As you prepare to outfit your shop, restaurant, office, or other retail or commercial location, the first things you think about – no doubt – are the large shop fixtures you’ll need to make your space just right for your customers. For retail stores, these are usually items such as racks and shelves, and other items. For an eatery, you’ll need tables and chairs, counters, and kitchen supplies, of course. For a bank or office, you’ll be looking for desks and office chairs and perhaps furniture to make a comfortable sitting area for your clients.
Certainly, all of those things are important, but after you have those items in place, your thoughts will need to turn to the “little things”. This could be any number of items that are essential to your business but are usually forgotten until the last minute. Here’s a list:
• Business card holders – Retail operations of all sorts need business card holders. Business cards hold essential pieces of information that clients/customers can refer to again and again. Holders for these cards are usually of the variety that sit on the counter and they can be made from a number of different materials. Acrylic holders are quite popular and are durable and affordable. You’ll find holders that can accommodate just one stack of cards or those that hold several stacks.
• Brochure/leaflet holders – Similar to business card holders, these also accommodate information you’ll want your clients to take home with you. Brochure stands can sit on counters, hang on walls, or can be placed in floor stands or magazine rack-like structures that hold many brochures at a time. Again, acrylic is a good choice for these but they can also be fashioned from different metals or perhaps wood, if those match your décor. Look for eco-friendly bamboo holders as well.
• Instant signs – You’ve no doubt spent hours on your signage, including your exterior signs as well as department and/or directional signs for inside your retail space. However, you’ll need some “instant” signs to post that cover a lot of different situations. For example, you may need “sale” signs that advertise specials, an open/closed sign for your door or window, or even some “no smoking” or “no admittance” signs for certain areas of your establishment. And don’t forget the hardware needed to hold some of those signs.
• Posters – Even if you’ve already taken care of your major signage needs, you may want to add a number of posters for extra color, to make your space look more lively and attractive, or to advertise specials. Posters often change with the seasons or with particular promotions, but you’ll still want good quality, well-printed posters. Ask your shop fitter about their poster printing capabilities and about hanging systems that make posters easy to hang and to change when necessary.
• Banners – Banners are usually temporary items that are great for advertising sales and other promotions. They are quite portable, which makes them easy to put up and take down. Consider, for example, “roll up” banners that do exactly as the name indicates – roll up into a metal tube when not in use, making them easy to store.
• Illuminated signs – LED light boxes help illuminate signs so that they’ll attract extra attention. This way, they can also be used outside or in areas that are not well-lit. These usually stand on the floor and, in some cases, might even rotate.
Inquire with your shop fit professional about all the above items and ask him/her if there are any other “small” items recommended for your space.