Our View: Businesses have to tell own stories

Published 12:25 pm Friday, November 18, 2016

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is to take the “build it and they will come” approach.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t often work and is one of the reasons so many businesses fail in the first two years.

Thankfully, many Winchester businesses — and downtown retailers specifically — seem to understand this and are taking a much more proactive approach by giving shoppers lots of reasons to visit and more time to do so.

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The efforts started yesterday with the Shop Late Thursday event designed to help working people jumpstart their holiday shopping.

Fourteen downtown businesses plus Engine House Deli + Pub will be open until at least 7 p.m. every Thursday through Dec. 15, with some staying open even later.

There appeared to be decent foot traffic this week and we expect that to grow as word gets out about this opportunity to support local businesses and spend money right here at home.

As a way to create a unique shopping experience that goes beyond anything you could get at a national chain, many of the retailers are complementing the expanded shopping hours with special events, promotions and free gift wrapping.

Currently, participating businesses include Eklektic Alchemy, Dirty South Pottery, Court Street Gifts, Mason on Main, Jako’s Boutique & Candles, The Prissy Peach Boutique, Bentley & Murray, Sugar Belle’s Boutique, Created by You Ceramics Studio, Plowshares Trading Post, Bargains on Broadway & Café, Harper’s Jewelry, Winchester Glassworks and Wizards of Game.

We hope to see others get on board too, both downtown and across the city.

In today’s world, with global competition and a constant competition for every consumer dollar, it is more important than ever that businesses tell their own stories, toot their own horns and create reasons to stand out from the pack.