This is a guest blog post brought to us by professional organizer and Home Depot writer, Lea Schneider.

Whether your store is new or just new to a customer, it’s important to keep a strong first impression going beyond the initial visit. The challenge here often has more to do with a lack of time than a desire to maintain appearances. As retailers get busy, they sometimes overlook the little details that could become a big negative.

There are five main areas retailers should examine every day. It’s easy to get so caught up in today’s to-do list that these details slip out of focus. Checking in daily will help keep your first impressions up to snuff.

  1. Continued curb appeal

As a shop owner or manager, it becomes routine to park in the back, saving front parking spaces for customers. To start your day, you head to the front door and turn the bolt, unlocking the door from the inside. With this routine, it becomes possible to go days without truly checking on your curb appeal.

Change your routine so that you unlock the door and head outside for a peek. Make sure litter is collected from in front of the business, trash cans are empty, plants watered, sidewalks swept and glass is sparkling.

  1. Small things matter

Paying attention to details really does matter. While customers may not think twice when everything is correct, it certainly catches their eye in a negative way when something seems off. Make sure all signage is up-to-date. Having your window poster touting a spring sale well into summer sends a wrong message. Posters, special events, signs and marquees need to be kept current. When you post new ones, set an appointment on your phone to take them down so you don’t forget.

  1. Three things always in style

Customer comfort, safety and store cleanliness are part of a great first impression, and they need to stay in the forefront of every retailer’s focus.

  • Pay attention to flooring. It’s one of the first things that draw the customer’s eyes when they step in the door. Choose a sturdy, level, non-slip surface. Have a consistent maintenance routine for keeping it clean.
  • Add doormats both inside and outside your business. It keeps dirt from coming in but also helps dry feet to prevent slips. Make vacuuming a daily routine.
  • Offer seating. It’s not just the elderly who need a seat. A mother with a baby, someone with health issues or a business person checking an email appreciates a seat.
  • Be customer friendly with visible signs for the restrooms, customer service help and checkout areas.
  • Make sure all exterior lighting is working.
  1. “Hidden” areas customers see

There are a views that are commonly out of sight for retailers but quite visible to customers. Checking both dressing rooms and bathrooms for cleanliness and maintenance is a must.

There are other areas of your business that are off-limits to customers but add to a good or bad impression. From pallets and boxes piled by your backdoor to heaps of clutter behind your customer service representative, if it is visible, it needs to be organized and maintained.

  1. The shopping experience

Occasionally play shopper yourself. Take a stroll and see if you can reach merchandise and check to see if signs are visible. Can a cart easily fit down the aisle, or are point-of-purchase displays limiting movement? Be sure to observe shoppers to see where any difficulties seem to be.

Keeping up appearances

One way to keep momentum is to customize this list for your business, then use it as a checklist for daily or weekly tweaks. Just like you planned for your grand opening, you must be organized in order to keep things grand.

As a professional organizer and writer for Home Depot, Lea Schneider is a whiz at decluttering and making design recommendations. Lea provides great tips on how adding some hardwood floors will help your space look more professional and provide visual warmth. If you are considering adding hardwood floors to your business, check out The Home Depot selection on their website.

This article is editorial content that has been contributed to our site at our request, and is published for the benefit of our readers. We have not been compensated for its placement.