I love to support local businesses. If I can spend my money locally, then I make an effort to do so. Unfortunately, many times I must spend out-of-town or at a chain simply because they are open for business. Hopefully, you are a successful business, and your customers are spending their time and money in your store. However, if you’re often not open for business, your customers are frequenting another business that is, and you are losing money.
The great perk of owning your business is to be your own boss, and set your own hours. However, we are always beholden to someone, and if you are a business owner, then your business relies on customers. In turn, your customers rely on you to have a great product, friendly service, and availability. While it is important to have a great product and friendly service, it means nothing if your wonderful smile and great product are not available to your beloved customers.
Just the other day, recovering from an outpatient surgery, I had a wicked craving for a particular product. It was a weekday. It was three o’clock in the afternoon, and we luckily have two establishments that provide the product I was craving! While I wasn’t feeling like driving myself, it was definitely worth any discomfort I was about to endure. To my utter dismay, my favorite joint was closed. Not to panic; we have another. Unfortunately, I was to be disappointed again. By that point, I was in desperation mode. Now, I really shouldn’t have been driving very far, but I had gotten myself dressed, and made it to town. I was not about to give up on my craving. So, I did what unfortunately many others have to do…made the pilgrimage to the next town. While I had many national chain choices, I love to support local businesses. I was delighted to find that my third choice was local and indeed open for business, like always, six days a week.
If you are a shop owner, take a moment to evaluate your business. Who is your clientele? Is your clientele only retired or non-working customers? If not, when can your working customers shop for your products? Most with full-time jobs work 8-5 , 5 days a week. Are you available to your customers after 5:00 or Saturdays when they are off of work? Many in today’s workforce are lucky to get a 2-day weekend. Does your particular business justify a 4-6 hour day or a 3 or 4 day weekend? Can you truly sustain a profitable business on short days and long weekends off? Are you reliable? Do you have your hours posted and can they trust that you will be open when you say? In tough economic times and the age of 24/7 access, can your business survive?
I understand that business will soon slow down, and many shorten their hours after the holiday season. Perfectly understandable. However, we are not there yet, and with the holidays approaching, businesses need to get together and provide opportunities for their customers to shop for the upcoming Christmas season. With everyone taking a second look at their business, and working together, a profitable season may be in our future, and I can happily keep it local.