Clear the clutter

taskmasterOn the way to work each morning, I pass by a small local milk bar. Like so many others across the country, this shopfront is completely covered with a hoard of old sales displays.


The fading paint on the walls promotes Paddle Pops, the outdoor awnings spruik Coca-Cola, while the shop sign itself offers you “fresh” sandwiches alongside an outdated Pura Milk logo.


On the roof are fading signs promoting various newspapers, including the Sporting Globe. Apparently, if anyone wants to find out how the Nunawading Spectres fared in the NBL, they still have some yellowing copies in a cupboard out the back.


The windows themselves are covered with posters offering chocolate milk, cheap calling cards, snackfoods, deli goods, videos for rent, prepaid mobile phone recharge cards for phone companies I’ve otherwise never heard of, as well as bus tickets. In five years, no one has bothered cleaning off the graffiti announcing “Bazza was here”.


A slowly fading piece of fluorescent green paper offers sandwiches and hot dogs. Another sign says “Dry cleaning here” – perfect for anyone too lazy to walk to the dry cleaning store just three doors down the road.


As if to prevent any remaining possibility of any natural light reaching inside, there’s the smiling face of a candidate standing in the local council elections wheatpasted alongside a poster advertising a band that’s playing at the local pub. It’s a gig I’m interested in checking out – the next time I have a time machine that can send me back to last July.


The problem with almost all of these signs is they do little to entice people through the door. I mean, let’s face it, when was the last time you felt compelled to walk into a milk bar because you saw an ad in the window for a calling card with cheap phone calls to Azerbaijan? Or, for that matter, a “fresh” sandwich?


Now take a look at the front page of your website or the front window of your store. How much of it really entices customers and how much is just milk bar-style window clutter? If you notice any clutter, throw it out.


Get it done – today!


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