They’re your customers’ first impression. A foundation for your team. In many respects, parking lots play a critical role in facilitating business and keeping staff and visitors safe. Assuming, of course, that they’re well designed and consistently maintained.
How can you make your parking lot work for you? Consider the following tips.
- First impressions: Poorly maintained parking lots make a negative first impression. Fair or not, the sight of deteriorating surfaces, tight spacing, and faded (or non-existent) markings can negatively influence how visitors perceive your business.
- Room to move: Crowded lots pose the risk of vehicular collisions and pedestrian injuries. That’s why it’s important to ensure vehicles have ample space to manoeuvre, and that pedestrians have access to safe walkways and facility entrances. It can be tempting to pack as many lots as possible into a single area, but considerations for safe mobility reduce liabilities and keep all users safe.
- A welcome site: Your business claim it’s open to all customers, but a lack of parking spots for special vehicles will demonstrate otherwise. When designing (or re-designing) your lot, make sure to leave space for larger vehicles (e.g., vans, service buses, etc.) and those with wheelchair amenities. Remember, if customers with special considerations can’t find a place near your business, they’re likely to try (and stay) elsewhere.
- Marked for success: Clear signage and lot markings contribute to safer and more efficient site traffic. The more you can do to help customers locate a spot and access on-site amenities (e.g., pedestrian paths, specially-designated areas, etc.), the less frustrated and disgruntled visitors will be when they walk through your door.
- Go with the flow: How easy is it for vehicles to enter and exit your lot? What about pedestrians? The more you can do to facilitate mobility in your lot (e.g., directional markings, user-friendly design, no obstructions, etc.), the easier it will be to keep your customers rotating through your business.
- Visible striping: It sounds like common sense, but clear and visible striping is critical to parking lot design. Degraded or non-existent striping can cause confusion, or worse, leave visitors to park where they see fit.
Your lot says, well, a lot about your business. Taking the extra steps to ensure it is safe, visitor-friendly, and in good condition can go a long way towards making a solid first (and lasting) impression.