It is a dreary, cool day.
There is a light rain falling and it feels like a stormy day on Vancouver Island. It is Babycakes day and I am sitting in my favorite café that smells like sugary heaven and it sure makes this blah morning easier to take as I enjoy my favorite red velvet cupcake and a delicious cup of coffee.
I have been doing a monthly hang out here to visit with the public and answer their questions about real estate and design and it has been great meeting the casual clientele of this cupcake cafe.
Businesses seem to draw a certain kind of client based on their product but also based on the vibe of the owners.
The owners of this cupcake shop are cool and very hip and very supportive of the local music scene. I’m sitting here eavesdropping on the owner talking about a box of cupcakes they are sending over backstage to the Jann Arden concert tomorrow night which is totally in line with how these ladies run their business.
They are music lovers and local business supporters and give into our community, even by letting a lone real estate agent sit here and drink coffee on Thursday mornings!
If you are a business owner it is important to look at the vibe your business put out, this is especially important in how the business appears to the public.
I am specifically speaking about the design of your company. Is your business front welcoming and warm? Is it clean and in good repair? Is there an offering for clients (like coffee) to entice visitors to stay just a little while longer? Take a critical look at your business from the perspective of your clients.
From making sure that the front door is clean and polished to the entry mat that they set foot on – it should all be sparkling and welcoming.
This will make an impact on your client and encourage them to come back to your business again and again.
Research your clientele, you may be a male focused business but take account of how many women walk through your doors.
What does your business say to welcome the wives of all of your male clientele?
While men may be interested in wandering around looking at tires or tools; the female companions may appreciate a comfy place to relax and have some tea and read a good magazine.
I have sat in tire shops with the only reading material available to me being car and driver or auto trader. Some women may appreciate the mechanics based literature but I would have appreciated something a little more interesting.
Design and décor are easy ways to entice clients to enter and to encourage them to linger.
Your goal is to draw customers into your business yet so many companies I have visited have missed the mark for creating an inviting interior.
I think that’s why I love hanging out in the cupcake shop, not only does it smell enticing, it is brightly coloured and really fun. Chairs are comfortable and allow me to sit and relax with my laptop. Local art is displayed on the walls and the music is lively and fun. Who wouldn’t want to spend a morning here!
Kim Wyse is a local freelance designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Designer’.