This morning we received a well-timed email from Bob and Susan Negen from WhizBang! Retail Training with some great advice for sprucing your business up for spring! We thought it worth sharing so here goes:

Woman holding cleaning products in store

1. Clean Up Your Store

Ok, this idea isn’t so surprising. As a matter of fact, it’s what you probably think about when you think of spring cleaning. But I’m talking about more than a squirt of 409…

  • Get rid of any winter dust bunnies that have accumulated in the corners.
  • Change your light bulbs so that they are bright and beautiful.
  • Polish your fixtures from top to bottom.
  • Clean your carpet – and if needed, replace it.
  • Paint your walls, ceilings, and shelves – at least touch up any dings or dents.
  • Deep clean your window spaces and shine them inside and out.
  • Clean your doors – handles, panels, thresholds, tops, and jambs.
  • Ahhhhh! Doesn’t that look and feel better?

2. Clean Up Your List

Over time your email list gets clogged with folks who no longer want to hear from you. Don’t be sad… it’s normal! Maybe they have moved out of town, or they changed hobbies, or their kids grew up. For whatever reason, they are no longer opening, reading, or responding to your messages. Time to remove them from your list. Here are the 4 steps we normally take:

  • Segment your list to include only people who have not opened an email from you in a given period of time – say, the last six months or the last year.
  • Send them a “Do you still want to be on our mailing list?” email letting them know that you will remove them from your list unless they click a specific link in the email (the link can go to a thank you page, or just to your home page.)
  • Send a second similar email with “Last Chance” in the subject line.
  • Delete all the emails of those who didn’t respond by clicking the link.

Your ISP and all the mail services will love your newly trimmed and more responsive list!

Photo of man owner working and checking email on computer
Aerial photo of an empty parking lot with nice trees

3. Clean Up Your Parking Lot

An often-forgotten part of the customer experience, the parking lot is the first and last thing your customer sees. Parking lot clean up could be as huge and transformative as resurfacing, an in-between effort like paining new lines and updating landscaping, or as simple as picking up winter trash and sweeping away the sand and salt debris.

Sure, I know lots of you don’t own your parking lots (Squawk at your landlords. What’s in your lease about lot maintenance?) and some of you don’t even have lots – just on-street parking. But your customers are parking somewhere.

How’s it lookin’?

4. Clean Up Your Assortment

No time like the spring to clean out old, dead inventory items. Run best/worst seller reports by classifications and take a look at the bottom 20-30%. Which items should GO for good? Mark them down and make some money to invest in fresh, new, exciting inventory.

Maybe it’s time to evaluate entire vendors or categories. Run a sales analysis with a GRMOII analysis to find out which ones are making you the most money. If your customers are no longer “voting” for them it’s time to replace them with better candidates!

Photo of two women doing stock inventory
Sale signage in front window of store

5. Clean Up Your Signs

Inside and outside, your signs are a critical representation of your store brand. Make sure they are looking good and working hard for you.

Are your outside signs faded or dingy? Are their light bulbs missing? Does the design still match with what your customer will find inside? Is there residual dirt, debris, mildew, or general icky-ness that needs to be cleaned?

Are your inside signs tattered or tired? Sign holders broken? Are they (gasp!) non-existent???? Time for a re-fresh.

6. Clean Up Your Website

Honestly, this one may be a bit painful. Regardless, spring is a great time to check every single page of your website and see…

  • Is the content up to date and relevant?
  • Do all the links on the page work and do they go to the correct place?
  • Are there “dead-end” pages with no end-of-page links to other actions they should take, other places on your site that the visitor should go?
  • Can the visitor easily find your phone, address, hours on every page?
  • Are there any missing pages?

There may be more things to evaluate on your website, but for a spring cleaning, ticking those five boxes will probably give you plenty to work on.

7. Clean Up Your Office

Once you get started, this one is really… well, fun. There are usually so many tiny, un-done, odds and ends, annoying jobs cluttering your office that cleaning them up will bring you a surprising amount of space for thinking, new creativity, and a calm, peaceful mind.

While you’re at it, do something that will make your office a great space for you to be in. Paint a wall your favorite color. Hang a piece of art you love. Add a big comfy couch. You’re worth it!

Thank you WhizBang! Retail Training for these great tips for retailers. And happy Spring Cleaning!