When you’re a small business, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of other small to medium enterprises (SME) that compete within your industry. After all, when you’re small and renting commercial property, your first instinct may be to focus on creating good products and attracting customers rather than decorating your business.
However, did you know that attracting more customers and decorating your business’ property often go hand in hand? Installing good-looking exteriors and interiors is like putting your best foot forward and making a good first impression. Once you’ve enticed your customers to go in, then you can start convincing them that you’ve got the products they need and that you are a store worth coming back to when they’re looking for your products once more.
Recently, design and building trends are leaning more towards modern styles. While it seems counterproductive to be designing your business the same way everyone else is, when done right and avoiding the typical modern styles for more eye-catching and functional design choices, your business can stand out and become a small business that catches a lot of the foot traffic in the area.
Go with Graffiti
Instead of neutral or light paint colors for the exterior or symmetrical wallpaper for your business’ interior, go creative and hire an artist to do graffiti on your walls. Older people have this misconception that graffiti is simply the spray-painted slurs and lewd symbols along public property, but the art style of graffiti, when done right, becomes an eye-catching work of art that can work for your business.
Work with an artist to see what works best for your store. If you’re a restaurant, instead of the usual light box signage, a basic graffiti-style logo or throw up graffiti tag on the walls or windows can be more eye catching with the right colors. For the interior, instead of photos of food or decorations that take up space, let the artist paint your main products. If you’re a burger joint, an artistic design showing a burger can look better than an ordinary photo of a burger you printed online.
(c): Graffiti at Venite
Want to give your graffiti an extra kick? If the theme of your restaurant fits (hole in the wall restaurants or artsy bars, maybe), give your customers the chance to write on your walls. Not only do you get a design that complements your theme, but you usually get customers who write great reviews about the food they ate – helpful for recommending future customers of what other customers thought. If you don’t want them to write on the wall, you can also opt for sticky notes.
If your business has a second floor, don’t go for the bulky and ugly concrete stairs that are an eyesore of many businesses. Instead, replace your stairs with timber stairs or any material that fits your theme. The great thing about wooden stairs is that they adapt to both modern and classical designs, and may be designed to be both fashionable and functional.
Bright lights and low-lights are out, and natural lights are back in fashion. That doesn’t necessarily mean renovating and adding more windows, especially if the property owner you’re renting from doesn’t allow you messing with the property’s structure that way. However, choose non-bulky lights (big lights hardly ever work in a modern-themed room) with bulbs that give the appearance of natural light.
Not only does this make your store look good, but it’s also beneficial to your product. If you’re a clothing boutique, dark stores make it difficult for your customer to see the real design on your clothes or when they try clothes in your fitting room. If you’re in the food service, dim lights may work for romantic restaurants at night, but in the morning and afternoon, your restaurant just looks glum and sad, especially if there’s not enough light coming from the windows.
Declutter Your Surroundings
Minimalism has been a common feature in modern architecture and interior design. Ditch the Victorian chandeliers, the cluttered table of trinkets, and a counter full of wares and impress your customers by providing less.
Done incorrectly, your store can look unnaturally bare or without any wares. A lot of people incorrectly think that minimalism means paper white walls with white tables and white décor. That’s not true: minimalism is an art form that avoids any distractions from the main point (in this case, the main point are your products), but if you were to step into an all-white room, your customer would be more distracted by your color options than the actual products on display.
To use minimalism right, you can still use non-white colors, but stick to neutral colors instead of eye-catching ones. If you’re a small boutique selling clothes, those racks of colors are bound to stand out without any distractions. Decorations are okay, but keep it minimal and within the color scheme. So, plants with a neutral-colored pot at the corner is alright, an aquarium with a few small goldfishes are fine, but too many colored paintings on the wall ruins the idea of minimalism.
If you revamp your business’ architecture, interior, and exterior design into a much more modern one, you could stand out among hundreds of other SMEs in your area. However, this needs to be done the right way, so be sure to work with an interior designer or a professional artist to help you achieve a visually pleasing store or business style.