Friday, November 30, 2012
The Chicken or the Egg?
Most of my readers know that while closing the store, I have been working on organizing events in the mall. This has given me something positive to focus on.
Somewhere along the way I have made it my personal and professional mission to figure out how to drive traffic to Northville Square. At first it was for my own business but once I saw the handwriting on the wall about my concept I started thinking bigger!
I set up and started working on the facebook pages and email groups for the tenants to send me information on their businesses. It's like pulling teeth to get tenants to participate. Why do you think that is?
I sent out emails, scheduled tenant meetings, encouraged tenants to set up tables/booths during high traffic events with very little effectiveness. I have asked myself over and over, if it's my delivery or are they too busy? I even extended the offer to businesses outside of the building in town to participate in events and NOT ONE had any interest?
What I find is that even in this small town everyone has their own agenda on the purpose of their business. Most do not care to get involved!
It drives me CRAZY!
My naive innocence is determined, so I came up with "Children's Marketplace"Michigan's 1st market dedicated to goods and services with children in mind.
I thought that Moms with young children would like a place to stop for a couple of hours and find resources for their families! I scheduled FREE presentations, entertainment and activities for the children. I worked with Bricks to offer kid friendly items. Spent hours in the middle of the night soliciting vendors on the internet and talking to Northville businesses by email and in person.
The Northville Record wrote a story, Patch wrote a story, I sent it to all of the news stations and the Detroit News, Posted it on websites under events with newspapers and Metro Parent. I even joined Mom groups to let them know about it! By the way, The "Northville Working Moms" group declined my request to become a member. My children were too old and they didn't need help finding things to do! Shame on them.
I peddled flyers at childcare centers, churches, schools, libraries as well as all of the businesses downtown Northville and Novi.
God Bless the people who came aboard! There are about 20 people who saw the vision on the idea! They dragged their wares and staff in here for 8 weeks.
Nobody came! Sadly, the Moms who did come thought it had great potential. But how can I expect vendors to pay to be here if we can't get people to come?
The worst part for me, was that two tenants complained about the noise or the clientele not being "Their customer"!
As you can see, even good intentions don't work for me...
But I won't give up. Why? Because there are more people who do see the value in the effort who have stepped forward to let me know that they appreciate it and are inspired...
This keeps me going!
Next: Build it and they will come. But what kind of experience will they have when they get here?