Help yourself. Help your business. Help your community.
Spring is here, and we believe we will soon be getting ‘back to business’. We know this forced downtime has been hard on everybody and everything. We are rooting for you. Each and every one of you. We WILL come through this.
As a Rural Shapers, we love helping small towns and businesses find creative and low cost ways to leverage what they already have.
In this down time there are quite a number of things folks can be doing to help themselves, their business and their community bounce back and go on to thrive once again.
Here are some ideas-
Windows and Entryways matter! It takes less than the blink of an eye (13 milliseconds
according to scientific studies) for the brain to register it likes a visual image. It takes less than 3 seconds for the body to act on it. Have you ever walked by a store and immediately went in because something caught your eye? That’s what we’re talking about. This is the time to clean and dress or change the displays in your entryways and windows. Just because you may be closed, doesn’t mean people aren’t seeing it. You may also want to consider adding some great signage indicating if you are open for online sales at this time.
Make lists. As a community service, there should be running lists that are easy to access. (For locals, visitors and folks wanting to relocate) Not just the “Top 10 things to do”, but lists about things that can help our communities into the future. ~ List every, single business. Those with store fronts, those without, online, homebased, farm, homestead. Everything. Right down to the lady that does mending and who sells eggs. Every one of these is important to the community as a whole. List every single available building for doing business in. Include shared spaces and co-working. Keep another list of people thinking about retiring or selling along with it. And yet another with every available property for sale -houses, land, everything. We know from experience, that while we CAN search the internet, many of these are ‘hidden’, plus it takes time. Ease of use can make the difference if someone wants to start/buy a business or move to your community. Remember, just because we may live here, doesn’t mean we KNOW what is in every business or what they do.
Learn new tricks. With all this down time we have, now is good to learn new tricks. Zoom meetings are huge. What the heck is Zoom???? (I had to ask my son) Or learn to make a simple website or FB/Twitter/Instagram business page if you weren’t online before. Learning new things is stimulating, plus it can help reduce stress. Ok- Now that you’re learning something new, how can you apply that to yourself, your business or community?
Rearrange the furniture– Rearranging store displays and restaurant settings gives the place a fresh look. It is FREE. It is a great way to entice the customer into coming back more often. Many shoppers do not go through the entire store, instead heading right for what they want. Rearranging displays helps direct customers to new areas and items and is terrific for showcasing new/promotional items as well as sale and bargain items. In a restaurant setting, rearranging the furniture can make a place feel more cozy and intimate or more spacious. An example would be moving a pie case from behind the counter to a place near the door to upsell them without ever saying a word when they see them on the way to their table. We are creatures of habit by nature and visually stimulated.
We know there are hundreds, if not thousands of ways to help your business for free or nearly free. These are a just a few things that can be done right now.
Katy and Annette are rural and small town /small business speakers, consultants and advocates. They believe small communities can grow from within using resources already at hand and creative strategies to attract new families, businesses and customers. Do you want Tait & Kate to come speak to your community or group? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org