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Street Talk

Does Your ‘Front Porch’ Need A Good Cleaning?


By Jessie Gurner

Just like we want the front porch of our home to be welcoming and attractive, our businesses serve as the front porch of Water Valley. National research shows that when people feel welcomed and comfortable they will spend more as customers and tenants.

Similar research also shows that prospective customers take just four seconds to decide whether or not to enter a store. That decision is based purely on the appearance and cleanliness of the exterior.

Business owners, take a moment to look at your building through the eyes of your customers.  Does it invite customers to come in or does it tell them to stay away?

Is the sidewalk clear and free from trash and litter?

Is it easy for your customers to access your business?

Do you have an attractive mini-streetscape or a sea of weeds and cigarette butts?

Can you see directly into the store from the sidewalk?

Is the window glass clean? Are there unnecessary, out of date, faded or hand-lettered posters or signs? Is it well lit? Lighting a window display is the lease expensive advertising you can do.

Does your door open easily? Is it clean and well painted? Are plantings and windows boxes kept up and changed seasonally? Are flags fresh and clean? Is your sign in good condition? Are your store hours posted?

Making your storefront more appealing doesn’t have to involve new construction and a lot of expense.  Here are some small things that will make a big impression:

Sweep away debris and litter.

Clean the sidewalk in front of your store.

Install flower boxes and planters.

Add a new welcome flag or sign.

Refresh your window displays.

Decorate for the season.

Dust and organize your merchandise.

Ensure your lighting works properly.

Make sure your sign is fresh and clean.

Give your front door and trim a fresh coat of paint.


Writing about food usually falls to Betty Shearer, but I’m going to sneak in a recommendation. If you haven’t been to Dunn’s Family Steakhouse on North Main Street yet, then you’re missing out on a great steak dinner.

The catfish got thumbs up from those who had it, too.

Gene and Family are great hosts and I look forward to checking out the other items on their menu.

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