I have two loves outside of my family. Nova Scotia and business! I am incredibly passionate about helping entrepreneurs thrive in this province. Nothing brings me more joy than witnessing the growth and success of local businesses. However, there is one trend that has been bothering me lately – the evolution of the “support local” campaign. While I have always been an advocate for such initiatives, I have noticed a change in recent years. These campaigns more and more seem to be placing the burden of ensuring local businesses survive solely on the consumer. Let me be clear: I wholeheartedly support local businesses, but I firmly believe it is the responsibility of business owners themselves to create products and services that ignite genuine support.
While businesses depend on their customers’ support, it’s crucial to remember that customers have choices that are driven by their needs and desires. Merely appealing to a sense of duty isn’t sufficient to create sustainable support for local businesses. It is the business owner’s responsibility to serve the customer, not the other way around.
Beyond mere revenue and profit lies the true objective of any successful business: attracting and serving customers and clients. The foundation of any successful business lies in offering products or services that resonate with customers and fill a desire or need for them. Exceptional value, captivating experiences, and innovative solutions must be the driving force for entrepreneurs. By placing customer needs at the forefront and consistently striving for excellence, businesses create a magnetic pull that draws customers in.
Instead of calling on support out of a perceived sense of duty, try revisiting your offering and business model. Why have your efforts not achieved the desired success? Why does the community not rally behind you as expected? To answer these questions, we must invest time and effort in genuinely listening to our community. Only through empathy and unbiased evaluation, we can gain a profound understanding of what truly motivates our customers.
As an entrepreneur passionately dedicated to supporting local businesses, I firmly believe that the onus rests upon us, the business owners, to inspire community support. Encouraging customers to embrace local enterprises is crucial, but such support must be earned. It is earned by consistently delivering exceptional value, providing extraordinary customer experiences, and forging authentic connections within the community. By focusing on these fundamental aspects, we cultivate a flourishing ecosystem where local businesses thrive, and the community takes immense pride in their unwavering support.
I understand my view may not be appreciated by the entire business community but my hope is that in the spirit of progress and growth, we can redefine the narrative surrounding local support. We must shift the responsibility from the community to the business owner!