Saturday, November 28, 2015

Racine & Me: RelyLocal

Check out RelyLocal on the Racine & Me TV show talking about the all new RelyLocal Holiday Shopping Contest........Racine & Me: Rely Local

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Support local business this holiday season by riding the RelyLocal Small Business Shopping Shuttles in Racine and Kenosha, shopping locally will keep more money here in our local communities.....

Support local business this holiday season by riding the RelyLocal Small Business Shopping Shuttles in Racine and Kenosha, shopping locally will keep more money here in our local communities.....

The shuttles will travel between Downtown on the hour and west areas on the half hour continuously; you can get on and off the shuttle as you would like at the stops or parking lots to shop. There will be over 10 shuttle stops on the route (look for the shuttle stop signs) and 2 FREE parking hubs in each city.

New this year....we will be having local celebrities riding the shuttle at different times during the 4 week run, come on board and meet some great people.

Many of the shuttle route businesses will be offering super deals and give-aways during our Holiday Shuttle, each shuttle rider will get an ID sticker showing them as riding the shuttle, allowing them to get exclusive deals offered by local businesses....please join us to find out what you can get.....

Kenosha route map coming very soon.....

Monday, November 11, 2013

If You Don't Understand People, You Don't Understand Business

"We're not good at everything, we're not good by ourselves," says Simon Sinek at the 99% Conference. Our ability to build trust and relationships is the key to our survival as a race, and to thriving as ideamakers......

Monday, November 4, 2013

So what does a campaign like RelyLocal mean for a community like ours?

RelyLocal means Everything! The $20 Shift Calculator has begun to open our community’s eyes to the immense value small businesses bring to our community. The Shift Calculator, quantifies just how much money would be kept in the community if each resident over 18 shifted just $20 a month from a national chain to a locally-owned business. So, for example, if you were going to spend $20 on home decor items and instead of going to a major national craft store, you went to the local vintage upcycling shop instead. Multiply that one small, simple action by 12 months, and then multiply that by the hundreds of thousands of people in our community, and we could keep MILLIONS of dollars here at home.
When I ask people to guess how much we would keep locally, they often say, tentatively, “A million dollars?” They think, perhaps, that is too much to hope for. Imagine their surprise when they discover that our community of about 200,000 people could keep over $27 million here in our region each year!
It hits home even more when we look at what that means: 540+ $50,000/year jobs. Funding for hundreds of local non-profits. Increased home ownership. More local tax revenue to improve city and town services. Fewer children living in poverty.
That is the follow up question I ask people here in our community. “Can you imagine what kind of change in our local culture that might create if we had 540+ more families with a full time income?” Every single person has responded that it would be a revolution for our hard-hit community.
It all starts with making one small choice. One $20 shift from a national chain, online store, or (for our area) a “down-the-hill” competitor. Supporting local business is fun, feels good, but also makes sense for the community.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top 10 Ways to Go Out of Business....

