“Career Growth - Business Growth”

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                                                     Building Appearance- Marketing

While I was a manufacturer’s rep. one day my secretary approached me with the idea of starting a retail store.  The idea was to sell off our clothing samples from the rep. business at outlet prices and have some additional income.  She would continue to run our office and the store would be a nice, small sideline.

We agreed she would find a location that would house our office and have space for a small retail sales floor.  She found a place just a couple of blocks from our office location in an industrial building on a fairly busy street.  We leased about half the building at a good price, much more space than we needed but with the idea if the store really took off we would be able to expand.  Initially we set aside a 20 x 20 foot area to display and sell the samples.

After the re-modeling we did a mailing to all our friends and acquaintances in town that we were having grand opening.  The event was on a week night and ran from 6-9 pm.  We surprised ourselves we were selling quite a bit.  Little by little over the next couple of years we expanded the store to about 1,500 sq. ft., we were buying samples from many other reps. and some regular price merchandise as well, it wasn’t a sideline anymore we kept increasing sales.

We had a flat sign on the outside of the building but over all it still looked pretty industrial.  Inside was pretty bare bones but we did install particularly good color corrected lighting and displays to show off the clothes.

Eventually we were able to purchase the building with plans to expand into the whole building.  One afternoon a couple of weeks after the purchase I walked into the store and it was busy, substantially busier than normal.  We didn’t have any major ads running or any big promotion going on but it was busy.  I cornered the store manager and said “What is going on?”  Her answer was “They finished putting up the awning about 1:00 and we have been busy, busy selling  ever since.”

We had ordered a nice looking, bright blue and white backlit awning to go across the front of our drab building.  It changed the whole appearance of the building and obviously started drawing people in right away.   A couple of other factors came into play here.  It was a free standing building with good visibility from the street and when the awning went up it looked a lot nicer than the surrounding buildings.

The increase in sales  held up, we expanded into the whole building, 4,000 sq. ft.  Needless to say it only took a short time for this awning to pay for itself.

If this enhancement to the building appearance worked so well maybe it’s a good idea to review our personal appearance to improve our business!

Personal Growth - Business Growth