“If you build it, he will come.” -Shoeless Joe Jackson, Field of Dreams
Great movie. Bad advice for business.
Yet too many independents start out that way, thinking all they have to do is build a wonderful little shop and people will climb all over themselves to get in and give them money.
Roy H. Williams said, “If making a profit were easy, everyone would be doing it.” But not everyone is making a profit. Those who aren’t making a profit are closing their doors. And the first complaint out of their mouth is that they didn’t get enough traffic, followed quickly by the blame…
- The downtown doesn’t have enough parking.
- The Buy Local campaign didn’t advertise me enough.
- The city didn’t support me.
- The newspaper wouldn’t write a story about our opening.
- There just aren’t enough people in the area.
- No one knew about me because of the sign ordinance.
- Unemployment is too high.
- People are too cheap.
You know somebody who has made one of these statements. Heck, you probably have thought one or two of them.
Yet there are businesses thriving in hard-hit downtowns, thriving in high unemployment locales, thriving in spite of a lack of support from government, the newspaper, or a Buy Local campaign, thriving without coupons, discounts or cheap products.
You Have To Market Yourself
One of the biggest things they are doing differently is Marketing. Just building a store is not enough. We are over-retailed as it is. The most successful businesses are making a conscious choice to actively and creatively market themselves to the public. They are creating marketing messages, marketing plans, and mapping out new and unique ways to attract customers.
You Can Afford It
And it doesn’t cost as much as you think. There are many ways to advertise your business spending primarily time, not money. You can learn seven of them by downloading my FREE eBook Main Street Marketing on a Shoestring Budget.
The movie is wonderful. But it is just a movie. In real life the quote is:
If you Market it, they will come.