Is Your Business Shooting Itself in the Foot?

September 10th, 2013 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

'Seattle: animated TILT sign' photo (c) 2007, Eli Duke - license: How often do business owners and managers think about the impression they make on customers and potential customers?

Business Owner Examples

I regularly travel and frequent small restaurants and stores.  Here are a few of the interesting (scary) signs I have seen along the way.

1.    We specialize in all kinds of alterations, mens/women’s/childrens, suits, pants, suits, coats, dresses, jeans, leather, suede.”

Specialization, to me, means something specific.  Here they specialize in “all kinds” of alterations.  A bit unclear, to say the least.

2.    “Hiring one salesperson speak Spanish and little English.”

If the owner is looking for a Spanish speaker, then why not write the sign in Spanish?  “A “little English” speaker may never understand the sign.

3.    “We keep our bathroom clean because we respect our customers.  Thx’s so much.”

I appreciate a clean bathroom since I see so many dirty ones in my travels.  However, I also EXPECT a clean bathroom.  What does it say about other restaurants in the area if this business posts this sign to point out the clean bathroom?

NYC Subway Examples

The unique talent for poor impressions is not limited to businesses.  I rode the subway in New York City with my daughter.  A woman across from us did the following before exiting the train car.

  1. Opened compact and fixed her hair (good).
  2. Applied lip gloss (good).
  3. Checked her teeth for food articles and then chewed what she found (not so good).
  4. Checked her nose hair, put her finger up her nose and pulled hairs (really not good).

The Takeaway

Just like the old saying, “measure twice and cut once”, think about what your actions and signs say to your customers or potential customers.

Those are my observations.  Over to you. Please comment below.

  1. What other signs like these have you seen?
  2. Can you think of someone who has a sign you will now tell them about?
  3. How important do you think image is for business owners and managers?

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