The speaker pointed out, “If you would switch your hours from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. to 11 a.m.-6 p.m., you would have more business.”
He added, “The next new economy, the one rising from the ashes of the 2008 meltdown, favors small businesses. Consumers are starting to spend money again.”
However, “the not-so-good news is gas prices continue to rise, driven by turmoil in the Middle East .... (and) Americans are cautious due to the unstable economy in 2008 and 2009.”
He had words of caution for those in attendance: “You can’t be all things to all people. I’d rather you be the best at what you’re chosen to be than be all over the board for everyone.
“There is no magic bullet. There’s no secret formula .... (and) you’re only as good as the part-timer who works the fewest hours for you.”
Willson encouraged small business owners to know their customers and realize they can be grouped into four categories: Slam on the brakes are those who have lost their jobs and are not making any unnecessary purchases. Pained but patient “believe things will get better” in the economy. The comfortably well-off are the rich, “who are richer than they ever were and are the ‘haves’ as opposed to the ‘have nots.’ The young folks who are lucky to have jobs fit into the live for today group. They make a paycheck and spend it, which is good for the economy.”
He also stressed the importance of understanding “where your products and services fall.” Are they “essentials, necessary for survival and well-being; treats, justifiable indulgences; postponables, wanted or needed, but reasonable to put off; or expendables, where there is no reason to own them?”
The retail trends reveal “people shop in a store because they want human interaction .... My favorite sign in a retail shop is ‘Please touch’ because if you can touch it, you’re twice as likely to buy it.