The Picture Window: Letting Customers Know You’re Open for Business

Ice Cream ShopIt’s so funny how businesses can possess all the necessary elements to meet consumer needs, but they fail to look desirable to their markets. I became quite aware of this just recently while on a quick family trip out-of-town.There we were, walking in Old Town, a cool little street with quaint shops and activities in Kissimmee, FL. Being biker night, cycles of all shapes and sizes were parked down the main drive, and the hustle of activity grew each minute as the evening hours set in. We walked by what appeared to be an empty ice cream shop and continued our way to an A&W where I bought myself a root beer float, but my wife, Tricia, wanted some chocolate mint ice cream. The employees at the A&W recommended that we return to the empty ice cream shop that we passed just before.

So we did, and after ordering we all pulled up some stools at the window to watch the crowd of people who had congregated around the bikes outside. After that, an ironic thing happened – people started showing up to order ice cream! Here was a perfectly capable shop to meet the needs of its clientele, but it had not addressed its need to look like it was ready to do so. In our few passes by the large store window before this point there was never a single person ordering ice cream. Now that someone dared to enter it added the missing element for other customers to feel comfortable with going inside. When we got up to leave I counted a group of now twelve people in line wanting ice cream.

As a business owner, my guess is that you have the tools to meet the needs of your clients – education, tools, etc., but it’s important to ask yourself if you appear ready and able to your potential clients. Seriously think through your online presence, your connections in the community, and most certainly the windows and doors through which customers will observe before they choose to enter.


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