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Closer To Home
10/8/2008 - Ann O'Connell

The economy meltdown is having an effect on individuals, businesses and non-profits. There is an atmosphere of unease, a wait and see while hoping for the best.

With this comes a change in buying habits. People are shopping closer to home, cutting back on non-essentials and trying to save wherever possible.

If it hasn't already, this will impact your business. Customers may not travel as far to make their purchases, the local market/shops will see more "locals" frequenting their shops. If it is available close to home we, as customers, will shop close to home.

As a business owner, how can you benefit? Are you selling an essential item or a nice to have item? Bundling or packaging items together may make items more attractive. With the major shopping season fast approaching, what steps are you taking to make it a profitable one?

Now would be a good time to survey your regular customers to see what impact they think the financial situation will have on their spending. If you have a few loyal customers whose opinions you value you might want to consider an informal focus group or discussion to get imput on what issues they consider important in the next three or six months.

Give your business a warm, welcoming feel with displays and with genuine friendliness. Your customers will appreciate it. Ask for their opinions and use the information to offer what your cusotmers are looking for.

Customer input is essential for any thriving business, now more than ever.


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