Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Surviving and Thriving...Here’s How…
A note: as the various states relax their quarantine rules, you’ll be able to do business again. In some ways, it’ll be like starting over. For sure, things will be different, after the costly shutdown…and such a gut-wrenching disruption…
We start with a single assumption. That you belong to your local Chamber of Commerce, or, if not, then to Rotary or Kiwanis, do this:
1. Find 5 or 10 other retailers who’re in same boat as you. They’re there, you may be sure. This is a connect-the-dots and a take-charge moment. A few cohorts add up to a force. Forces count, are always important in times of trouble! Suggestion: Do a coffee klatch or a martini klatch. See, if they’ll join you in making an appeal to the Chamber.
2. Talk to your local CHAMBER with one voice. Ask them to do the following:
a. Get names. Okay, and now you ask—what names? Names, some will be your customers, others will not…
b. Ah, but how to get those names? Your county tax department will have a complete list of every homeowner within the county where you do business. Some counties charge for this data; others will provide this data free of charge. If the Chamber asks, in their own behalf, and yours too, the data-fee, if any, may be waived by every county, which, after all, ought to pitch in and decidedly do not want to lose their taxpayers…
c. After obtaining the data (probably in an Excel format) you’ll see gobs and gobs of info, far more than you’ll need.
d. Do a data sort to strip away the columns of unwanted info. Say you select only names, who own a residence having a tax-assessed value of $250,000 and above. These are folks with wallets, bound to be your best consumers, some of whom may already on your own present customer list. And some of whom, or all of whom, are now buying on the internet…and during the pandemic, probably bought more and more, because…well, where else could they go during the virus outbreak?
e. These more affluent homeowners are your prime targets. Your best bets. Likely, many of them are, indeed, Amazon shoppers…shoppers you need to patronize your store when reopening.
f. Okay, you’re now on your way…now what you need is a way of enticing those shoppers to come home to Mama…
g. You’ll need a well-written, well-designed sales piece, with someone to prepare it, get it mailed, and help you handle and measure the response…all of which means you’ll be shelling out some money. Stamps alone are 55-cents apiece, then there’s paper, envelope, and printing. Let’s say each individual mailing is roughly 80 to 90-cents. So, a mailing to 5,000 homeowners comes to roughly $4,000 to $4,500. Maybe you and your cohorts can freight part or even all of that cost. Or the Chamber can, or the county and the towns within the county will help you defray the cost…for, all of them do indeed stand to benefit, don’t they? They all need to have the local businesses humming again. Note: If, somehow, email addresses are available for any and all of these persons (homeowners) the “reach cost” is much, much lower. Other Note: To an extent, email addresses can be had through an independent service(s). Let’s use Polk County, NC as a test case. Let’s also say we use 8,000 as the benchmark number of homeowners in Polk. About 35%-40% of those will have buyable email addresses, so we can estimate the cost of obtaining them for only $105.00, an immense saving. Thing is, what about the 60%-65% of homeowners we’ve missed? We can do a mix, some of both, of course; the example is merely posed to give some idea of ways for slashing costs.
h. Overall, does this sound like a lot of work? Maybe not, or not so much if you divide it by the number of your cohorts, the ones you started with, and who agreed to help you beseech the Chamber of Commerce.
Strength in numbers, right?
i. Above all, remember this—that you have something Amazon or other e-commerce purveyors don’t have and never will…You and your customers are part of a PLACE. A community that has an embedded stake in itself…that’s taken years of effort to build, including its trades, its stores, all the local commerce of any kind, including tailgate markets and farms, schools, churches, police and fire departments, every blessed thing that makes for COMMUNITY. No one wants to lose that, especially after they think about it. It’s where they live, after all, where the kids are educated, where folks worship, transact. It’s their life, front-to-back. When locals buy locally, aren’t they also, at the same time, helping themselves? Keeping their way of life intact, for one thing…a very big thing, at that. yes?
And maybe we at WORD STORE can help you with your campaign. Possibly, repeat possibly for free…
We hope this rundown gives you a start…and please let us know if we can help with the sales piece, as mentioned above…just click on the CONTACT tab on this website, and let us know how to get in touch with you,
Let’s all survive and thrive!
DAVID & LEE CUDLIP