What has changed? Something is different in here!

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  The words in the blog title were what I heard the other morning when I walked into the Bagel shop!  It took me a minute to re-orient, however, I recognized that the new owners had completely painted the shop, added new colors, installed an ATM machine, reduced their prices on some products and enhanced the overall shopping experience by accepting credit cards!  Now, is this really unique and special?  Oh, I don’t think so–however, what a world of difference it did make.
   As I sat there eating my bagel and drinking my coffee, another client commented on how nice the cosmetic refresh looked.  I also commented on how nice it looked.  The new owner then said that carpet was coming, they had just not yet had time to have the company come and install the new carpet.
   Now, as I was sitting there, I wondered about businesses which did not have new owners.  What is the customer experience in your store?  Is the store clean, bright and sharp?  Are the colors “in vogue” with today’s various color palettes?  What is interesting here at the Bagel shop is that this business has been in the same location for many years.  The previous owner had done a great business, however, was ready to sell and move on.  As he sold to the new owners, they wanted to “make it their own” and improve some things that were relatively easy to do, but made a big impact on the clientele.
    Perhaps your business needs a  “cosmetic refresh”!  Maybe you need to think about repainting the showroom, customer service space, dining area, depending upon what your business type is.  A decorator can give you some great ideas on how to make the changes you need to impress the customers that come to your place of business.  In the case of the bagel shop, I am sure that not much more money was spent than the cost of the paint.  I would suspect that the labor was the owner and partner, maybe one of the staff, but I doubt it.
   Sometimes, you don’t need to do too much to make a strong impression on your clients.   Painting, new carpet and some new art work may be all that is required to give your store a complete new look and attract more new customers.
   As we begin 2011, think about how your place of business presents to your customer base.  I bet that a coat of paint, new carpet or flooring and a rearrangement of the shelves/desks/counters may go a long way in improving not only how the store looks, but also being able to attract new customers to your business.
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