There is a big push to bring “Main St.” back. Along with this is the push to shop local. To get an area to thrive that does not have much going can be a daunting task. If there are no people then why start your business there, and if there are no businesses then why would the people come? It is a real chicken or the egg dilemma.
The second element to this is, now that you have your business established, you want other businesses to come. The flip side is with other businesses comes competition, so where is the balance? Well I’m here to tell you that a little friendly competition can be good. Even if the business next door is providing a similar service or product it can still be a positive. You may end up creating a portion of town that is filled with boutique clothing shops or great restaurants. Maybe it’s used book shops or toy stores. People love having options and they enjoy being able to go from store front to store front. My wife and I love exploring little towns all over the country and checking out the businesses they have to offer.
For businesses to grow and thrive they need each other. Encourage your fellow entrepreneur and work together to attract a crowd. With our hair salon, Karibou, we would partner with the clothing shop next door on events to attract customers to both businesses. By working together, and sharing customers, we both grew. Brain storm with that restaurant next to yours because the customer may be in to pizza tonight but tomorrow they might be in the mood for steaks. Always work to be the best and stand out from the crowd, but don’t assume that competition up the street is a bad thing. They may be attracting your future customer or training your next employee. Work with other local businesses and together you can thrive!