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Your space is a reflection of your business

Have you ever entered a business that turned you off so quickly you couldn’t wait to exit? This h...

Have you ever entered a business that turned you off so quickly you couldn’t wait to exit?

This happens all too often in the retail and service industries. What message is your space presenting to potential clientele – that “customer experience does not matter to us”?

– Retailers with music volumes comparable to a stadium rock show.

– Restaurants that are freezing or, worse, cooking (and not your meal).

– Unkept change rooms where you’re trying on overpriced jeans.

It’s mind-boggling to think a business would not consider the comfort of their clientele, but I encounter it often.

You only have one chance to make a favourable first impression. Frequent customers are comfortable customers.

So turn down the music, adjust the thermostat accordingly and for goodness sakes, run a broom over the floors of the change rooms once a day!

We’re humble folks

Where is capital best spent to impress or entice customers?

We receive countless floor calls from prospective tenants hunting for the cheapest deal they can find because rent is a line item to them. This is understandable and I’m not trying to discourage shopping around for the most economical option.

But, lease rates can reflect the quality of the building that you’re considering.

In a recent tour with a client, it was refreshing to discuss this idea of the “bigger picture.” The space this tenant is currently leasing is not a reflection of the value-add they provide for their clients.

They’ve snazzed up their individual space, but the building as a whole hasn’t advanced the same way. Customers entering an office tower with dated common areas or tired-looking elevators may not be able to see past the less-than-glamourous welcome, sabotaging any opportunity you may have had to sell them on the value of your offering.

If you’re looking for high-end clients with financial depth, there is something to be said about the presentation of your business space.

This could mean taking smaller space in a nicer building to add wow factor. Or, just biting the bullet and finding an increased budget for leasing space, which is what this tenant is considering.

We are what you call fly-by-nighters

Similar to the quality of space, the interior decor and design of a business says a lot about the business itself. It’s not hard to spot space that has been slapped together.

I visited an incredibly secondary Walmart location one time which hadn’t bothered to change the flooring from the previous Zellers occupant. It was obvious to me that something was amiss in the store setup, which is wild because Walmart is exceptionally brand-specific.

Nothing looks less professional than opening a business in seemingly temporary digs. It just doesn’t speak to your confidence in the longevity of your business.

We practise what we preach in our ICR offices.

The partners of our firm know that in order to attract quality customers and personnel they need to offer a space that is welcoming. This means regular sprucing up of paint and general décor.

As they say . . . you have to pay to play.

Your business space says a lot about how much you’re willing to invest in your future.

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