You might think that the hard part of starting your own business revolves around putting together a solid business plan or scraping together the funds to launch your fledgling enterprise. But these preliminary steps are really only the start of an uphill battle when it comes to making a name for yourself within the business community and securing the patronage that will turn your undertaking into a success. And if you want to keep your company afloat until you gain some recognition, some regular customers, and a revolving door of walk-ins, you’re going to need to find ways to get the community interested in your venture. A large part of this is simply getting people in the door. So your efforts should begin with designing a retail storefront that is attractive and compelling. Here are just a few tips that can help you to strike the right note.

  1. Get your branding together. Before you even start thinking about window displays you’ll want to consider the role that branding will play in pulling together a very tangible image. Your name and logo will go on the signage that graces your storefront and they will become a recognizable symbol of your business. For this reason you need to put some time and effort into creating the hallmarks of your brand image. After all, you’re going to be stuck with them for a while. Although you might not think the font, colors, and other design elements you choose are particularly important, the truth is that they represent your business. As such they must reflect the type of operation you run, the goals and ideals that define you, and the message you want to send the public. It might seem like a lot of thought for signage, but this is your business – it’s important to consider every facet since it can affect the way the public receives you.
  2. Use the space wisely. Whatever space you have available for displays in your storefront needs to be used appropriately to promote your business. And there are two things to think about here. First, you need to consider the physical parameters of the space, keeping in mind that depth and height are planes that you could easily overlook in your design. Next you must consider the content of any display, including how it fits into the physical space and what it relates to passersby.
  3. Get creative. A large portion of using your display space effectively centers on wowing the customers. You want to provide them not only with a snapshot of what your store has to offer, but also the promise of something more. You must appeal to a person’s natural sense of wonder, to their childlike joy at the whimsical, or to their longing for honesty and reliability, just for example. If you can find ways to convey these intangible assets then you’ll likely become fairly popular.
  4. Less is more. It can be tempting to overdo your displays by packing them with tons of stuff, but for the most part clutter only turns people off. You need to take care in the planning process to make sure that each part of the display is absolutely essential, in and of itself, and that it contributes to the larger creation. Don’t be afraid to delete anything that simply doesn’t fit, no matter how much you like it on its own.
  5. Grab attention. Whether you use “sale” signs to bring in foot traffic or you rely on the glow of neon signage to catch the eye of people in passing cars, it’s important to find ways to make your storefront stand out amidst a sea of competitors. To some degree your logo and signage can accomplish this, depending on how recognizable your brand becomes. But that could take a while. If you need more immediate ways of getting attention, then using large, colorful displays, lights, and other psychologically attractive visual displays can help you to achieve your goal, provided they are in keeping with you brand image and whatever goods or services you offer.