After my last post and looking around my own area I realize that "would you miss..." is not enough. You gotta have love. You might miss a place once it is gone but would you go out of your way to patronize a place because you love it? I would miss the local Borders store if it closed, but it wouldn't ruin my day. The local magazine store on Main St. in Placerville, Placerville News, which has been in business for over a 100 years is such a part of the community that if it closed it would be a real disappointment, a lost love. I love that place for its old wood floors, huge selection of magazines, location right downtown, and the way it makes me feel. I would miss Borders, but I love Placerville News. This is that undefinable quality that Barb mentioned in the last post. We need customers that love us and are proactive. While it would be nice to be missed, I don't want to find out how much we were. We need customers who would go out of their way to visit because they "love" what we do. They tell their friends about us because they want to spread "the love".
Think about places in your area that you "love". The kind of place you drive right by the competition to get to. The kind of place you tell all your friends about. Are there any where you live? When I get down to it there are only about 3 places in my area that I "love". There are lots of places I would miss, but the list of places I "love" is small and special.
Of course to be loved you have to "love". Do you love your customers or do you find them a pain in the "you know what". I know of nurserypeople and other businesses who actually feel that way about their customers. They look at their customers as a distraction instead of the whole reason for their business "being". I think those places have a short lifespan. There are just too many choices of where to shop to patronize a business that doesn't "love" its customers, and let them know it every time they come in the store. Not a smothering love, but a unspoken agreement between our customers and us. They know they are loved, they don't have to be told.
In you area what places do you love? If their are few or none, that means there is a business opportunity for someone!