Hit refresh – become an alien for a day

We have all heard the expression “Can’t see the forest for the trees”, or is it “Can’t see the trees for the forest”? If you are like me, you can’t remember which is the right one to be guided by. Why is this?

It is probably because you are so busy running your business on a day-to-day basis that you haven’t had (or taken) the time to either look at the ‘big picture’ or seek (ensure) enough ‘attention to detail’.

Still a bit confused? Completely understandable.

This is why I recommend a simple “Alien for a Day” approach.

Pretend you have just arrived from another part of the solar system and are now looking down from above at your business location.

What are your first impressions?

Remember, you have never been in this situation before, so wipe clean all preconceptions or actions you may have taken or thought about in the past.

Does the façade or entryway to your business look clean and inviting? Cracks, weeds, litter, peeling paint or ineligible lettering suddenly coming to light?

Are your days and hours of business clearly displayed along with an out of hours contact or website to review? Have you set up a QR code to cover all this?

For an alien, the initial look of your business should be “simple and stupid”. Pretend their English language skills are understandably very poor like most customers.

Less is best. Let’s not confuse nor overwhelm your customer before they even walk through the door. (which for ease of entry should always push inwards by the way).

As you push open the entryway as a self important, superior alien (customer) how do you react?

Are all the five senses being stimulated?

  • Does inside the business look inviting?
  • Does it smell right?
  • What background noise is enticing or distracting you?
  • What sense of touch is being stimulated by the flooring, the display cabinets or products on display?
  • Can you taste a good environment?

Review the stimulus questions above and write down some observation notes as you put your ego and pride to one side.

Be brutal and honest and put any concern about political or social correctness to one side for a few minutes.

This brings us to a final, left-field question to ask.

Did your alien “smile” as they looked around? Has your business environment created a sense of family, comfort or belonging after such a long journey to visit your business of all places? Think about this? What can you do to stimulate your customer senses within your business environment that you have blindly walked past day in and day out over the years?

Refresh! Move on from the pandemic slumber with a fresh set of open and honest eyes. This is how you can start to see the trees in the forest whilst creating a forest full of saleable trees.