I’ve heard business owners say things like “in this economic climate, it’s hard to get new customers” and “no one has any money to spend, we can’t afford to use new ways to advertise”.
I’ve heard customers say “they never do anything different” and “why should I shop local? I can get a better deal at the big box store?”
These comments are opportunities for local residents and businesses to help create change and share a new mindset on how we think about our community.
Here’s 5 things to consider:
1. Stop saying “in this economic climate” – people are still shopping, traveling, and talking about businesses/places they visit. Start looking at what people want. Where we live, there are more day travelers coming from around the state. What can you provide for them?
2. Don’t spend other people’s money. In other words – don’t prejudge people. You really don’t know what their priorities are and how they want to spend their money. People do have money to spend.
3. New ways to advertise don’t always cost money. They do cost time. Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, blogging can all be done for no cost or almost no cost. You do need to spend time on it to be effective. You wouldn’t just put up a billboard and expect people to flock to your store either. People need to see something 7 times before it sinks in!
4. If you’re not doing anything different, you’re become stale. Rearrange your store, change the windows, use new ads in the paper and on the radio – give people a reason to come visit you.
5. The big box store helps put small, local businesses out of business. Most of your dollars spent at big box stores don’t make their way back to your county/town. 57 cents out of every dollar leaves your community. 66 cents of every dollar spent in your local small businesses, stays local. Local businesses also know you, give much better customer service as a rule, hire people from your neighborhood, pay local taxes and live where you live.