I feel as though my business has survived through 3 different epochs.
The first was the hardscrabble 80's.
The second was the growing population and competition of the 90's.
The third was the go-go 00's (up to now.)
I think we're about to enter into a fourth epoch.
If you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you we're likely to slide back into the 90's era type business climate. With the excess gone, but a still viable economy.
Instead, I'm beginning to wonder if won't resemble the 80's more.
My experience with the 80's was -- it was a very hard time to survive. Most of the businesses I knew of were very down to earth, very common sense. There wasn't a lot of fluff. There weren't a lot of silly businesses. Everyone was just getting by.
If you wanted to advertise, you thought long and hard. It was more a "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" kind of atmosphere. You didn't buy yourself a new car and put your business logo on it; you tried to find used fixtures or built them yourself. You didn't renovate anytime you felt like it; or eat out much; or buy unnecessary luxuries.
What I remember about the occasional 'high end' businesses that would come to downtown, is that they would open with a certain amount of arrogance, of showing the poor benighted locals what a first class store looks like, and then an inevitable realization that it wasn't happening, resulting in a sudden disappearance into the night, or a sort of half angry/half dismayed complaint, and a withering away.
No one was getting rich. Everyone was just getting by, and that was counted as success.
I'm not sure people are ready for that again.
4 days ago