Keeping Your Storefront Clean and Inviting to Customers

When you’re a small restaurant or beverage nook, so much of your business relies on walk-in customers. Sure, you can build a loyal following by providing an unbelievable experience, excellent food, and excellent service. However, the fact of the matter is that the life blood of your customer base comes down to your local and the number of people who walk by there.

It’s different if you are a fancy restaurant with a big advertising budget. But if you’re a coffee shop or a sandwich shop you simply won’t get by this way. Find a place on Main Street and watch the customers flow in. If you can keep them happy, then you have a business.

But even location and excellent service won’t get them in the door alone. You have to take advantage of the first impression to get them to choose your establishment over Joe Shmoe’s cafe across the street. Let’s review some basic guidelines for making this happen.

Square One: Clean and Organized

You storefront has to look impressive. That means that the sign, the doors, and the windows should all look clean and sleek. It doesn’t stop there though. What about the sidewalk that people will be traversing when they first come across your lovely establishment? It may not be your property per se, but it is certainly there for you to exploit within reason.

If you have the room, make use of the sidewalk with some outdoor seating. Don’t overdo it though, you don’t want your customers to feel crowded as they eat their croissants, and you don’t want passer-byes to feel like their stepping over someone’s lunch.

Embellish on that thought a bit more though, and try putting out some potted plants. Sure you’ll have to take them in at the end of the day, but a little bit of greenery on an otherwise gray street can attract the eyes of many.

On that note, keep it clean. It’s relatively common practice to sweep down the sidewalk at the end of the work day. Why stop there though? Keep the sidewalk extra clean by spraying it down with a pressure washer on an as needed basis. Someone dropped a milkshake? No problem, blast it down the storm drain. Check out TBEPW if you need a bit more guidance on finding an electric pressure washer that’s right for your business.

Square Two: Analyze the Competition and Dominate

With the basics in hand it’s time to get cut throat. You didn’t think that you were getting into an easy business, did you? Let’s be honest, this is one of the most difficult businesses to run that you can find. You already knew that though, right?

So what are you supposed to do? Take a look at what your competitors are doing and do it better. Way better. So much better than your competition will cry.

Take a look at the busy stores and shops and see what’s working for them. Is it signs on the door with specials? Is it advertisements on social media? Is it a trendy menu in an otherwise stale downtown? Whatever the case, you can use what they’re doing to your own advantage and amplify your business for maximum profits. Sometimes you have to get creative, but that’s what owning a business is all about.

It’s very sad to say, but owning a business of this nature is more about appearance than it is about delivering on that appearance. Of course, to stay in business for the long term you have to be incredibly impressive in your delivery. But that alone is not enough. This is not an “if you build it they will come” kind of market. Focus on getting them in the door first, and only then should you worry about keeping them there.

Deciding Between a Futon and a Sofa Bed? This Will Help You Choose

Futons and sofa beds are similar types of furniture. You can use them both as a couch and as extra bed when you have company stay the night. Futons and sofa beds are so similar, in fact, that it can be difficult deciding which of the two to buy. In the following article we will break down the differences between the two and their pros and cons.

Futons

Futons are, in essence, covered mattresses that you fold over a sofa-like frame, which can also lay flat just like a bed frame. Futon mattresses come in the same sizes as bed mattresses (double, queen and king), and like bed mattresses, they have different levels of firmness. That is, some are soft, some are firm and some are in between.

Futons have many advantages. First, they are easy to set up. In no time, you can convert one from a sofa into a bed and then back again. They are also relatively light. Once you remove the mattress, the frame is usually light enough for one adult to move around the room without much problem. Futons can further be quite comfortable. At least to sleep on. Best of all, futons are typically inexpensive. Regardless of your budget, you should be able to find one that fits your needs.

That does not mean that futons are perfect. Foremost, while they can be comfortable to sleep on, they tend to be not as comfortable for sitting as standard sofas. The mattresses can get lumpy, and they can sink quite a bit, which makes them not a great choice for small children and the elderly. Finally, futons usually do not look as good as standard sofas. Many of them, in fact, might not fit in with every type of decor.

Sofa Beds

A sofa bed is a sofa that has a bed hidden inside it. This includes a mattress and a metal frame. Sofa beds look and act just like normal sofas. There are no visual indications that they have beds inside them. To convert a sofa bed into a bed, you first remove the cushions from it and then pull out the mattress, which folds out into a bed. As this mattress has to fit inside the sofa, it is typically much thinner than an ordinary bed mattress.

The benefit of sofa beds is that they can fit into any decor you might have, and they can be very stylish. They are great when you want to hide the fact that they are actually sofa beds.

But sofa beds also have a slew of disadvantages. First of all, sofa beds are heavy. They are usually much heavier than ordinary sofas because they have both a mattress and a metal frame inside them. This makes them difficult to move. They further tend to be expensive. They can be a lot more expensive than a futon. Finally, because the mattresses are thin, they are usually not so comfortable to sleep on, and over time they can become even more uncomfortable.

So, Which Should You Choose?

If your budget is limited, a futon will probably be a better choice, as they are usually far less expensive than sofa beds. They are also the choice if you need something light or something that will provide the most comfortable night of sleep.

Sofa beds, on the other hand, are the best choice if having a nice looking (and comfortable) sofa is more important to you than the comfort of the bed inside it.

