James Dalman is another of my Oklahoma friends. He does terrific web design, and he designed my personal site at BeckyMcCray.com. I’ve seen his love for small towns. When he told me this story, I begged him to write it up. He’s describing the number one complaint I hear about small town businesses over and over again. You need to share it with other businesses in your town. –Becky
By James Dalman
I absolutely love small towns. There is something unique and authentic about them. I like the history behind towns and dreaming about the pioneers who started these communities. And whenever I travel, I like to stop and explore the establishments that keep these small towns running day in and day out. I really want to support them. But sometimes I can’t.
Small Towns Don’t Want My Money
Maybe they really do, but sometimes they make it extremely difficult. The reason is that most of the time when I’m traveling, I drive and I make my stops around three important times – early breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast and lunch tend to be quick breaks and then back on the road, but the late afternoon is when I am ready to explore. I am done for the day and it’s at this moment where I hope to venture down ‘Main Street’ to talk with local business owners, take photos, and spend my money. The problem with small towns is that so many local businesses on the main strip close between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. I never have the opportunity to support the local shop owners!
Staying Open Later May Bring More Business
I think it would be prudent for small town business owners to consider the travel patterns of people and then maximize these opportunities for profit potential. I’ve been in towns where the shops are basically dead during the day. The locals are usually working and travelers are trying to make it to their destinations. The late afternoon and evenings are when Main Street America should come to life.
The Large Chain Got My Business Tonight
Right now I am spending my time in a McDonalds in Weatherford, Oklahoma. The atmosphere and coffee is good, but I had hoped to give my money to the local coffee place and then spend a couple of hours touring the local shops. It could have been the perfect evening with the incredible weather we have tonight. Unfortunately some people lost out tonight, but maybe they don’t care. I will never know.
Photos by James Dalman
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- Collisions, Serendipity and the Hybrid Vigor of Ideas - April 11, 2016
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- Small town tourism activity: Architectural scavenger hunt - March 28, 2016
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- Small business email marketing makeover: from a cluttered mess to a personal letter - March 14, 2016