Small-business shopping is a big part of life in the city nowadays, and Downtown Lakeland is no exception. We have a wide variety of bakeries, retail shops, coffee bars, and more that welcome people in and give them a taste of life here in our town. Recently, Lorio and Associates took on a wonderful storefront opportunity right in the heart of the downtown area, and we know it will make the perfect home for a startup business, or someone looking to grow their brand. Having a storefront, though, provides its own set of challenges since your business is open to passerby and you have to start marketing to them before they ever step foot through your door. Your display and environment must beckon in customers, and that can be difficult if you aren’t sure where to begin.
So, how can you make sure people walk through your door, and not past it?
Know Your Brand, Set The Tone
Every business, no matter the size, has a “brand”. If you create clothing and tend to sway toward a Bohemian, free-flowing style, then your brand could be best represented by a coastal, beach vibe, and your store will need to reflect that. Do you craft furniture and art pieces from wood and want to attract high-end clients? A polished, gallery-style store might be best. When it’s time to create your storefront and set up your shop, you need to know your brand well, and brainstorm how to best reflect that in the tone of your store.
Place “Customers” in Your Display Window
No, we don’t suggest you put your actual clients in the window of your shop. However, any displays you create should help the passerby see themselves enjoying the products you are trying to sell. Make your display reflect the type of clients you are marketing to. Additionally, keep the display eye catching, and change it up routinely. Your display window is where you reflect the season, celebrate various holidays, and give sneak peaks of new products. Keep things things in mind when it’s time to decorate.
Start Marketing OUTSIDE
Want customers to stop and come inside? The first part of that, is giving them a reason to STOP! Balloons, banners, and signs are a great way to get attention at first, but they might not keep people coming in long-term. Consider offering routine special or inexpensive freebies/samples that will convince people to come through the door. Advertise these with a sign outside your shop. Here in Lakeland, pets are a big deal, so consider having multiple dog-watering stations outside your shop, and maybe even a bench or two where folks could wait with their pup while their friend or spouse shops. During the summer, having a water cooler and cups set up are a great way to make people feel welcome, and they appreciate the (free) relief from the intense Florida heat.
Ready to start up your store? Contact us about our Downtown Lakeland property to schedule a tour of the space. For a reasonable monthly lease, you will have a large, open retail space, TWO display windows, a break room, restroom, and office space at your disposal. We can’t wait to see your business become a success here in our city!