What did your childhood to-do list look like?
- Clean your room.
- Take out the trash.
- Mow the grass (sometimes twice per week).
- Make your bed.
- Vacuum the carpets.
These are just a few chores I remember doing as a kid. I would venture to guess you can relate. Do you emulate these responsibilities in your business? I hope so!
Whether we realize it or not, our customers are judging us by the house we keep. Are your dumpsters spilling over? Is the grass a foot tall? Is your parking lot full of blowing debris? I hope not.
These may seem like basic, obvious tasks. However, I drive by my competitors on a regular basis and am surprised by how the simple duties mentioned above are extremely neglected. Your image is everything. Here are a few areas you can protect your appearance:
Building. We keep our building well-maintained. Our flooring and paint colors are up-to-date with current trends. Our building is cleaned on a regular basis and remains spotless. The showroom pricing is clean and updated. Samples are wiped down and dustless. Clutter is not a word we like, so the layout of our building is kept nice and organized.
Bathrooms. While this is part of the building, we consider bathrooms a separate area to be concerned with. Sam Allman told me a long time ago how important the cleanliness of your bathrooms are. Especially women. You may have the cleanest building in the world, but if the bathrooms are dirty, you will most likely lose the sale.
Grounds. Flower beds are kept mulched and weeded. Grass is kept mowed for great appearance. Our parking lot is cleaned daily of debris and we even have a magnet we roll around to make sure blades and nails are removed. Since we started this system, we have had fewer “flat tire” issues that used to delay jobs. The dumpster areas are kept tidy from overflowing trash.
Company Cars and Trucks. Your logo should be plastered all over the company vehicles. Your employees must drive safely. Of course, the vehicles should be kept nice and clean. Company vehicles are simply an extension of your business and the message must be consistent. Tip: When you are looking at subcontracting a new installation crew, walk them to their van and look at the inside of their van. If the van is neat and clean, you can expect that type of work on your jobs. If they have six months’ worth of Big Mac wrappers tucked into their dashboard, we recommend our competitors as a better fit.
Website. What does your website have to do with the cleanliness of your showroom? Everything! Your website is your showroom in many cases. It is important that people easily navigate it. Your website reflects your physical space. Treat your website as you would your showroom. Update it. Clean it. Organize it.
Staff. While your staff is not your “property”, they have an enormous influence on your constituents. Wearing your colors, nametag, and a smile will go a long way in building your business. While all of these thoughts may seem unambiguous, they take work. I hope this will serve as a checklist to enrich your business.
As always, feel free to email your comments and suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.