‘Patience is a virtue’ but is costly if you are waiting for business to come to you. Sometimes you have to go out and get business. The most common method is to advertise; newspaper, television, radio, direct mail and now the web. The other way is to go direct. Direct can also mean door-to-door or a booth at fairs or conventions. Probably the best advertising is word of mouth referrals. The bottom line is…you have to develop top-of-the-mind awareness, where a customer thinks of you first and in a positive way. Getting out and seeing what your competition is doing will also help determine your strengths and your weakness. Small business or large business it is all the same, you need exposure. Without awareness no one will know you exist and the likelihood that enough customers will stumble across your doorstep to keep you open is highly unlikely. If you are doing everything necessary to attract customers and you’re still not making it, you may need to diversify your product line, expand your services or widen your territory. In many cases it is nothing more than a numbers game. The problem with living in a small town is there just aren’t enough numbers, so you better take special care of those who do visit your business.
Currently we are ‘in season’…well, just starting. The Keys are flooded with visitors and the snowbirds are returning in a strong way. Thank goodness for all the nasty cold weather that the North and the Midwest are experiencing. Their misfortune is our good fortune. Now it is up to us to make sure their stay is wonderful and memorable. Next year they could experience a light winter and not need to escape the frozen cold. Let’s give them a good reason to return. Go out of your way and be the perfect host or hostess.
Just a reminder and a plea to our local residents, shop local whenever possible. The local businesses have suffered over the past year. Your patronage may be the difference on whether or not they stay open. At least give them an opportunity to match or come close to meeting the service, price or product you are in the market for. We are blessed to have a lot of great small businesses here in the Keys owned and operated by wonderful, talented individuals who love their community. Take advantage of what we have here in our own backyard and support your neighbors and friends.
On a personal note, Theo and Ganine’s Dance Center is now offering dance lessons in Tavernier at Froggy’s Gym as well as at the Dance Center in Marathon. Sometimes you have to take your own advice.
A special welcome to all our visitors and snowbirds, we are glad you’re here! Dream the life you live and live the life you dream.