Friday, January 8, 2016

See to your window dressing

          Free daily tips, information, advice and ideas
          to help you better manage your small business

     Small shops and stores have opportunities not available to online operations. It's the window they have on the street.

     Dressed up windows get attention. Drivers slow down when a decorated window catches their attention. Strollers on the sidewalk stop, look and come inside. 

     Window dressing is becoming more important than ever. We are seeing more and more millennials opting for apartments and homes in small towns and cities. They are foregoing the flight to the suburbs. And they are supporting the small shops and stores within walking distance.

     Example: Bill runs a small cafe on a town street busy with foot traffic. He deliberately set up his kitchen in the front window. People walking down the sidewalk are suddenly confronted with Bill and his helper busily preparing meals--just beyond the big plate glass window. People stop, watch, and are suddenly hungry. Bill has successfully turned his cafe into entertainment--a marketing strategy that can work in many businesses.

     Example: Greta runs an upscale consignment shop specializing in "gently worn" women's fashions. Consignments come from professionals, executives, and women in the entertainment field. Dresses, gowns, outfits, coats, boots, handbags, jewelry and other accessories fill her shop. Greta changes her shop's window at least twice each week. She takes pictures of the window, including close-ups, showing detail and labels, and she posts them on Facebook daily. Greta does no traditional advertising. She uses only her window and Facebook to enjoy success.

     Example: Lisa runs a high-end gift shop. She offers handmade items from artists and artisans. She changes her shop's windows once each week, highlighting new items. The streets of this small town are full of window shoppers--they work and live here, they come from nearby towns and cities. In Lisa's shop, they browse through pottery and glass items, small furniture and turned wood sculptures, jewelry and fiber art, and hundreds of other items. Frequently, Lisa clears out one window and invites an artist to set up an easel and create a painting--this always draws a crowd. Pictures go up on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media. This is the extent of her advertising. 

     Turn your store's window into the focus of your business. This is where you connect with the community, the passing parade. Extend the window's reach by using social media.


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