The brave souls who go into business for themselves are continuously faced with challenges to their success. Some of these will be outside their control. For example, businesses in this area have had to cope with downturns in the economy as well as competition from outside areas including big box and online sellers.

We have heard Peninsula businesses expressing more localized concerns recently that they suggest are responsible for decreased sales. These include a lack of parking, the number of developments underway which create impediments to the easy movement of customers and deliveries, and the belief that the look and size of some of the new builds negatively impacts the charm and livability of our community.

Even in dire economic situations there are always a select few entrepreneurs who succeed, indeed thrive, in spite of their challenges. So what makes these entrepreneurs different? Perhaps they have a better understanding of their inventory and knowledge of what appeals to their customers and their items are priced appropriately. Maybe they and their staff deliver customer service that wows, creating customer loyalty and repeat business. Maybe, despite a location that isn’t ideal, they have compensated with a stellar marketing campaign so their customers never have trouble finding them. Possibly, even though they are offering items their customers want, they realize it isn’t being showcased as well as it could be and seek expertise to help them create more appealing displays. Maybe they use customer feedback to determine optimal operating hours for their clientele. It could be they intuited the value to their business of a community-first mindset and have developed a mutually supportive network of fellow business-owners to share best practices and to whom they refer customers and employees.

The point is, they assess how they are contributing to their own success, or, lack thereof. No one person can excel at all aspects of their business. The trick is to figure out the areas in which you need help and build a team.  It’s easier to look for outside factors and throw shade in that direction but it’s more satisfactory and realistic to start with what you can control and grow from there.

 

Denny Warner,

Executive Director

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