Hint: It’s not the homeless. Or parking.
Or any of the other dumb things businesses like to blame. (Some downtown myths and realities)
Downtown today is the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and over the weekend was the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. What this means is downtown is packed. There’s also a farmers market today, a concert — downtown today is essentially a festival. And guess what. We counted at least eight businesses that are closed.
Look, we’re going to offer some free business advice: People can’t spend money in your store if you’re closed. Oh, but I’m always closed on Mondays. Fine. Not this Monday. Even one of our favorite places, Smiley’s, is closed today.
What’s the saying, something like: 90 percent of success is just showing up? All these people milling around downtown today have nothing to do but spend money. And they’re not spending it at Smiley’s. Or any of the other stores that can’t be bothered to be open on a weekday.
Simple things, people: Stay open. Accept credit and debit cards. Offer service, convenience and value — every day. And while you’re at it, businesses need websites. Websites with their hours, their contact info, menus, etc. (But this is another post for another time.)
When your store finally goes out of business, you can whine and cry and blame parking (though there’s free parking downtown today); you can blame the homeless; you can blame just about anything you want, but the truth is much, much simpler: You’re going out of business because you don’t really want to be in business.