Your Company’s First Impression

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Your Company’s First Impression

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why, as a business owner, it’s important to know what kind of first impression your operation makes on prospective customers.

To discover this, you need to see your business through the eyes of your customer.

Have you done this lately? Have you considered your operation from your customers’ point of view?

For instance, if you have a physical store, have you checked:

  • The parking lot? Is it clean, easy to park in, inviting with freshly striped lines? Is it easy for customers to get from their cars to your front door?
  • The emotions your front entrance evokes? Does it smell, look, and feel inviting?
  • Whether your display racks are easy to navigate and filled with inviting, high-quality products?
  • That your personnel are professionally dressed? Do they greet customers with a smile and a helpful comment?

If your business is web-based, have you checked:

  • That it is easy to access via mobile devices? Is it as easy to read and navigate on a mobile phone as it is on a tablet?
  • That your contact information — including your telephone number (if you want customers to call) – is visible on your landing page?
  • That the graphics are clean, attractive, and welcoming? Do they look up to date?

Viewing your business through fresh eyes can be a valuable experience. The day you opened your business, everything was new and wonderful. But as days, weeks, months, and even years go by, you can gradually become blind to what your customers see and experience.

I once heard that if you haven’t remodeled your business showplace in the last four years, there is one solution – lighter fluid. (Yes, it’s a joke.) Of course, you don’t need to be that drastic, but you do need to be aware of every part of your customers’ experience when you make changes.

So put on your customer’s shoes, take a walk through their experience, and make the necessary improvements to ensure you’re always making a great first impression – and one that lasts.

Peggy Cenova

Peggy Cenova has been the Regional Director of the East Central ISBDC since 2011. She was a Business Advisor for the Center from 2009-2011. Peggy’s career includes owning her own small business from 1986 – 1997. That small business (Straight Status, Inc.) was named to the Inc. 500 fastest growing business list in 1988. She has managed Psychiatric, Legal and Orthodontic practices. Currently she enjoys facilitating small business strategic planning sessions, presenting on starting, building, and marketing small businesses, and coaching business owners one-on-one as they assess their business needs.She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and an Associates Degree from Ball State University.
Peggy Cenova can be reached at pcenova@isbdc.org.
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