Small Business Marketing Begins – and Ends – in the Bathroom

Stop Trying to Impress Me and Clean Your Bathroom:  6 Ways to Improve your Attraction Factor and Grow Your Business

customer acquisition marketing ideas

Every day, businesses spend significant resources in pursuit of the one genius marketing, product or promotional idea they believe will produce the customers, profits and business growth they desire.  Too often, these same business owners fail to maximize their marketing ROI simply because they are neglecting the attraction factor; and in so doing, are failing to attract new customers or impress the ones they have. 

I recently came across an interesting article on about how some businesses – restaurants, to be specific – are missing the mark when it comes to meeting customer expectations in one of the most obvious and easy-to-fix areas:  the bathroom.

Not only can consumers quickly post to friends, family and the whole wide world any deficiency they find while visiting your business, they can take pictures, too. Go ahead – walk into your organization’s bathroom right now – would you be mortified if a customer posted a photo of it online as it appears right this minute?  How about the other areas of your business accessible to customers, employees or vendors – anyone that might walk in with a smartphone and the ability to post their impressions worldwide in a matter of seconds!

Businesses from large to small and chains to independent, locally owned businesses can all fall prey to poor reviews and instant negative word-of-mouth from customers, employees or even vendors for a wide variety of reasons; and they’ll have the photos to prove it! Here are six ways you can improve the attraction factor of your business and truly impress (and attract) new customers and grow your business.

customer attraction marketing ideas

6 Ways to Improve Your Attraction Factor to Attract More Customers

  • Understand that your bathrooms cannot be “too clean.” 

You might gain a competitive advantage by doing no more than ensuring that your bathrooms are (always) clean!  In particular, if you provide food or beverages (restaurants, bars, delis, coffee shops, etc.) or your business provides personal services (salon, spa, medical, dental, etc.), your bathrooms are a reflection of the brand of your business to your customers. If your bathroom is dirty or in disrepair, customers will assume that this neglect is also present in other areas of your business.

In the article, 3 of 10 consumers surveyed said that in the case of a restaurant with a dirty bathroom there would be no second chances, and half said that they’d told friends and family about negative impressions of public restrooms. The bathroom in your place of business simply cannot be too clean!

  • Keep up with the times – and customer expectations. 

Unless your business brand’s visual identity is predicated on nostalgia, keep up with the times.  The décor of your business should appear modern and in keeping with the ages, expectations and preferences of your target market/s in general.  Renovating and remodeling to improve the appearance of your business can drastically improve your attraction factor. It also gives customers a reason to come and see what has changed and talk about your business to their friends, family and even the general public using their social networks.

  • Adhere to schedules, ruthlessly!

This doesn’t just pertain to opening up on time, although that should be a must at your business. The last thing you want is someone showing up to do business with you only to find your doors closed when you said you would be available; that is another instance where a new customer is unlikely to give you a second chance.

It’s also important to your attraction factor that you adhere to the time tables set out for promotions, displays and offers.  When the holidays are done, holiday displays and decorating should come down immediately, in the dark of night (when customers are not present) and replaced with the next round of marketing displays and seasonal décor, as though by magic.

Plus, by adhering to the expiration dates that you (or manufacturers) place on special product offers, you make it clear to customers that they need to act – not wait – in order to avail themselves of special offers and discounted pricing.

  • Unclutter, everywhere. 

Stuff, collected, becomes clutter. And stuff tends to collect.  Even good stuff – like tchotchkes, displays, awards and photos or customer comfort items like magazines can turn into clutter.  Improve the attraction factor of your business by minimizing clutter, everywhere.

Leave only the most important or most recent awards, accolades, photos, displays and marketing materials out.  Make sure that customer comfort items are recent, look new and are clean – and leave only a few “out.”  If you are worried about not having enough, simply post a sign that more is available and customers need only inquire.

  • Make stocking shelves and displays an invisible process. 

Customers should never have to circumnavigate boxes and carts to shop in or make their way through your business.  Stocking your product shelves and displays should be an invisible, mysterious process that occurs only outside of business hours (or during your slowest hours, if your business is open 24 hours a day).

  • Set a dress code, and stick to it. 

Establish standards of appearance for employees so that customers can instantly differentiate those who work at your business (and, therefore, can help them) and other customers.  The last thing that you want is for one of your valued customers to be mistaken for one of your employees!

Dress code makes a difference — even in the case of employees that rarely come into direct contact with customers.  By simply letting staff know that you have standards for dress, behavior and communication, and enforcing your policies (and adhering to them yourself!) you raise the bar.

Running a successful, profitable local small business doesn’t happen by accident; it happens by attention.  Paying attention to all of the details that impact the customer’s experience at your business and influence their perception of your brand at every customer touch point is the only way to ensure that your attraction factor is maximized to help you grow your business! 


My 2015 Small Business Marketing Calendar is available on — absolutely packed with marketing inspiration and a working calendar that you can use to attract – engage – retain and motivate your customers in the coming year.

2015 small business marketing calendar template

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  1. […] What good does it do if you spend valuable time, money and other resources getting new customers in the door, only to have them walk back out again because of easy-to-correct problems in the customer experience? Here are six ways to improve your attraction-factor, so you can grow your business.  […]

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