Missouri Main Street Connection welcomed in Seanette Corkill and Anne Marie Luthro, the creative minds behind creating attractive stores and storefronts through their consulting company called Frontdoor Back. Seanette, the founder of the company, explains that the name, Frontdoor Back, refers to the “holistic” approach she takes when working with small business owners. Her perspective and the customers takes into account everything from the front door back.
The Frontdoor Back duo came to Missouri Main Street’s attention at the Seattle National Main Street Conference in 2019. One of the sessions presented at the conference was entirely on the subject of lighting, a more complex topic that most would realize. Did you know there are six layers to lighting in a storefront? Not all lightbulbs are created equal. The second session presented by the ladies really caught our attention. It was entitled, “The How Behind the Wow: Creating Stellar Stores.” Missouri Main Street felt this session and theme would be of great benefit to Missouri Main Street businesses and districts.
Fast friends were made between the Frontdoor Back owners and Missouri Main Street staff this spring and summer as services and presentations were discussed via ZOOM, a new reality in a COVID-19 environment. The “How Behind the Wow” subject matter was the structure and theme that would be utilized for a fall visit to Missouri. Plans were hatched and arrangements made, all with safety protocols and social distancing in mind.
Five communities were chosen based upon previous work with Missouri Main Street along with two businesses per community for one-on-one consultations. Two of the “How Behind the Wow” presentations were given to accommodate the business owners in the communities chosen, but also a requirement for those business owners receiving the one-on-one consultations. A foundation was needed for those consultations.
The presentations set the stage for small business owners on a variety of topics from storefront window displays, signage, and lighting to the in-store experience of creating WOW moments. They also discussed the behavior of customers and how to utilize that information to increase sales by attracting attention to products and services through the creation of “Magic Moments.” Those are the WOW moments that customers remember because it was unexpected. They then tell others because it has exceeded their expectations.
The real magic happened in the one-on-one consultations with the business owners in the five Main Street communities. Seanette and Anne Marie have this knack for connecting with people. One hour of time was allocated for each visit, but the conversations were still going strong past that hour mark. The businesses were at various stages in their lifecycle from a thought about what to do in a newly acquired vacant building to how do I take my business to the next level. Many conversations included ideas and thoughts by the business owner on changes they wanted to make, but were unsure of the return or impact. They explained the merits of the idea along with the science or psychology behind their thoughts.
Seanette and Anne Marie are creating a checklist type report for each of the business owner to address the areas of opportunity along with recommendations based upon their product or service. Concerns will be noted along with solutions and recommendations on products, colors, or items to enhance the space which in turn will enhance the customer experience. We plan to do a follow-up article to this one and share the results of the report and actions taken by the various business owners.