Tuesday, July 17, 2007

You've Got Mail - TSF

One of my all time favorite - can't watch it enough times movies is, You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

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In our town, for years we have had a real life You've Got Mail scenario playing out. There is a small independent bookstore that has been in town forever and about seven years ago Barnes and Noble built one of there HUGE stores just around the corner. We all were pulling for the little guy - hoping against hope that it wouldn't fall prey to “the big bad superstore” - but secretly thinking that it wouldn't last.

So, here it is, seven years down the road and in our newspaper this week our little local bookstore was featured along with nine other independent bookstores in the area as one of the ten best! YAHOO for the little guys!

These stores were featured because they were deemed unique and attuned to the needs of the people in each of their particular locations. They also were lauded for great customer service and community involvement. In the case of the store in our area, they are involved in many area literacy programs, school fundraising sales and also sponsor many big name authors who come to our town on speaking engagements. In short, they do more than just unlock the doors every morning and wait for people to wander in.

Our tip for today is to encourage you to think creatively when it comes to your business. In the next few days we will talk about customer service (our decided edge in direct sales). However, are there other things that you can you with your business to get involved with your community? Here are some ideas to get you started:

**Don logo wear, have some fun with your team while getting fit and participate in the next walk/run for charity,

**Does your local PBS station do a telethon? Put on tee shirts and volunteer some time to take pledge calls.

**Offer to speak at a local woman's club, sorority alum club or MOPS group. **Depending on your product line, perhaps you can display product and business cards at the next house walk in your area.

You get the idea. The idea is to give back to the community and get some positive name recognition at the same time.

Have YOU done something creative to advertise your business within the community? Let us hear from you!

Shawna's Note: I know that a lot of you are great with networking in the community. Please post your comments with ideas for others!

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