Make your business an obvious target

Friday, October 31, 2008

Q. I don’t have retail space. Where should I open a retail space and can you give me some tips on design?

A. With the aging baby boomer population, the time to create a presence in your community as the source for home healthcare products is now. Get noticed by moving your operations out of the industrial parks and warehouse districts and into more mainstream locations in strip malls, near chain drug stores and off of busy thoroughfares. Your business can only benefit from the amount of foot traffic that passes through these areas. Once you have narrowed your search to a particular busy area in town, then you need to make sure that you will have enough space to run a successful store.

A store somewhere in the area of 3,500 square feet to 4,500 square feet is a good size to display all of the basic core departments and still be able to spotlight or emphasize your best selling and big-ticket items. This amount of square footage is also adequate to house all of your ancillary needs, such as back room storage, consultation and fitting. Ideally, the location you pick will have a service entrance in the rear for deliveries and shipping and receiving, and one main customer entrance so that you can create a predictable customer traffic flow inside the store.

Once you have selected a space, prominently display some of your best selling and big-ticket items behind the windows in the front of your store. This helps people walking or driving by know what kind of business you are in. Rotate or change your front-end displays occasionally to keep people interested and to retain a fresh appearance.

It’s time for HME providers to move into the busy retail areas of town. Have your front-end displays reflect your core categories and you’ll be well positioned to be the most obvious source of home medical equipment in your community.

Chris Godlewski is a senior merchandiser at Gladson Design Group. Reach him at <a href="mailto:cgodl