Your company’s curb appeal goes a long way toward winning customers and growing revenue. Even if you’re not a retail business your curb appeal sends a message to passers-by about the quality of your work. Your business appearance projects an image to potential customers and local residents making them more or less inclined to visit or otherwise support your business.
How Important is Curb Appeal?
A consultant recently assessed the town of Maggie Valley, North Carolina to help the town address its declining tourism. The consultant concluded the town’s main problem comes down to aesthetics. In other words, it lacks curb appeal. He noted, “The curbside appeal of the town has suffered over the years. It is one of those things that affects every business.” According to the consultant, 70 percent of first-time sales are based on curb appeal.
Ready to spruce up your curb appeal? Here’s a simple 4-step plan:
- First, consider how the front of your business looks to passers-by. The façade of a building is the single most important factor determining its curb appeal. It’s the first impression that customers will see of your business. Attractive signage, uncluttered windows and fresh paint can go a long way in presenting your business at its best. The City of Charlotte offers grant programs that can help businesses achieve a more modern feel with substantial renovations such as new storefront windows and doors, metal canopies and modern industrial lighting.
- Next, consider your signage. It should be in plain view and easy to read. It should also be made out of quality materials. Remember the old saying “you get what you pay for” and avoid cheap-looking material. Choose a sign that complements the business district that you’re located in. If you’re in a shopping center your sign should match the size, style and material of the other businesses in the center. And remember to check with your local Zoning Department to learn if you need a sign permit.
- Take a look at your parking area. You’ll want ample, convenient parking on a paved lot with clear markings. Lots should be well-maintained; potholes should be fixed and faded lines should be repainted. If you’re located in an urban area with lots of asphalt and no trees, consider adding tree islands and evergreen shrubs. This can make a huge impact on your curb appeal while at the same time improving the environment. Remove grass that invariably grows in cracks next to curbs and sidewalks as well as in parking lots.
- Finally, keep landscaping well-maintained and well-manicured. Updating your business landscaping with simple evergreen shrubs can have a huge impact at relatively low-cost. Consider adding color to your site with knock-out roses. They’re hardy in Charlotte’s climate and are being used more frequently in privately-owned commercial projects as well as publicly-owned street medians. If you have Crape Myrtle trees on your property keep the “suckers” – all the new shoots that occur around the base of Crape Myrtle trees – trimmed away. And don’t forget to keep the public sidewalk in front of your business free from weeds, tree limbs and other debris.
The Bottom Line
For better or worse, your business will be judged by its appearance. Fortunately, your business’ image is within your control. Consider these tips and implement those your business needs. Remember that the City of Charlotte has programs available to help you upgrade affordably.