by Tom Boyer part 2 of the Lasting Impressions blog series

This Lasting Impressions series delves into how you, your employees, the building interior and exterior, and the service you provide before, during, and after a store visit leaves customers with an impression of your operation and helps them decide whether they will come back. This post and the next one focuses on what happens outside of your store.

Katterman's Sand Point Pharmacy, Seattle, WA

When looking at what impressions can be made before entering your store, it’s about more than the siding, bricks, or other building materials used in the store exterior. I’m also considering the door (or doors if you have multiple entrances), windows and window displays, building signs, window signs, roof if visible, sidewalk, parking lot, surrounding businesses, neighborhood, and finally, the routes leading to your store all as elements that form the exterior impression.

Now a few of these items are things you may not be able to control or easily change. For instance, the routes to your store. This is also true of where your parking lot or other parking options may be located, and surrounding businesses. If you happen to be looking for a new location, definitely take these into consideration, but if you’re not planning a move, there may not be a great deal you can do.

Katterman's Sand Point Pharmacy, Seattle, WA

The potential for change of any of those factors depend on some variables. For instance, maybe you can lobby for some different traffic patterns in the neighborhood, new signage or lights, or speed limits to improve the drive to and from your store. There’s also the possibility that you have a say in or own the parking lot and can dictate when it is repaved or repainted, how well it is plowed, size of parking spaces, etc. As far as surrounding businesses and public sidewalks, you should be able to speak to city officials or fellow business owners to resolve issues or lobby for change.

Next let’s talk about your store sign. What kind of sign do you have? Is it a strong representation of your brand? Can it be seen in sunlight and at night (is it lit or illuminated)? You may wonder why I ask if it can be seen in sunlight – I visited a store once that had a sign that was hard to read on sunny days because shadows made the store name hard to see clearly. It’s important to have a sign that is easy to see and read so people can identify your store as they are driving by. Ensuring it aligns with your store brand is equally important.

In part two of this post about store exterior, I’ll discuss the necessary attention to detail you should take with your doors and windows.

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