There are benefits and downfalls of having a storefront in a strip mall. Built in visibility from customers patronizing businesses located in the same plaza & ample parking are some of the most obvious benefits – but they aren’t enough to keep most businesses alive. You still need to market your business by grabbing the attention of new customers and bringing back existing ones over and over again. In order to do so, you will need to know how to stand out with a storefront in a strip mall.
Unlike standalone buildings, stripmall businesses leasing space often don’t have the luxury to customize their storefront to their liking. In many cases, business owners are instructed to use specific paint colors, sign lettering size / fonts & given other limiting specifications upon agreeing to a lease.
While these constraints can be frustrating when trying to stand out in a strip mall, there are still plenty of ways to separate your storefront from the rest. The whole goal is to get people into your store the first time, and making sure that they come back. If you can’t change the look of your actual storefront, you need to get out in front of it instead.
Rule 1: Get out in Front of Your Storefront
Get out in front of your store and onto the sidewalk. Odds are you can’t put up a permanent structure advertising your business in the middle of a walkway, but you can use custom roll up banners. Put your banner out during business hours when there will be people walking by your business. Not only will this help introduce your business to new customers, but it will help people looking for your company to find it more easily as well.
Not everyone who visits the stripmall is going to walk by your business though – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get in front of them. Once again, you can use the built in traffic within the plaza to your advantage by putting your business flyers on cars, or bulletin boards located around the area. Be sure to check with local laws and to get permission before flyering around your business area – you don’t want to make the neighbors mad.
Rule 2: Be a Good Neighbor to Good Neighbors
When working in such close proximity to other local businesses, being a good stripmall neighbor can go a long way. Have a restaurant located a few doors down? Make sure to have some of their take out menus ready to hand out to your customers.
Not only will the patrons come back to visit BOTH businesses, but now the restaurant may be willing to hand out your business cards to families that could use your services as well. Turning the stripmall into a community instead of a competition can be advantageous for all businesses in your area.