I am addicted to most reality television series, in particular watching professionals like Peter Ishkans on Peter Perfect, Mary Porter on Mary, Queen of Shops or Gordan Ramsay on Kitchen Nightmares. On each of their television series they show us that a CLEAN environment is a customer friendly environment and this leads to improving their experience and your return on investment. The first and easiest step to attracting more customers is a simple SPRING CLEAN and you don’t need lots of money or special skills to clean!

What I have noticed is that each one of these professionals start each of the show with a good spring cleaning session. Nobody wants to be in a dirty grimy environment. So start cleaning, dusting, sweeping, scrubbing and scouring everything from top to bottom, front to back. By doing this your space looks, and smells better and you will create a space where you, as the owner, and your customer are happy to be in. If you are happy in your environment your morale will be high and you will attract more people to you. That is what you want? More customers + good experience = better return!

As it is now Spring 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa I ask that every kind of store from a – z. Fashion, furniture, car service centers and dealers, grocery stores, supermarkets, plant nurseries, restaurants, doctors rooms, pharmacies, charity stores…. all need to give your environment a good old fashioned SPRING CLEAN. Every inch of retail space open to customer experience and interaction will benefit. “COME ON” I say, to all those spaces out there in South Africa that have not been spring cleaned in years, to those places that have not dusted their shelves and have old blinds and dirty windows, euch. Clean it, please!

Here are 3 easy steps that each owner of any space that is open to public should consider for a good SPRING clean.

STEP 1: Spring Cleaning

Get your cleaning material together and clean. Clean your windows, under your furniture, on every shelf and ever fixture and fitting (yes, even behind a frame and inside your light fixtures). Clean everything! A good spruce and clean up is what every environment needs. Even better, do it The Old-Fashioned* way and the better you will feel. Take everything out and air it in the sun for a while. Even an old rug that everybody tramples on needs a bit of sunshine every now and then. The energy in your environment will increase and that is exactly what you need.

Step 2: Organise

Pack everything neatly together in the right place keeping like products together. Avoid trying to display on shelf, simply pack neatly, display in designated focal areas only.

Step 3: Create an Entrance

Make it welcoming, make it attractive – do something that will make you and your customer feel welcome and at home.

Good luck and happy SPRING cleaning – it is fun to clean when you can visualise the end result, so enjoy!

*Cleaning the old-fashioned way – photo’s from the Readers Digest Good Old Days Good Old Ways

No matter what the cleaning product there was no substitute for old-fashioned elbow grease.

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