Community Futures Development Corporation of North & Central Hastings and South Algonquin offers many programs to help businesses in the region, but their “Retail Makeover Consultation” program is what’s drawing interest from some businesses.
Loan Officer and Small Business Advisor Carolyn Barker-Brown explains after a business reaches out for help, she will set-up an appointment with them. From there, she will work with the business owner to review the exterior and interior of the building, how products are displayed, traffic patterns and lighting, among other things to figure out how they can improve how their store looks. “Research that has proven that visual presentation can dramatically affect the sales of your business,” Barker-Brown says.
“It’s basically giving the business owner an opportunity to create a really strong, positive first impression,” she says of the free one-on-one consultation. Barker-Brown adds that once a plan is made, the business owner is on their own to get the work done, but she will still be available to give more advice if needed.
“It’s giving the business owner an oppruntiy to step back and see everything about the store,” Barker-Brown says. She recently finished working with a business in downtown Bancroft where they redesigned the front of their store to be more open to customers. Barker-Brown says giving a positive first impression to customers is important because it’s those first few steps where they will determine what they think of the business.
You can call Barker-Brown at CFDC to set-up an appointment at 613-332-5564 extension 203.