I once tried out a restaurant that had great reviews and local recognition. When I went in, the floors were dingy, the walls were covered in dirt and the service was horrendous. The food was only mediocre. I should have walked out. I never went back. And I shared my experience.

Word-of-mouth works for both the good and the bad. You would much rather a customer tell his or her friends that your business is bright, clean, friendly, has great service, etc., than about it being dirty, smelly and unpleasant. Getting positive word-of-mouth starts with a clean appearance, including clean floors.

When someone walks into your business, one of the first things he or she notices is the floor. Put yourself in their shoes. Would you want to shop or eat at a business where the tile is dirty and grimy or the carpet is stained and torn? Probably not. You may sell the most amazing products or have the best food in town, but if your business is dirty, few people will give you a chance to prove it.

In 2011, Harris Interactive performed a cleanliness survey for Cintas. Eighty-six percent of those surveyed reported that dirty floors would negatively impact their perception of a store. 86%. That’s right up there with Unclean Restrooms (95%), Unpleasant Odor (92%) and Poor Customer Service (90%). Wet floors with no signage and spills or stains also made the list.

The good news: this is a relatively easy fix with the right tools and technique.