Having been an Artisan for 13 years in North Idaho I have seen the real struggles businesses can have getting their name out there. For the last five years I have taken my business to the Arizona Metro Areas and have built a customer base there as well as in Idaho. I have compared the two and hopefully can share my experience of good things to do for your business.
I have always had strong relationships skills in the workforce but building your own business is completely different as you start by yourself. You are not walking into a team environment but stepping out on your own. Sharing my business in Arizona was almost 10x easier than what I was facing in Idaho. In Idaho you have hundreds of businesses trying to do their own thing, managing their own products all by themselves and putting it front of the same people over and over. This happens to all of us, especially middle size communities.
Solution, come together as a team providing all the options. When customers know that business owners work together and not against each other, you can multiply much faster. With the influx of new business owners coming in daily to Idaho, it is important to know who is providing what services. For example, let's say a wedding is coming up. Imagine the Bride and Groom running everywhere individually is much more exhausting than lets say a "small town business model" where each business owner knows quite a bit about their network and how to help the bride and groom as a whole rather than not knowing and sending them to 3 counties to find what they need. When businesses work together and collaborate you actually build a broader customer base because you are meeting more of their needs because you have more options, you are not just stuck or limited by what you do. You are also encouraging to buy local rather than outside sources. Keep the dollars at home. By building a local network, your customers become their customers, and their customers become yours. This is pinnacle in smaller to middle size communities. Folks that think by starting a business in a mid size town, it will just grow like it does in the big cities with high populations but that is not so, you need other pods of people. Don't spend one more dollar on high cost marketing until you build free relationships with other business owners.
It's pretty simple, and never forget, true customer service can never be replaced. Join us for the NETWORKING MEET AND GREET at Panhandle Red May 7th at the Panhandle Red Silo in Post Falls. 6pm- Start sharing what you do or what your are interested in with others.