Some of you know I’m a perfectionist (just like many of you reading this).
I stared at my computer screen for over 5 minutes, trying to think of a title for this blog post, and finally, just typed “Less than 4 Minutes of Updates from Jon Schallert”.
As Lou Heckler once said: “Done is better than perfect”.
I have a few things to tell you in the less than 4 minutes I have:
First, we have a hamster-escaping-his-wheel t-shirt winner for the best first sentence that describes what their business is. The winner’s name and entry are at the end of this blog post.
Second, I want to let you know that tomorrow, Thursday, I’m flying to Canada to speak at the Canadian Badlands Tourism Conference. Until I met someone from there, I didn’t know that there were two Badlands, one in Alberta, one in South Dakota. (Learn about the Canadian version here)
Then, on Sunday, I’m off to Las Vegas to speak at an international appliance retailer convention, and then, two days later, I’m off to Independence Kansas, population 8,729 and the home of Vivian Vance, who we all know as Ethyl Mertz from the I Love Lucy television show.
Those are three totally different audiences in three unique places, don’t you think?
Want to know what these groups have in common?
These communities and the businesses that are located in them all want to thrive in 2020, regardless of what is thrown at them. That’s the bottom line. All of the community leaders and owners in these three places want to attract more customers, increase their business sales, increase their community’s tax revenue, and the business owners and cities and towns and downtowns all are working together to become dominant Destinations for consumer spending.
You might not know this, but there are community leaders in this country who have flat-out told me that “It’s not our job to help business owners succeed.” True story! Came right out of the mouth of a city manager (in a city that will go unnamed from a state on the east coast that begins with a C.)
This year and in future years, the cities and towns that are going to be thriving with rising tax dollars are those who partner with their local business owners, encouraging and supporting them to create unique, diverse businesses that consumers find interesting. And when consumers return again and again, they’re going to be entertained and surprised and enlightened that right in their backyards, there are amazing products and services at their fingertips. That’s when consumers will learn to trust that the trip they make will yield what they’re looking for, and that they don’t have to drive to the big city or buy online.
And when this happens with each consumer, that’s when the phrase “Shop Small” will transition from being an overused, guilt-filled, one-day promotional plea to a way of life.
I’m running out of time here, so in my next 4-minute blog, I’m going to write about the City of Central Point, Oregon, a city that knows how to support small businesses.
But now, here’s our winner of the 1-Sentence Challenge, where I was looking for a single sentence (not a tagline), that tells a consumer what makes their business totally unique from all your competitors. And the winner is Susan Brinkman from Emporia, Kansas, the owner of:
The Bourbon Cowboy, Kansas’ only certified woman-owned, 6,000 square foot, two-level, country dance bar and pool hall.
Congratulations, Susan, for submitting it. You win the rare, never-before-worn, hamster escaping his wheel t-shirt.
And for all of you who sent in your first sentences, thanks for reading my e-newsletter and blog and thanks for participating.
Until next time, everyone, let me keep hearing of your successes and challenges.