Main Street Audits and Consults

We turn downtowns into destinations

Main Street Facades

We salute the “indies” (the independent store owner). The fourth+ generation merchant. The shopkeeper who hung out their shingle with blind hope. We hail to the Main Street directors, the BID directors, the economic development professionals, the thoughtful developers, and the city planners who recognize the value of a vibrant downtown.  We thank the bankers, the landlords, and the elected politicians who said, “yes” not because, “We live here, too”, but because they know a bustling downtown is bigger than all of us.

 

How healthy is your downtown?

We understand business. We understand retail.  We understand downtown revitalization.

Scroll down to see how we can help…

Audit of the Customer's Experience of your Downtown

What's Your "Visual Experience" really like? How effective is it?

We spend time in your community. We stroll, shop, meander, inquire, take photos, and just plain participate in your community from morning to evening. We look at the physical foundation/structures, and the level of emotional engagement that takes place throughout the day. We experience and analyze your community through all six senses. We rate the level of vibrancy, and determine what’s working and what isn’t.  We find the holes and identify opportunities.  

Then we find answers and solutions. We’ll create a map that shows you how to improve your visitor’s experience. And yes, we’re sensitive to budgets and small staffs, so we stay around to help you figure out how to get the work done. We know how important your downtown is to you. It is to us as well.

Tribeca Gallery Cafe and Books
  • Overall “band/image” (history, theme)
  • Level of street energy; vibrancy
  • Wayfinding
  • Community information
  • Number of pedestrian-friendly elements
  • Maintenance and cleanliness
  • Gathering areas
  • Streetscape elements (street lamps, planters, waste receptacles, benches)
  • Bike racks
  • Street art
  • Seasonal décor
  • Use of vacant in-fill space
  • Use of vacant storefronts
  • Green space, pocket parks
  • Alleyways
  • Parking lots
  • Temporary pop-up kiosks

 

“Just want to thank you one more time for all the help you gave our business here on Greenfield Avenue. I have heard nothing but great things…The storefront looks fantastic!” –Dianne Eineichner, Executive Director of Downtown West Allis Business Improvement District

Downtown Brand/Marketing/Digital Media Audit

How well are you crafting and communicating your messages? How effective are they?

You have a website, and probably some social media platforms in place. Are they working? Who are your audiences? Are your messages getting to the right audiences and are they effective? Who’s your future customer/resident/workforce? How are you attracting them?

With so many moving parts and pieces in the world of marketing and communication, and often multiple target markets, it’s important to make sure your messages are on-point, and getting heard.

Our branding & marketing experts will evaluate what you’re currently doing and tell you if you’re moving in the right direction or need to make a course correction. We’ll look at all your communication vehicles – website, social media, email, newsletters, direct mail pieces – and determine if your messages are in sync, or if they’re full of “noise.” We all know it can be overwhelming and time-consuming with little reward if these mediums aren’t maintained and managed properly.

We’ll evaluate your logo, tagline, signage, icons, and graphics and determine if they’re effective in reflecting and supporting your community’s goals. Note: having a beautiful logo does not equal a healthy community!

Simply put, we’ll make sure you’re getting your bang for your buck when it comes to all your marketing and branding pieces.

Audits for Downtown Businesses

Wish you could get all your business owners to "see the light?"

What’s preventing your operation from reaching the next level? What can you do differently to increase sales and customer traffic?  Find out with one of our audits.

This is an intense and powerful assessment that helps you understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and blind-spots within your business. It’s a one-on-one, highly effective, eye-opening experience. You’ll get high level input, along with practical recommendations you can start tomorrow. You’ll receive a plan that helps you implement changes over time as cash flow allows.

This audit includes evaluating your image/brand, building façade, and interior. Here is a sample of some of the items evaluated during an audit:

Customer Experience/Design Audit

Exterior

  • Landscaping
  • Signage (marquee/illuminated, eye level, store hours, address #s, open sign, website address)
  • Finishes
  • Lighting
  • Music/aroma
  • Decorative access (awnings, banners/flags, benches, planters…)
  • Window displays (theme, composition, props, illumination, signage)
  • Overall image and “look”
  • Entrance door and handle
Sign Design Guidelines
Click the above image to read our "Sign Design Guidelines!"

Interior

  • First impressions (theme, image, signature look)
  • Lighting
  • Color and texture
  • Sound/music/noise (acoustics)
  • Aroma/odors
  • Traffic patterns and focal points
  • Signage
  • Fixtures
  • Decorative accessories
  • Educational components
  • Product lines
  • Displays
  • Merchandising techniques; stock levels
  • Kids’ area
  • Dressing rooms
  • Restrooms
  • Checkout/service counter(s)
  • Shopping bags
  • Overall cleanliness
  • Overall shopping experience
  • Lasting impression

Operations/Financial Audit

  • Quality alignment of brand and ideal customer
  • Define Customer Avatar
  • Financial review of sales, gross profit and Net Income
  • Identify Opportunities for increased profitability
  • Identify opportunities to drive new and incremental revenues
  • Market Pricing analysis
  • System and Process review
  • Inventory controls
  • Sales Management and POS reporting review
  • Short and Long term Strategic Planning
  • Personal and Business Goals
  • Staff Development, Recruiting and Retention
  • Team Building Resources
  • Recruiting Tools
  • Training System and Process
  • Work Flows
  • Payroll Management
  • Customer Satisfaction Surveys
  • Customer Loyalty and Communication Strategy

“We discussed everything Lyn told us during our consult and she provided great insight into how to make the building, stores, layout and ambiance more attractive to customers. We have to say, it was incredibly cheap and probably one of the best investments we have made in the last two years. Lyn could tell what we wanted to do in both stores and then gave us some great ideas on how to go full circle. She said we are like others in the retail world where we get 60 percent there and then hit the wall with new ideas. That is where she guided us to compete the final 40 percent.” –Chris Olsen, Owner of Northwoods Promotions and Apparel, Rice Lake

Are you ready to take your downtown to the next level?