Every small town has empty buildings downtown. Whether they are completely empty or just used for storage, they can make your downtown look vacant. If the building has windows, though, there’s an opportunity to dress them up a bit and maybe even promote another business at the same time.
In the picture above, a building used for storage is also being used to advertise another business that’s located across town. Here’s a previous display in the same windows:
In Elkhart, Kansas, I saw two more good examples. For one, they made a custom banner to hang in the window and make it look like boxes in a display window:
That’s definitely better than just empty windows or another vacant building.
In another set of windows, a local business used promotional items they already had on hand:
At first, I didn’t realize the building was vacant because the windows looked so lively.
In Hollis, Oklahoma, Betty Motley told me how a local group printed special banners to hang in windows. They found images online to use. This one is an empty building with an old-fashioned barber shop theme.
They even painted the door with barbershop lettering to complete the illusion. They also did another building using an antiques store as the theme.
Stacey Colledge from Central City, Iowa, sent me the photos below. They used historic photos of actual old-time businesses in their town, and printed them on static cling material so they can be moved when a building gets rented. A total of 9 has cost them about $2,000, she said.
Look into the future
So far, we’ve seen windows that featured businesses from the past and present, but what about businesses from the future? You know your town has a past, but do you spend enough time reminding people that your town has a future?
Here’s one town that did. Longview, Texas, used a window decal to show a vision of the building occupied by a future business.
Read more about this one at the Longview News-Journal.
Window displays don’t have to be all business. They could be creative, too. Renton, Washington, did a series of window displays featuring a fairy tale theme.
Read more about it at the Renton Reporter.
Filling Your Empty Buildings
You don’t have to stop with decorating the windows. You can actually fill empty buildings with business, no matter how small your town is. Join Deb Brown and me for a 2-part webinar on Filling Empty Buildings at SaveYour.Town. The deadline to register is June 19, 2018.
- 3 Major factors in rural remote work: incentives, flexible workspaces, and a sense of community - June 6, 2022
- How to recruit new residents, remote workers, or remote entrepreneurs - June 2, 2022
- How cooperatives improve small town economies - May 8, 2022
- Metaverse business idea: virtual world tour guide - April 15, 2022
- Make extra money from extra workspace: co-working and 3rd workplaces in small towns - March 28, 2022
- Trade show booth design trend: hand drawn visuals - March 21, 2022
- New business sign design? Don’t use cursive script - February 14, 2022
- Way more people prefer rural than urban, new Pew Research study finds - February 1, 2022
- Top 5 Rural and small town trends 2022 - January 3, 2022
- How to start a real small small business - December 17, 2021