June 12, 2013 - Local business folks want to feel the love. No, they want to feel your love. Well, that's not quite true, either. Actually they don't want to feel anything of yours, what they really want is for you to show your affection for them by supporting their businesses.
I hear this all the time from business owners and managers. And, in my very "charming" and totally not condescending way, I usually say something like this:
" . . . aside from you opening your business here locally, paying local taxes, supporting every school group and little league team and their little sister, what reason have you given the residents to shop with (or visit, or use) you?"
That's my statement because I recognize the amount of dollars local businesses pour back into their respective communities. It's a given. Folks are fickle and they have short-term memories -- they forget all the good local businesses do. People want to shop local, but since they are forgetful, they need reminding of what our community businesses offer.
If you look at this paper, you will see tons of local businesses marketing their widgets and services. Many market their business week in and week out. They have figured out what I just reported . . . they need to stay in the front of locals' eyes.
In January our community papers were audited and surveyed . . . did you know that over 98% of the people (your neighbors) recognize they get one of our papers? And, that over 71% of those people say they are often motivated to purchase products or services by the marketing on our pages? That's a lot of local eyeballs telling a lot of local brains to spend a lot of money, locally!
How much is "a lot of money," you're asking yourself right about now.
Well, get this . . . according to the survey, in 2013 about 1,500 people say they will purchase a new vehicle (in the Clarkston area alone). If, the average cost of a new vehicle is $30,000, that means local Clarkston types will spend something like $45 million on new wheels. And, another 1,700 say they plan to buy a used vehicle. At $10,000 average cost, that's another $17 million. No wonder the Big Three are big.
Get this, 86% of our readers say they will have dental work done this year. The national average of dental work is $450. That means locals are planning on spending over $8,554,248 on mouth work!
Why do you think there are pharmacies on every corner? Answer: Because locals support them.
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My windshield was assaulted by a rock thrown up by a vehicle that was some where ahead of my car. Chipped that sucker good, too. When I went to get the chip fixed I went to where I have gone for years -- to Craig Steverlynck's NuView Auto in Goodrich.
Craig says business is good, but the problem he and other local chip repairers have is when folks call their insurance agent to get their windshield fixed, they are directed to a company that isn't local. So, Craig says, find your local guy first, then tell your insurance agent you want the local business to fix your local windshield not the national chain.
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Went to the "video store" on my way home from work the other week. (I only call it a video store for the same reason I still call Pine Knob, Pine Knob and not DTE. I'm old. When movies were first easily and affordably rentable they were videos, not DVDs as they are now.) Locally, I go to Mammoth Video (hey, I just realized they call themselves Video. They may want to change that to Mammoth DVDs, or Mammoth Movies On Demand, or something) on M-15, in Ortonville.
Always amazed am I by the amount of titles they have there. They have all the new releases, but also the classics like Alien Apocalypse, with Michigan born Bruce Campbell; Sharktupus, SwampShark and Attack of the Jurassic Shark. You're just not gonna get that kind of "entertainment" anywhere, folks, except locally.
So, to recap, what does Don say? SHOP LOCAL.
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org