A Second Look
I still recall my first day at the Chamber, November 1, 2013. I remember thinking; how and why am I really here? I mean aside from the job description and the tasks ahead, it was a valid question. I had spent almost 30 years in the media, first in radio, then in video production, and cable television advertising. A lot of what we do here at the Chamber is promotion and advertising related and I had built my business working with small business owners all across Alabama. That brings me to the real subject at hand, the small business owner. When I look back, a lot of the issues in those days are the same ones today. Acquiring and retaining customers has always been a top priority, but it is a constantly shifting target. It was back then, and is certainly more difficult in today’s market. There are so many outlets for catching the customer’s eye. It is difficult to find a mixture of what works. There are no magic bullets as they say, but there are those that are tried and true. Nothing is more effective than word of mouth. You know the age old personal recommendation. It never goes out of date, even in today’s electronic world. Case in point, how many times have you clicked like on social media? How many times have you commented on a post, or liked something dealing with your daily life in a community forum? Too many to count I would wager. Those posts and likes are today’s personal recommendations.
It might seem trivial to some, but the power of personal opinion is and will always be at the top of the influence list. We all ask the opinion of our peers when we want a recommendation or a confirmation. Where is this going you ask? It is simple. I want to start a campaign, a campaign for our small business owners. Instead of posting political opinions, or sharing the latest funny meme, I want you to take a moment to create a post about positive experiences you have had with our businesses. Share them with your friends, and the businesses themselves, most are on social media. Let’s start a campaign in 2020 to spread the word about what Montevallo has to offer. Let’s keep it positive. It is very easy to go online and post about poor service, or lack thereof, or not finding what you need in town. Put those in a private message to the business, or its owner, most are on social media, or have email addresses. You can even send them to me here at the Chamber. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Social media is judge, jury, and hangman all in a matter of seconds and people are watching and reacting. We cannot correct issues, or plan for the future without constructive comments and suggestions. The mission statement of the Chamber is “The Voice for Business and Community “. I look forward to hearing your voice.
Happy New Year!