Take a Good Look at Your Business
In business and in life, we know that first impressions matter. Furthermore, we know that sometimes, small details can make a big impact on how your customers view your business. The unfortunate thing is that once something becomes familiar to us, we stop seeing the details and we almost become blind to the faults of everything around us. Think about it: that tape or sticker residue on your front door (from the community festival you sponsored a few months ago) is now just a part of the door. You no longer really notice it, but rather continue cleaning around it. But to someone seeing your front door for the first time, the sticky residue just looks messy.
With social media reviews (and friend referrals) at the helm of how people choose where to eat, shop and spend their money, the little details often stand out – and not in a good way. Here are a few ways to see your business with “fresh eyes” so that you can impress every customer that walks through the door.
How to Take a Fresh Eyes Approach to Your Business
Ask your employees for help
Assuming you have an open, honest and loyal relationship with your employees, ask them for their feedback. You could even go so far as to give them a checklist to complete (similar to this one), to “review” your business as compared to another business. But, having an honest conversation about where you could make improvements is a great fist step.
Read online reviews
While we know some online reviews are falsified or written on the behalf of other businesses in town, checking out what people have to say about you can’t hurt. You might find some interesting insight on what you’re doing right, and what you need to improve.
Ask your customers
This approach definitely needs to be handled delicately – you don’t want to send a survey to everyone on your mailing list. We suggest reaching out personally to a few of your most loyal customers – people you see every week or at least once a month. You know they like you and your business (otherwise, they wouldn’t be your regulars), and you can likely gain some kind and honest feedback about the condition of your business (physically and otherwise).
Become the customer
In the same way you’ve asked your employees to “review” your business with fresh eyes, you (as the manager or owner) should do the same. We suggest visiting your competition and checking out how you feel and what you see, smell and experience in each location. Visit all areas of the business that a customer would: bathroom, dressing room, waiting area, cash register, etc. Take mental (or real) notes, and then do the same for your business. How do you stack up?
We hope these tips will help you see your small business with fresh eyes so that you can make the changes necessary to stand out (in a good way) from your competition!
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