Monday, 15 October 2012

Business Bathroom Decor: How NOT to

To follow the theme of October as small business month, I would like to draw your attention to an overlooked part of many places of business: the washroom. This tiny little room often speaks volumes of what you think of your customers. I guess it must be a required afterthought for most people. But I can't be the only customer to have ever cringed when entering a disgusting little hole of what was originally thought of as a nice store/restaurant/office.

To date, I've not heard of anyone who doesn't need to use the facilities now and again. Why not make it as pleasant for customers in there as in your showroom? I'm not even going to touch on the cleanliness aspect, because that should be a given, but I would like to show a couple pics of the washroom of a coffee shop that shall remain nameless.


This is what greeted me when I turned the [sticky] handle of the door. An empty frame. Perhaps an existential statement on art? Doubtful. Maybe they had an original that was stolen? Riiiiight. What I do know is that the owners were too lazy to put something in and just left an empty picture frame on the wall above a sketchy toilet. I would also like to draw your attention to the reflection of the uncovered fluorescent lighting. Nice touch. 


And this? A handwritten sign on a ripped piece of paper, right above the tp dispenser. At first glance, am I to understand that the hand dryer should be used instead of toilet paper? For what? After thinking for a moment, you realize they mean that the hand dryer should be used instead of toilet paper to dry your hands. But the Girl was with me, and asked "how on earth am I supposed to dry my bum if the dryer is so high!!?"

What's not shown: The exposed industrial-sized plunger; cleaning supplies; dirty rags; a mop and bucket.

I understand space constraints in a small shop. Really, I do. [I have all of 250 sqft for my showroom and washroom]. But there is really no excuse. There is always room for a sink. Instead of using a hanging wall sink, get a cabinet. At least you can hide your cleaning tools and extra supplies. If there is absolutely no room for your mop and bucket, at least make it pretty. But if there's room for your extra stock, there is room for that. Cover the exposed necessaries. There are plunger covers, toilet brush holders etc.

It really made me reevaluate the postage stamp of a washroom I have in my shop. Because the building predates the current construction/accessibility codes, my washroom is about 4'x5'. Yep. Tiny. I have room for a sink and toilet. But, it's completely tiled, halfway up the wall (to make it easy to clean) and everything but the plunger (in a holder) and toilet brush (in a holder) is hidden. Extra tp is not on the floor, it's under the sink in the cabinet. Same goes for cleaning supplies. I don't treat this room as a storage room. There's not a lot in the way of decoration, but it's clean, has decent [covered] lighting and doesn't scare people. I treat it as a place that my customers will see, use and judge the quality of my business. As well they should.

Am I being too picky again? Are you as crazy about this as I am?

4 comments:

  1. You got a really useful blog I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.
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  2. Thanks for sharing this! I work for a small business and while it's important that the entire office look nice, an unkept and dirty bathroom instantly turns anyone away. We each do our part is helping keep the bathroom clean and looking nice. We even added small anti-fatigue floor mats, hung a few pictures and placed vases of fake flowers on the sink to give it a nice look.

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  3. Maybe they had an original that was stolen? Riiiiight. What I do know is that the owners were too lazy to put something in and just left an empty picture frame on the wall above a sketchy toilet. Watch Video

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