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Are Some Businesses Trying to Fail?

Laughingman21

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I live in a small town with a high street full of small mom & pop shops. The lack of big name businesses has given the town an increasingly unique feel in a world of large corporate stores and cookie-cutter high streets that have become indistinguishable. Everyone I know says it gives the town a wonderful character and it's one of the things they love about living here.

Sadly, it may soon become a thing of the past because there are frequent stories in the local press about the shops struggling and if things don't change shops will have to close followed by pleas to locals to visit their shops. I would love to feel sympathy for these business owners, but I just can't as it seems they're all determined to drive their businesses into the ground through a complete lack of desire to change.

The main problem is their lack of willingness to open their doors at a convinient time to local residents. In a town that's 90% commuters stuck in the Monday to Friday 9-5 rat race, all of the shops:
  • Close Saturday at lunchtime
  • Close all day Sunday
  • Close at 5pm so there's no evening shopping for all the commuters that walk through the high street every night.
But yesterday was the straw that broke the camels back for me and made me want to post this. Our town council put on the traditional May Fayre. The sun was shining and the whole town was out in force walking up and down the high street. And how many shops used this opporunity for extra business???? ONE!!!! The bookshop that's holding a closing down sale.

I just cannot get over these business owner complete and utter lack of hustle and unwillingness to deliver a service that fits their customers NEEDS (i.e. convinience to time starved people) instead of the their own desire to work comfortable hours.

Why do some businesses think it's their right to be successful without any effort? Or are they just determined to fail?
 

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rogue synthetic

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You're not wrong about needing to adapt and be flexible to market conditions. But we should be careful about blaming this on deliberate plans. I doubt you'll find any of these business owners feel any real entitlement or have any determination to fail in the way you're thinking.

Most likely it's a combination of habit, and what Michael Gerber calls a failure to distinguish working on the business from working in the business.

It's a shame, either way, but writing it off to entitlement or a desire to fail isn't a very helpful way of getting in their heads.
 
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Laughingman21

Laughingman21

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You're not wrong about needing to adapt and be flexible to market conditions. But we should be careful about blaming this on deliberate plans. I doubt you'll find any of these business owners feel any real entitlement or have any determination to fail in the way you're thinking.

Most likely it's a combination of habit, and what Michael Gerber calls a failure to distinguish working on the business from working in the business.

It's a shame, either way, but writing it off to entitlement or a desire to fail isn't a very helpful way of getting in their heads.
I’m not suggesting they want to fail, but their lack of adapting to change will lead to failure. There’s a general lack of interest in customers needs/wants and it’s slowly killing their businesses.

If I was sitting in an empty shop from Monday to Friday, I wouldn’t be calling the local press to moan about it. Instead I’d be trying to find out what I can do to get customers through the doors more often. To me, the easy win is to open the doors when customers are standing outside.
 

Bloodbath

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I've been always wondering about the same thing. People who go on 9-5/9-6, just cannot make it to the store during a work day, unless they leave early or use their launch break.

On the other hand there are swarms of people always in the city at the weekends, but most of the stores are already closed or close early, it's seems so illogical, but I guess it greatly depends on the type of business, location and other factors.
 
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Hyrum

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I own a retail store in a small town and am only open M-F 8:30-5:30. These are my hours because that's what the market has dictated. I used to be open on Weekends, but very people showed up on Saturday and no one on Sundays. So I close those days and give people my personal cell in case they need me to be open (say they're driving 10+ miles into town which they only do a few times per month) on a weekend. I get maybe 1 or 2 people per year take me up on that offer.

So perhaps there are other factors at play besides laziness.
 

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