My friend Donna Maria asked me why I’m so personal online, why I’m always building personal connections, and how I manage to build connections when I speak and write. It’s because I do business in a small town.
Doing business in a small town, all the people you meet are interconnected.
You’re not just my customer, but you’re also my fellow volunteer on the photography event. You and the chamber of commerce president have kids the same age. The person who mows your lawn is related to the person who approves your bank loan. We’re so used to this in small towns, we assume that everyone has a connection somehow, and that influences how we treat everyone.
Big cities and online sales feel less connected this way. And what is lost is the sense of interconnection, and therefore importance. If I’ll never see or hear of you again, what do I care if you’re unhappy with my service? There’s always another person, another customer to take your place. It’s just a numbers game.
The opposite of the numbers game is the mindset of interconnectedness where everyone matters. It generates attitudes that, coincidentally, are good for business anywhere.
That’s why I’m always focusing on individuals, why I treat you like you matter. You do matter to me. And I know that you treat people like they matter. You’re from a small town, or you have small town connections. You know that other people matter, even when the connection isn’t obvious. We’re all interconnected.
If you want to hear more of what Donna Maria asked me about rural, business, success and failure, listen to her Indie Business Network podcast here.
Another podcast you might like is Dean Abbott’s Rooted, about living more simply, with more connection to nature and your community.
Keep making your small town better,
PS – If you wondered where I get the good links I share here in the PS, it’s from my Twitter feed. Every day, I share links to rural stories, ideas and resources on Twitter as @SBSurvival. Recently, I’ve shared about shop local gift cards replacing “chamber bucks,” recruiting nonprofit board members, and why small businesses are starting to win again. You don’t have to use Twitter yourself to browse through what I’ve shared. If you do use Twitter and you decide to follow me, be sure to say hello! Follow @SBSurvival