There is no doubt that these are tough times for business, but I had a few experiences this week that really made me think about their strategies. The first was a call I received from a regional pharmacy that proposed a service they wanted to offer to small businesses. It sounded like a worthwhile benefit to businesses and their employees but as I heard the proposal it was clear that this is a strategy that they are taking to connect to communities. This is a chain of stores that has insisted that they cannot justify chamber membership, as they have so many stores located across communities. What a perfect opportunity for me to suggest…there is no better time for them (and others) to belong to their local chamber and connect to communities! The network is in place and ready to go.
Today I stopped by the mall, something I do much less often these days. The deals are great and I snagged a couple summer bargains at a national chain store. As I headed for the checkout I was surprised to find that it was gone, forcing shoppers to join a line at the jewelry counter. As I waited behind two other customers more gathered behind me. With only one store associate at the check out, the process was slow. I observed other employees rearranging clothes and lingering near by. One woman behind me rethought her purchase and returned it to the rack. It occurred to me …there is no better time than now for businesses to consider offering extraordinary customer service. Perhaps you are like me, pausing a bit longer before heading out to shop or before picking up that extra “want not need” item. I think you’ll agree that it’s the service that will often make the difference in whether we proceed with a purchase.
While reviewing one of my social networks this week I ran across a comment by a local resident suggesting the lack of good restaurants in our area. It’s not an unusual comment but in truth there are plenty of eateries close by that offer good food and unique small town experiences, but they don’t tell their stories very well. There is no better time for restaurants and other small businesses to rethink how they market themselves. It’s not just about more advertising, but finding ways to create buzz, find a following and toot your own horn. The chamber is a great place to start. We’d love to make sure everyone knows who’s in business.
Tell me how you would finish this sentence. There’s no better time…