I have to share something with you that happened to me today because - as a small business owner - it really did make me ask the question "Why?".
We are in the Great Ocean Road area of Victoria, Australia for the Christmas period at the moment and decided to have a look around at some display villages because we are interested in moving to this part of the world at some stage into the future.
For those of you who are not familiar with this part of the world, let me first set the scene - this area is primarily a summer tourist destination where - between the months of December and March - the population basically triples with tourists wanting a "sea change".
Many of these tourists fall in love with the place and over recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people who move to this region to live permanently.
Now - with this in mind - if you owned a business where you were building houses in this area, do you think that this time of the year would be a good time to have your display home doors open each and every day so that people could find out the kind of house you could build for them when they decide to move to this part of the world?
Well, guess how many display homes were open today?
None - that's right, absolutely none!!!
I could not believe it - and I was not the only person astounded at what was happening - because we bumped into at least 20 other people all walking around the "barren wasteland" display village grumbling that they were here on holidays and were thinking about moving to the area but could not speak to anyone about house and land prices.
On further investigation I found out that many of the display homes are re-opening the day that many (most?) tourists will be returning home after their holidays are over and - if these same tourists are really serious about moving to the region - they will have to be inconvenienced by coming back to the area to speak with the builders in the area at some other time.
What happened today really drove home how important it is to be where your target market is.
Sure, we all like to be on holidays when those around us are having a break and sure, it would be great to have the luxury of "shutting our doors" whenever we felt like it but it is so important to remember that as small business owners we have to be there when our leads are looking for our products and services so if this means we have to "jiggle" our time off to fit in with the "quieter demand times" that's simply the price we pay as small business owners.
Are you there when your clients need you?