We’d better look ahead

I have several random topics this week. (Does it sound better if I say it’s like a topic sampler?) Wait! I just figured out the connection: It’s time for us to look ahead.

1. Upcoming Travel
I’m going to be out of town the next several weeks, visiting communities and speaking in Ardmore, Oklahoma; Simcoe, Ontario, Canada; and Webster City, Iowa. Then close to home at Enid, Oklahoma, and then via web to 12 locations in Washington State. After that, my husband and I are hoping to take a week away together.

I tell you this for two reasons.

  1.  I’m not sure I’ll get a newsletter out consistently during all this travel. But I know y’all are understanding. 
  2. If you are wanting to book me to your town to speak or brainstorm or what-have-you, my 2014 calendar is filling up. I’d really love to give you first priority.

2. Natchez, Miss., Possibilities Tour Nov 9

Ruth Nichols and a bunch of local partners have scheduled a Possibilities Tour (of empty buildings) in Natchez, Mississippi, US, on Nov. 9. I can’t wait to hear how it goes! There’s a graphic with details here. They’ve got local artists to display art works in the buildings, and real estate agents to be on site. The tour will coincide with a number of local events to draw even more interest: a chili cook-off, Veteran’s Day parade, Startup Weekend, Second Saturday, and antiques forum, all downtown!

3. 7 Weeks to Better Shops
At Small Biz Survival, I’ve launched a 7 week series on The 7 Most Common Weaknesses of Local Shops, and what we’re all going to do about them. The first one is out now, and because you’re part of this little email community, I’ll give you a quick preview of the other 6: 

  1. Weakness 1 is Limited Hours
  2. Poor Customer Service
  3. Limited Merchandise Selection
  4. High Prices
  5. Dated Appearance or Ugly Buildings
  6. Not Marketing
  7. Failing the Show-rooming Test

That series will take us up to Thanksgiving holiday in the US, Shop Small Saturday, and the final few weeks of holiday shopping everywhere.

Now, here’s the kicker. I don’t want you to just read these and say, “that’s great!” I want you to take action. I want you to turn these weaknesses into strengths.

If you own a local business, I want you to take these to heart. Make an honest effort to improve in each of these areas over the next 7 weeks.

If you’re with a Chamber of Commerce or other business organization, I want you to reach out and work with businesses. You can gather a small group of merchants who want to work on these together. Meet, go over the weakness, brainstorm some ideas, and maybe find ways to share resources and turn them into strengths.

Start here:  Weakness 1: Limited Hours.


PS –  I’m serious about you taking action. Hit reply and tell me how you plan to use the 7 Weaknesses series in your place.