Creating a Destination Downtown: One Business at a Time

24 Aug

Jon Schallert is an internationally-recognized speaker and business expert specializing in teaching businesses and communities how to turn themselves into Consumer Destinations. Schallert speaks to thousands annually on his proprietary 14-step “Destination Business” process, which he developed over the course of nearly 30 years of working with independent business owners. 

Be sure to check out Jon’s plenary, Destination Downtown! on Thursday, September 13, at 8:00 am.

There are so many reasons why downtown business districts never reach their potential; however, in my 16 years of speaking and consulting in over 500 downtown districts, I have seen one glaring issue over and over again: the proliferation of averagebusinesses.

Yes, you read that right: there is nothing more damaging to a successful downtown district than having an overwhelming number of average downtown businesses.

You may think that businesses delivering poor customer service, keeping unappealing storefronts, or having limited hours of operation could be most damaging to a downtown district, but this is not necessarily true.

Personally, I would prefer a horrible business to an average business any day! Why? It is a natural tendency for consumers to detect deficient businesses immediately. They can spot a horrible business simply by the unkempt or undecorated storefront window. Consumers who enter a poorly run business can sense it. The business is dismissed and consumers avoid it.

An average business is another matter. Average businesses don’t openly display to consumers that anything is wrong. Consumers can’t detect average from the street, so they go to the store, and leave with a forgettable experience.

The problem with an average business is they believe they are doing fine when, in fact, business is stagnant. Take a moment and think of the businesses in your downtown district: Is there a business you tell your out-of-town guests that they MUST visit? I can bet that this business is far from average.

In order to create a Destination Downtown, districts must hold a higher standard to their businesses! Vow to improve average businesses and help these owners to see how important becoming a Destination Business is. Learn how to help your district business owners to see how this can be achieved and improve their bottom line significantly.

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