Going out of business is all the rage these days! In this economy, many small business owners are going out of business. Here’s a few tips to keep up with this growing trend…
10. Act like you’re the only shop in town. If you’re serious about going out of business, you need adjust your mindset; denial is a powerful tool in going out of business. Ignoring the fact that there are other small businesses like yours in town gives you a sense of entitlement to local residents’ business and makes you less apt to listen to customer feedback. What’s that you say? You really are the only one in town? Don’t worry. With your bad attitude, someone else who wants to succeed in business instead of fail will replace you before long.
9. Treat your customers badly. People expect a superior experience from small businesses because, let’s face it, you can offer it. But should you? Not if you want to go out of business! If you treat customers badly, they might come in, but they won’t be back. With fewer and fewer customers coming to you, you’ll be well on your way to going out of business.
Watch this great example on how to treat customers badly. This couple, featured on the reality TV show Kitchen Nightmares uses customer reviews to their advantage. They ignore negative customer feedback which, especially in a customer service business like a restaurant, is a roadmap to failure-town.
8. Don’t show up during your posted hours. Treat your business like a hobby. A hobby is something you do for fun, whenever you feel like it, for pleasure and relaxation. If you consistently ignore your posted hours, there’s a good chance you will miss customers who show up when you said you would be there. Will they be back again to bring you business? Not likely.
7. Keep your business a secret. If people don’t know about you, they can’t bring their business to you. Small businesses are naturally harder to see than big businesses because of their physical size and smaller advertising budgets. Why spoil this natural advantage with bold, visible signage, smart locations, and attractive window displays? Small, unattractive, and subtle = virtually invisible. Losing!
6. Community schmommunity. You might have had help starting your business, but you can get out of it. All. By. Yourself. Other small businesses in your immediate vicinity create synergy and foot traffic that help everyone stay in business. Don’t get sucked in to helping other small businesses and local charities, or they might help you! Certainly don’t cross promote other businesses. Again, that will lead to more business coming in your door which will delay going out of business.
Don’t be wooed by the siren song of small business communities, such as RelyLocal, and the like. These only serve to strengthen the voice and presence of small businesses in the community, thwarting your efforts to go out of business.
Along these same lines, try to manage all aspects of your business alone. Disregard other small businesses with services that would help you be more successful, and save you time and money. Our goal is to NOT be successful. Stay focused!
5. Don’t pander to customers’ laziness! Customers can be so lazy. They don’t want to work for anything! If you make customers work to find what they want, they certainly won’t be back. With any luck, they won’t find what they’re looking for at all!
Consider each aspect of a customer’s experience from the time they walk in your door:
  • Showrooms should be over-crowded and difficult to navigate.
  • Shelves should be disorganized.
  • Menus and signage should be vague and unreadable.
  • It should be difficult to pay.
I know these changes may take some effort at first, but just remember, who wants empty shelves? You’re much too busy to constantly stock shelves. You’re going out of business.
4. Fuel your business with wishes, not a business plan. This is especially easy if you’re newly in business. New businesses close all the time without even trying, simply because they didn’t account for all their ongoing expenses, or thought customers would magically come to them in droves. On the other hand planning ahead by saving enough money before you go into business may delay going out of business…indefinitely.
3. Never change. The customer is not always right People need to adapt to you. This is YOUR business. Put your foot down and tell your customers how you see yourself: perfect as you are. If they have the audacity to show up two minutes before opening time. Turn them away, with a little shaming for good measure. They don’t like the service you provide? Excellent. They can find another service provider. Whether they know it or not, they’ll be assisting you toward your goal of going out of business.
2. Remember, you ARE the victim. Three words: blame, blame, and blame. Blame the city, the weather, your customers, your location, the economy, the Chamber of Commerce… anything but yourself! I don’t mean to harp on this, but going out of business starts with your mindset. If you accept responsibility for lagging profits, you will spoil your blissful ignorance of changes you can make to grow. On the other hand, shifting blame to things outside of your control is a surefire way to go out of business.
1. Act like the internet doesn’t exist. The internet is everywhere nowadays. Going back to point number seven, if you’re trying to go out of business it’s important to keep a low-profile. Don’t have a social media presence. Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, Instagram, etc. are all ploys to get customers to connect to you, follow you, understand what you do, and eventually BRING BUSINESS TO YOU.
If you are already on the internet (sorry!), apply the first nine tips to your online presence as well. For instance, criticize people online who rate your business poorly, make your online presence ugly, confusing, and free of pesky facts such as open hours and location, and help your website maintain a degree of secrecy by hiding it from search engines! If your potential customers can’t find your website, it’s as if it doesn’t exist to them. Whatever you do, avoid effective tools, like RelyLocal, as they serve to help more people in your community (e.g. your target audience) see your website, and again, bring you more business.
Finally, if you’re confused about how to act like the internet doesn’t exist, remember this mantra: if it was good enough twenty years ago, it’s good enough for today.