Kari, thanks for your thoughts. I’m going to amplify on this point: “your prospects each have different hot buttons. That means each requires a different kind of lure.”

I think the big advantages pertain to (1) personal service, (2) relationships and (3) Ideological Value (Supporting the local community)

We have a Home Depot, Menards and a locally owned hardware store where everyone knows my name. Amazon doesn’t/can’t do this. I choose the locally owned and operated store when I can.

ANOTHER thing local businesses can do is develop relationships with other businesses in the neighborhood so that they become a “community” or cohort of local businesses. Our West End neighborhood has had some extensive development with a new name and Logo decal placed on all the Lincoln Park District. Buildings have been renovated and new life injected here. Murals on the buildings show community pride.

Because of the Amazon alternative, good hiring and training of staff so as to provide friendly, actual “caring” customer service is more important than ever. “Showing up for work” is no longer good enough.

Regarding your third point, yes, sometimes it is necessary to steer the boat to a new location. In retail it is often said “Location, location, location” is important. A store may be in a location that is no longer on the main thoroughfare. If you’ve ever driven Route 66 you will see graveyard towns that were once vibrant. In local communities, driving patterns can alter significantly over a period of decades. It is always a good idea to revisit your situations/inventory other variables. If one moves to a new location it is a marketing opportunity for the New Grand Opening…get local news coverage and buzz, social media etc etc etc.

I liked your ideas. And I like the title of Andy Grove’s book, Only the Paranoid Survive.

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