Hi Everyone,

“I want to go into business.” I hear that all the time, and I get excited when someone wants to invest in our community. So today I’m going to give you my best advice on starting a business.

First you need to consider location. I remember reading that the three most important things in opening a business are location, location and location.

Make sure you do your homework and pick the best spot. I know years ago, I was a part owner in James R. Evans Men’s Store at 80 Main Street, and it was a perfect location. Now it is occupied by Wright’s Music Shed, and I know that Ed is very happy with that location.

Next is a business plan. This is very important to being successful. With all the information available on the internet you should be able to get all the data that you need to put together a plan, or you can contact the Small Business Development Center at Clarion University. Their number is 877-292-1843. They will be happy to assist you in putting together a business plan.

I would also suggest you make an appointment with Anita Dolan, our Main Street Manager, who can assist you with locations and information on starting a new business.

Next, and I think this is the most important, is hiring the right people and teaching them great customer service.

If you have been reading my blog, I have been talking a lot about taking care of your customers. Remember I mentioned the video store on Main Street hiring only those people that smiled. That is what you need to do – pick people with a positive attitude, and they will make you successful.

You know I have a lot of stories, and this is one that I always like to tell. A business woman went into a restaurant in New York City, and a young male waiter waited on her. When he asked what she would like drink, she said, “I know you don’t have RC Cola, so I will just have a Pepsi or Coke.” She also ordered her meal at the same time. The young man went back to the kitchen and gave the order to the cook, and said he had to run out to the grocery store next to the restaurant and he would be right back. He proudly had the RC Cola on the tray with a glass of ice, and the customer was very surprised. She asked him where he had gotten it, and he told her the story. Every time she came back to the city, she went to that restaurant and asked for the young man to wait on her. A few months later, she was in New York again but her favorite waiter was gone – he had gotten his own restaurant! Isn’t that a great story? Those are the kind of things you should be doing for your customers.

So, if you are thinking of starting a business, I would invite you to come in and talk to us about it, and to schedule a visit with Anita Dolan at the Main Street Manager’s office in Old City Hall.

See you next Friday!