SUCCESS!! – Being the best, you can be in a Shopping Center
I am often asked what makes a successful business in a shopping center. Even if you do everything right, sometimes the concept, location or community acceptance just doesn’t click. Often business’s fail because of some basic issues. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most exciting and freeing experiences that you can do. A lot of stress comes with it though, but the rewards could be worth it.
I believe for your business to succeed, you need to do the following.
- Be properly funded. It cost a lot of money to go into business. Rent security, usually equaling two months of rent and the first month’s rent, needs to be paid when you sign your lease. You may want to have an attorney review your lease, but in most cases, very few clauses will be changed by the landlord. Don’t waste your time on an overzealous attorney who wants to rewrite the lease. That will never happen.
You will also need to secure all your required insurances; workman’s compensation, automobile (if applicable), and general liability. Other insurance may be required for your specific business.
- Outfitting your space. To many times, new tenant’s think that they can get away with a mediocre buildout or when purchasing an older business, not renovating and refreshing the space. As they say, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. It is ever more important to dazzle your patrons with a great shopping experience, to pull them away from an alternate option of an internet purchase.
- SIGNS! Let me say it again SIGNS! Believe it or not some new tenants think they will wait to order a sign once the business starts to make money. The problem is that no one knows who you are. They don’t know that you even exist. The cheapest and most efficient advertising is to have a properly lit sign, say what type of business you are, with the largest letters that the local municipality will allow. Don’t forget your window space, this is a very efficient way to let your customers know what’s going on or what’s on sale.
- Area of Influence! So now you are ready to open your doors and you want to bring customers in. Decide on the area of influence, the area where you will be drawing in your customer base. Be realistic in your zone area but saturate the area with repeated notifications and do it often. Don’t be shy with offering a drawing if they stop by or put out a coupon.
- Get a website and an email address. Set up a website, either simple or complex, it will give you exposure. Most people now a day’s do research on what they are buying and even your reviews. Review services can either make you into a hero or a zero. Take them seriously. If they say something positive then thank them, if they have a negative review, respond to them. Ask your patrons to go on your site and praise your services. If you enjoy reading these blogs, then please go on our website www.kleinpropertymanagement.com and give us a 5-star rating. Also, give yourself and your key staff members real email addresses. You can use a service like GoDaddy and register for a website and an email address, so that you can look as professional as you should be. A email address with your companies name in it gives you credibility firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Train your staff. Most likely, they don’t know what your vision is, or they may not have worked in your line of business. Train them in customer service; from answering the phone to greeting them when they walk in, to saying goodbye when they leave. Customers will connect with your business if they are made to feel special and they will return. Have a dress code. What ever it is, it should be acceptable in your line of business, but your staff needs to be clean and properly groomed. Unclean and unshaven is not acceptable.
- Keep your location clean. I am always amazed when I eat in a restaurant and look at the dust that collects in odd places, in some very nice restaurants. Make sure that the bathrooms are clean. Don’t think that your customers won’t recognize the piles of useless stuff that you may have laying around. Clean it up!
- Use a Mirror. Too many times we don’t listen to our staff or our clients/customers about what they are saying about you and your business. Don’t put your ego ahead of what people are saying. They usually are telling the truth, no matter how frustrating that can be. Its important to really know what your staff thinks about the business, what your clients/customers think about the business and what your competition says about your business. If you can master that then you will be able to dodge and weave through the business world.
At Klein Property Management we work with our tenants to assist them so that they can be the best entrepreneur’s they can be. That’s just good business for the Shopping Center. Please give us a call at 732 446-0611 if we can be of assistance or email us at email@example.com