This is a story from the “You may have missed the real lesson” files:
A business owner mentioned taking a walk in their own downtown on a Saturday evening after dinner. Apparently, it was a popular time for walking downtown because the business owner saw folks peering into the front window of their own business. Then, a few days later, a person came in and instantly bought a large item. Turns out this customer was one of the weekend window peepers. They had seen this big item through the window, really wanted it, and so they drove 1.5 hours back to make the purchase. The shop owner posted the story online, tagged as #LoveWhatYouDo.
Now, here’s my question: was the real lesson “love what you do” or was it “maybe you should think about being open late weekend hours when many people (including you) have been getting out and about in downtown”?
Think of all the customers who weren’t willing to wait around and come back when it was convenient for you. For the one you noticed, there must be many more who you never knew about. Potential customers lost without a sound.
Inconvenient hours remains the number one complaint I hear about businesses in small towns. If there is only one thing you work on improving in your business over the next six months, make it extending your hours to late evenings and especially late evenings on weekends.
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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.