It’s fall. They’re “gone” (ok, maybe here on weekends). Tumbleweed Tuesday was weeks ago. So here’s the question: What about us? (Warning – this could be perceived as a self-serving blog, but there is a relevant marketing message here, if you own a business on the East End.)
We think the people who “really live here,” matter. But not every business out here does. Ok, go ahead, take Tuesdays off, change your schedules, but let us know. You’re busy? You’re tired? We are too. On Tumbleweed Tuesday we went to the health food store to grab some coffee… closed. The yoga studio’s class… cancelled. The fro-yo place – uh huh, not even a Facebook message to warn us.
We get it – at the end of the summer everyone needs a day or a month off, and they deserve it. But please, don’t roll up the carpet and shutter the windows all winter long or you’ll lose us. Oh, you don’t need us? You think just because we don’t eat out every night and order imported champagne we’re not “your market?” Hey, we still celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and love a cocktail just like everyone else. But those aren’t the only reasons we’re worth your time.
We are your brand ambassadors. Seduce us in the winter and we’ll promote you in the summer. We’re the ones who tell our city friends (not just from NYC but from London and Paris and Trenton) where to dine, shop, go to Yoga, get a massage. We’re also the folks who help keep your year-round employees employed. So instead of having surly summer help who don’t understand (or really care about your business) we help you develop a staff that learns your business and grows with it. And if you reduce your hours, or stay open in the shoulder seasons, keep a core team in place, and entice us with local specials (like Ene, Almond, Sole, Nick & Toni’s, Le Chef,) we’ll be grateful, and we’ll prove it. Just communicate with us – you don’t have to pay for an ad, do a little social media, and we’ll repost it over and over again. (Just check out Bonac Yard Sale if you don’t believe social media is alive and well in the off-season.)
Of course there are some businesses that cater to tourists only. Fine. We don’t need you, you don’t need us, no worries. But – if you’re not hiring my neighbors (or their kids) and not serving my friends, and taking your ball and leaving the minute the party is too small for you, please don’t call yourself “local” and don’t come knocking when you need a favor.