There’s nothing as charming as a town square or the village green.
My teenage son plays the clarinet in a concert band that performs in area beach towns. One performance takes place in a town square on a main street, surrounded by small businesses. As band members set up their instruments and the audience sets up their chairs and blankets, the smell of pizza wafts across the square.
When the concert is over, usually around 9:30 p.m., my son always asks for a slice of pizza. “The food smells amazing,” he says. Sadly, the restaurant closed around 9 p.m.; and the same is true with most of the shops near this locale.
A local legacy, this concert series has taken place in the same spot for decades, with more than 100 people listening to the music every week. So, I found it surprising that many local small businesses aren’t staying open later on Concert Night.
To be fair, some of these businesses close by 6 p.m. and shop owners may not know what’s happening in their town during the evenings. But wouldn’t it be a wonderful opportunity if they did?
Besides staying open later on special nights, these pro-active entrepreneurs could hand out samples to the crowd, hand out menus, or even hand out coupons to this captive audience. While some of these music goers travel a short distance, many live right in town. Potential business awaits.
To increase your clientele and your presence in the community, as a small business owner, you need to know what’s happening right under your nose. Tap into your town’s business association or local chamber of commerce and get the schedule of events taking place in your town and in neighboring towns. Advertise the events in your business, too, so customers know you are a vital part of the community.
And if nothing exciting is happening around you, it’s a never too soon to look into sponsoring an event at your town square. You never know, they just may name the location after you.
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