Yesterday was the first full day of spring, at last!  If you’re fortunate enough to live in a place where it’s warm year-round, this isn’t such a big deal.  But for most of us, spring means no more cold and snow (at least not much more).  The NCAA tournament is going strong and baseball begins for real in just a few weeks.  It’s a pleasure to drive home from work while the sun is still shining.

Of course, spring is also a time for "spring cleaning".  For many of our dealers, that means an increase in business.  For all of us, it’s a great time to take a look at our places of business.  When we look at the same thing day after day, it’s easy to overlook things that a customer won’t miss.  That broken floor tile or crack in a window may be under our personal radar, but a customer will see it and it won’t leave a good impression.

Before you go home tonight, or before the end of the week for sure, take a walk outside your store.  Look at everything through a customer’s eyes.  Do you see anything that a good cleaning, or a coat of paint might improve?  Is some landscaping in order?  Are the windows clean?  Are there holes in the parking lot or sidewalk?  Take a notepad along and make a list.   If you see things that the landlord should take care of, let her know.

Once you’ve given the outside of the store a good look, go back inside.  Again, look at the store as a customer might.  Is everything clean and fresh?  Are your signs and tags informative and not shop-worn?  How’s the lighting?  Do any bulbs or flourescent tubes need to be replaced?  You’d be surprised what a negative impression a burned-out bulb makes on a customer.

You wouldn’t invite friends over to your house without making sure everything was neat and clean.  Your customers are your guests.  Don’t they deserve the same kind of care?

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