5 Ways a Live Guitar Player Can Brighten Your Cafe

The sound of music brings people together like nothing else can. Don’t let your cafe miss out on all the benefits that a live guitar player can bring with them. Here are the top five reasons you should consider inviting a guitar player to your cafe, and how it benefits your business.

Create an Uplifting Atmoshpere

One of the most important things to keep in mind while looking booking a live guitarist is why do people come to your cafe. Some patrons may stop by to have a relaxing cup of tea or coffee. Others may come in to study or work. Others may be looking for a motivating atmosphere to help unwind. A live guitarist is the perfect choice to please all these crowds since they create a perfect combination of stimulation, relaxation, or uplifting jams.

A Guitarist Draws in More Customers

Hiring a guitarist to play for the evening could draw in customers who may never have thought to stop by your cafe before. Most guitarists won’t hesitate to tell their friends that they’ll be playing your cafe. For you, this means a new set of customers that will be stopping by. You could even draw in some extra customers with a raffle or a giveaway – perhaps a beginner’s electric guitar would be best. You could even have the guitarist play the guitar throughout the evening before handing it off to the lucky customer. Secondly, many people who pass by your cafe on the street will hear your musician of the night. This entices them to come on in, buy a drink, and listen.

Create a Social Vibe

Music brings people together, no matter where it’s being played. You’ve probably seen scores of customers come in, order their favorite drink, and then focus on their smart phones or tablets. Hiring a live guitarist brings their focus back to the here and now. While a classical guitarist may create a relaxing vibe, a more upbeat musician may encourage people to become part of the show with dancing, singing or clapping. Creating a social vibe through music makes your cafe the place to be.

Entice Customers to Stay Longer

It’s no secret that customers that are having a good time will stay longer, and they’ll order more food or drinks. No matter what your cafe serves, customers who are into the music will want to stay, which means they’ll return to your register more and more during the show. This is also true of larger groups as well who may stay to socialize together. Inviting a live guitarist to your cafe allows you to grow some extra revenue as well as your customer base.

Increase Staff Morale

Cafes may not seem like challenging places to work, but a live musician can help improve your staff’s morale. Rather than having to work at the same pace each night, a live guitarist can help put an extra skip in your staff’s step. They may get into the music while preparing orders. This boosts customer relations, as staff will be happier and much more engaged with their customers. Plus, having a soundtrack for the night will help the night go by a little bit quicker.

Hiring a live guitarist to play at your cafe can be a positive addition to your events calendar. While some customers may be turned off by live music, especially if they’re looking for a quiet place to work or study, many others will appreciate hearing unique music and having a great time.

Make Your Home More Cozy With This Modern Appliance

Your home is many things. For most people, their home is where they retreat after a long day’s work. Many homeowners look for a home that makes it easy to have wonderful memories and create good times. One way to make any home more appealing is to make it cozier. A cozier home is a home that helps the homeowner turn their precious home into a snug retreat from the cold weather. There are many elements that go into creating a cozier home. Two of the most important are heating and light. As the days grow shorter, the air grows cooler. People turn to their home to come in from the cold and find the light.

A Fireplace

One of the best ways to bring both light and warmth into any home is with a fireplace. Fireplaces have long been used to help heat homes. They are also treasured as a means of adding lovely flickering light in deep shades of yellow and orange. However, a traditional fireplace has many drawbacks. A standard fireplace can be messy, very hard to keep clean and even potentially dangerous. This is why many homeowners have found it best to look for alternatives. One increasingly popular possibility are electric fireplaces. Installing an electric fireplace has many advantages.

In Any Room

Unlike standard fireplaces, an electric fireplace can be used in any room in your home. An electric fireplace need not go in a designated space in the room that is only used for the fireplace. Many people do not have a chimney or have that one is blocked off by walls. In that case, they can use the electric fireplace in the room instead. An electric fireplace can be used in any room in the home. Better yet, the electric fireplace, unlike a standard fireplace, is completely portable. A homeowner can take it with them as they head from the living room to their bedroom.

Easy to Maintain

Another advantage of using an electric fireplace is that such fireplaces are easier to maintain. Maintaining a standard fireplace can be hard. The homeowner must first find and keep firewood on hand in order to create a fire. They also need to keep a supply of material to help start and maintain the fire once it starts. After the fire is done, the homeowner may need to sweep up layers of ash from the fireplace and even from the surrounding area. This is not true of an electric fireplace. The fireplace can be started with the the push of a button. Once the heat has begun, the homeowner can control it precisely, avoiding the possibility of too much heat. When the homeowner wants to stop the heat, no messy clean up and putting out the fire is required. Instead, they can simply shut it off.

Clean and Efficient

A standard fireplace may emit harmful chemicals. For example, the fireplace can emit too much carbon monoxide. This gas can pose serious, major health problems. By contrast, there are no such health problems with the use of an electric fireplace. No fumes are emitted when you turn it on. Just like with a standard fireplace, you get beautiful flames to admire in lovely colors. However, you need not worry that the flames will bring unwanted chemicals into your home. Even better, many such fireplace offer wonderful options including flickering embers and even the crackling noise a standard fireplace makes. Furthermore, this fireplace, unlike other standard fireplaces, has safety glass so the homeowner does not need to worry that a small child might get dangerous burns.

In short, an electric fireplace can be an ideal way to create a home that is both cozy and safe. Here are some useful sites for more information:

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/heating-and-cooling/electric-fireplaces.htm/

www.bestelectricfireplace.review/

doityourself.com/stry/electric-vs-gas-vs-wood-fireplaces-the-heat-is-on/