My wife made her usual visit to the neighborhood hair salon yesterday and hurried home to tell me the owner had made a number of changes in her salon.

Over the weekend, the owner had installed a new display rack, laid a new rug in the work areas and improved the customer snack area with a new coffee machine.

My wife reported that every customer that entered the newly repainted and updated area displayed a surprised look and was quick to make positive comments to the owner.

It had been almost two years since the owner had refreshed the work area. A can of paint and some relocation of work areas had charged up the appearance and stimulated the attendants and evidently the customers.

The relocation of work areas gave the employees a new view and new work areas.

In any type of business where the customer makes repeat visits it is essential to make changes that refresh their image and show the customer that the owner cares.

Foot traffic impacts the floor, and the opening and closing of doors causes the air to transfer small dirt particles from outside into the business showroom.

At home, the changes occur over a longer period of time, and many homeowners are not aware of the changes or wear and tear as much as at the place of business.

A sprucing up of the business arena sets the stage to make changes in appearance and attitude. A wise owner discusses the proposed improvements with the people who will be working that area.

Changes should be made that will immediately impact the eyes and ears of the customers.

Does your place of business have a dress code? Do your employees wear regular street clothes?

Many customers report the embarrassment of asking another customer where to find something only to hear the person reply that he or she does not work there. Distinctive clothes and business nametags are a help to customers.

The appearance of spring will help get you started on the road to upgrading your place of business.

Lowcountry SCORE Chapter 650, “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is preparing a series of workshops on customer service. For more information, visit

SCORE Counselors provide free confidential counseling. In Beaufort County call 843-785-7107. In Jasper County call 843-726-8126. Contact by email

R. J. Le Tourneau is a counselor with Lowcountry SCORE.