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Small business owners are often thinking about how their business looks inside and out. However, there are other senses to appeal to beyond sight. We’ve discussed how to appeal to the sense of smell in a past article, but today we’re going a step further.

Sound may be the final frontier. Ancient (and often times esoteric) cultures used sound in the most important activities of their societies. In today’s modern world, we’re seeing scientists and doctors using sound to treat a variety of issues, including an illness that effects most of us: stress.

Today we’re going to take a look at the importance of using the right sounds and music in your small business because the use of the right sounds and music goes beyond making people feel good. In fact, it has been responsible for more sales in small businesses.

Music for small business – Why sound is important

According to PPL, a company that has specialized in licensing the use of music in public and broadcast areas since the 1930s, “A third of customers are willing to pay 5% more in businesses that play music.”

Here’s a look at some other interesting statistics from PPL’s research:

  • More than half of customers spend more time in shops that play music.
  • The vast majority of bar goers (91%) prefer bars that play background music.
  • 66% of bar goers would not return to a bar that doesn’t play music.

That’s not all of the interesting stats. We’ll be sharing some others further down the page. Now, let’s get into some of the strategies small businesses can utilize in supplying music and sound to guests.

Restaurants and cafes utilize music for small business

It’s important to play music and sound that matches the atmosphere of your business. Of course, the atmosphere of your business may change throughout the day. Lunchtime crowds during the week might be in a hurry if they need to get back to work quickly.

During this time, upbeat instrumental music might be a good idea. It will keep your guests and employees moving. As PPL points out, 74% of employees enjoy working more when music is playing so this will help them deal with the busiest times of the day easier.

Many cafes will play music that is conducive to a working atmosphere because a lot of people visit with laptops and work that needs to be completed. Creating this type of establishment also fosters an environment of consistent consumption. People who can stay at a location while working will often make a purchase while entering, and another after they’re finished, especially if they have more work to do. It’s almost like being in a home office, with great food, beverage, and music.

Spas use music for small business, too

People come to your spa to unwind and forget the stressful nature of their everyday lives.

The best part for spa owners is that the relaxing nature of sound can begin in the waiting room. Looking at another PPL statistic, 75% of people feel more relaxed when music is played in waiting rooms. This relaxation can carry through to the service area.

Many spas will play music comprised of sacred sound instruments, including flutes, singing bowls, keyboards, and voice. These instruments are used because they produce harmonics, which have the ability to entrain the listener by creating certain brain waves. This often means that the listener’s brain wave production goes from beta, which is standard active and awake brain function, to alpha waves, which are created when the listener is more relaxed.

Avoiding the wrong music for small business

In addition to avoiding music that doesn’t match your atmosphere well, you need to pay attention to the laws. Some small businesses have been threatened with lawsuits for playing music that they don’t have the rights to play.

When you purchase a CD or digital music, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have the rights to play it in your establishment. If you want to avoid paying royalties to companies like BMI or ASCAP, and still play radio or broadcast television in your establishment without worry, you should consider the following information coming from the National Federation of Independent Business.

If your establishment is under 2,000 gross square feet. For food service and drinking establishments, it’s 3,750 gross square feet. These size establishments can play licensed music without any additional fees.

Also, if an establishment is over those square footage requirements, but have less than six speakers or TVS, with no more than four in any one room, the small business is exempt from paying additional licensing fees.

Music and sound are very powerful components to the human experience. Studies have shown the benefits of having music and sound in business establishments. Now it’s up to you to follow the best procedures and offer the best soundscape for your establishment. Your guests and employees with secretly thank you.

Does sound enhance your small business experience? Have guests or employees commented on this before? Please share your story with us!

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As part of Upserve’s family of more than 10,000 restaurants, The Chef is Restaurant Insider’s secret weapon in the kitchen. As a restaurant expert in all things marketing, menu building, management, training and more, restaurateurs trust The Chef and the award-winning Restaurant Insider to dish out the ingredients needed to make your business a sweet success.
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