Jul 16, 2008

Missed Opportunities

Mark ran in a 5k race on Saturday. He had run in it last year - his first 5K - so he wanted to do it again this year to prove that A) he was more fit and B) that his little bout with Encephalomyelitis last August didn't stop him from improving (I can't believe it's been 11 months since I took him to the ER and watched him become paralyzed right before my eyes!).

So, I went down with him to cheer him on (I told him if he keeps making me come with him, I'm going to get a giant Foam Finger with his name on it). It was in downtown Mill Creek, a new "pedestrian friendly" planned "downtown" area near our home with lots of upscale shops and restaurants. It was their weekend festival that kicked off about 10am that morning. The race started at 9am and we arrived at 8am. There were about 1200+ runners and a lot of "fans" like myself swarming the streets.

Nearly every single shop besides a restaurant serving breakfast and Starbucks was closed. Here were thousands of people milling around waiting for the race to start and no one thought it might be a good idea to open their doors early that Saturday. ONE woman with a home decor shop DID. And, you know what? She had people going in and out of her shop all morning. She probably made a few hundred extra dollars that day because she did that. Everyone else missed a great opportunity to ring up additional sales that day.

The same thing happened a couple of years ago. It was 2 weeks before Christmas and I wandered out to a cute historic city with fun shops near my home for a morning of shopping. I arrived (with money in hand) about 10am expecting to shop for a couple of hours. Out of this town full of cute gift shops, exactly 3 were open. The rest opened at 11am. Can you believe it? I was purchasing some gifts in one store and commenting to the owner how shocked I was that no one was open and he said, "Yeah, it's like they don't really want to be in business or something. I'm here by 8am most days and if you try my door any time after that, I'll open it for you." I was gone by the time 11 am came around. I didn't stick around to wait. It was a tremendous missed opportunity for these businesses. Interestingly, many businesses in this town have closed in the last year. It's no wonder.

Sometimes when you're in business, you want to be lazy but you really can't afford to be. Every one of those Mill Creek Town Center businesses knew what was going on that morning. Every one of them had an opportunity to open early and increase their sales for the day. Yet only one was smart enough to get out of bed and show up. I hope she was richly rewarded for it.

I don't believe that any retail business can afford to miss too many opportunities - even if it's not really convenient or you just don't feel like doing it. Your inventory needs to be turned and your debt never sleeps in. Carpe Diem when a great chance to make some extra $$ comes your way!!! I stood around for 2 hours that morning with my purse on my arm and money in my purse and I'm sure many others did too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Welcome to my nightmare! I am in a similar small touristy town and none of the other stores ever want to go above and beyond. Unfortunately, because of lease clauses and that we are in a building with other stores, we suffer because of it. We are always willing to go over and beyond but are held back by others. Very frustrating!!