Does Your Business Have Curb Appeal
The term “curb appeal” is widely used in the world of residential real estate. This term is associated with how attractive a property looks from the curb, and the first impression those who see it will have. But curb appeal is also important in a business, and especially one that has regular customers or clients coming into it. What a customer or client sees when they first walk onto your property or enter your office will have a major impact on how they view your business, and the right first impression is critical.
You can easily find out if your business has curb appeal by walking outside and looking at it from the perspective of your customer. How does the place look to you? Does this look like a place you would trust to sell you a quality product or deliver a valuable service? Would you want to do business here?
What about the appearance of your business really stands out to you? What are some of the positive aspects of it? And what are some areas where you need to improve?
Fortunately, improving your curb appeal does not have to be a budget-busting exercise. In fact, some of the improvements you make might even be tax-deductible. Here are five affordable ways to give your business the appearance it deserves:
Clean it Up: The easiest, most basic, and affordable way to improve the appearance of your business is to clean it up. Wash the windows and glass doors and make them look shiny. Get rid of any garbage or debris that has been left lying around. Trim the bushes, sweep up the sidewalk and curb, and clean the inside floors and walls. If you can fit it into budget, hire a professional service to do this, it will be well worth the investment.
Organize: Along the same lines as the first point, get your place organized. When you open up for business every day and before you go home, make sure everything is in its proper place. Clean off your desk, put files back into the cabinets, and put other items where they belong. Train your staff to keep the place clean and organized, so those you do business with will see that you run a seamlessly efficient operation.
Make Necessary Repairs: Over time, wear and tear takes its toll on a commercial location. Cracks in the sidewalk and parking lot, cracked windows, nicks, scratches and graffiti on the walls, damaged steps, broken doors, and similar issues are not only aesthetically displeasing, they are also potential hazards that could put your business into legal trouble if anyone gets hurt. Take an inventory of repairs that need to be made and prioritize them (starting with the most important repair of course) based on your budget.
Add Plants and Other Fixtures: You can make your place of business warmer and more inviting with a few simple additions. For example, you could add some flowering plants, bushes, and other foliage to the outside of the building. Or if you have the budget, you could do some more elaborate landscaping. On the inside, you can add some plants, paintings, and other fixtures to help make your guests feel more welcome.
Use Attractive and Appealing Signage: The signage you use says a lot about your business and who you are. First of all, make sure your signage is visible to those who are trying to find you. Secondly, put some thought into its design, the logo you want to put on it, your slogan, and other text. You may even want to consider upgrading your sign or investing in a new and more modern one if you are able to afford it.
Once you have your store, restaurant, office, or facility in tiptop shape, you will be better positioned to see your business grow and flourish. And as an added benefit, your business will also have curb appeal when/if you ever want to sell it.
A pleasing and attractive look will go a long way toward bringing in prospective buyers if you decide to put your business up for sale. But this is only part of the equation. You will also need to have “curb appeal” from the standpoint of your profitability, prospects for future growth, and overall, the realistic expectation that the right buyer can take over your business and run it successfully.
If you are interested in selling your business in the not too distant future, the best place to start is to speak with a business broker. Business brokers are intermediaries who work closely with owners to help them sell their business for top dollar. By working with a business intermediary, you will be optimally positioned for a successful sale in the shortest possible amount of time.