Mirror, mirror, can you show, how to help my business grow?

With all due respect to the Brothers Grimm and "Snow White," I would like to suggest that the mirror, magic or not, may be a very useful and versatile yet underutilized tool for developing your business.

There are not many everyday items that can hang with the mirror as far as helping you to be or to become a better business owner.

From how it reflects the truth of your operation to the use of mirrors in design of your space, the mirror could be exactly what you need to succeed in business.

Here are seven of the fairest ways to use a mirror as a business tool:

Real Time Business Analysis - The mirror reflects what is happening in your business, catching a glimpse of you doing something good or maybe something not so good. You can recognize potential problems and make adjustments to your business model quickly. Customers are aware of employee service flaws, demeanor, even facial expressions during face-to-face interactions. This contributes to how your customers feel you treat them. Keep checking the mirror to see what your customers are seeing and experiencing.

Reflection - Take time to reflect on your business. Many business owners feel they are too busy to analyze what is working and not working. Start by taking a look in the mirror for the assessment. You need to be truthful about what you see, because just like the magic mirror in the fairy tale, the mirror never lies.

Personal Appearance - Use the mirror to see how you and your employees actually look. Is your appearance presentable, neat and appropriate for the type of work you are doing? If your employees have face-to-face public exchanges with customers, do you provide a mirror for them to check their appearance before they interact with customers?

Business Appearance - Mirrors can make a smaller space look bigger. Having your business look its best is key to your success. With mirrors, cramped spaces can and do seem less cramped. Also, if customers are facing a wall when seated at a table, the ability to peer into a mirror to see what is happening behind them is better than staring at the wall. Adding mirrors can result in the appearance of more depth and space in your place.

Brighter Business - Mirrors reflect light. From experience gained by visiting tens of thousands of business, I can tell you brighter is better for business. Look around your office space or retail location. Could it use more light? Could it be brighter? Would it make the space more welcoming or draw attention to your products or services? Take a look, do a little research, seek out best practices and perhaps talk to some design experts. Simple additions of mirrors and making some low cost adjustments to what you currently have may brighten up your bottom line.

Security: Mirrors have long been used to assist in providing both safety and security in the world of business. Convex mirrors placed strategically throughout a retail space can help you see areas that normally would be difficult to monitor. Many camera systems utilize mirrors to enable more coverage range. The appearance of security mirrors can send a message that someone is watching. That can help protect employees and the business from harm or loss.

Signaling For Help - Experts in survival recommend you carry a mirror when hiking to signal rescuers if you need help. Let the mirror remind you that you have the ability to signal for help and access resources to assist you and your business in times of trouble. Help in busines development is available through no-cost and fee-based professionals.

Embrace the power and magic of the mirror. It may just be what your business needs to see a clear and prosperous entrepreneurial future.

Joe Molineaux, director of the Small Business Development Center at Richard Stockton College, can be reached at MxBusinessBeats@gmail.com.

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