look at some of the ways in which you can increase your street reach, and bring in more customers!
Make your outside area a beautiful space
Imagine this: It’s a hot summer’s day and you’re strolling down the street with your friends. You’re looking for a brunch spot and there are two cafes with identically awesome coffee and incredible menus. Only kicker is that one of the cafes has beautiful seating outside made of recycled timber with plants and shade, and the other cafe has cheap looking furniture and inadequate shade… I know which one I would choose for brunch. Making a beautiful outdoor area has never been easier – what with the proliferation of amazing design ideas flooding the internet with how-to guides for making upcycled benches and tables from milk crates, wooden pallets and astroturf!
Print your cafe blinds with your cafe’s logo
There was this odd trend a little while ago with businesses deliberately making themselves hard to find. Unless you’re ridiculously exclusive and successful, you should stick to being loud and proud with your branding. You can get your brand name printed on your cafe blinds so you should look into this as an option for your business.
Play around with signage
There are some fun signs that you can get for your business, and a way that you can work to improve the profile of your business is to write up an external chalkboard with a quote, slogan or saying that relates to your cafe in some way (or is just very funny). You can advertise special events, special dishes and certain days of the week on these kinds of signs as well, and they are a great way to promote as they make people laugh, and then they also find out what your business is.
Get some good external paint going on
If the front of your venue looks like it could do with a good lick of paint, you should mobilize your mates one Monday (or whenever you’re quietest) and close a couple of hours early so that you can get painting. Reward everyone with a free dinner and you get the labour for free as well! Improving the overall aesthetic of your business is never a bad thing!
Make sure the menu is displayed in your venue
I love to wander around when I’m deciding on food and to read the items on the menu to see if they have what I’m craving. If I don’t go in, it’s nothing personal but I was probably just hankering for chili con carne, and you don’t have it. Pop the menu in a glass display case or something like that to make it visible.
I hope these short tips will help you as small business owners, and that you manage to achieve a great return on investment this year.
Brought to you by Digital Next