Lois Loucks, Director of the Tri-Cities Economic Development (Wheaton-Onaga-Havensville, KS), shared some of her innovative thoughts with me in an email about shopping local.
“Shopping Local” as a two way street, with responsibility placed on the business owners to earn “their share of business”. Just because someone decides to be in business, does not automatically mean they deserve “their share” of customers. The business owner/manager/employees must earn “their customers”. From my experiences, I believe, especially in the present economy, a “Shop Local Campaign” must not only be directed at the citizens, but formulated as to form a partnership, so to speak, between the businesses and the citizens.
Loucks listed some of the key items that business should focus on to earn their share of business:
- Convenience (Shopping hours)
- Service (not only personal, kind, friendly, but Store layout, Cleanliness, Good Signage, Lighting, Parking, etc.)
- Price for Perceived Value (Obvious reasons to offset higher price)
- Making Shopping a Pleasant Experience (yes, Enjoyable Experience)
I’m a huge proponent of building your basics first, and building experiences with customers, so we agree on much of this.
What do you think? How do you see small businesses working in partnership to promote the whole community?
For much more on helping local businesses earn that extra share of business, look to our Shop Local Campaigns for Small Towns ebook.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.