No matter what era you grew up in, you undoubtedly faced off with your folks during the turmoil and excitement of your teen years. They were so out of date, they were so stodgy, they didn’t understand what it was like to be a kid. They had no idea why you needed Izods or Abercrombie, ducktails or Mohawks. They were sooooo out of touch!
Many independent retailers pride themselves on their Mom-n-Pop tradition, as well they should. Family business is the backbone of our economy and our society, employing more people and contributing more tax dollars than all big box retailers combined. A Mom-n-Pop store is comfortable, familiar and relational. You are loyal to your employees and they pay you back with years of service. You truly love your customers and become a part of their lives. It’s parental, as the apt moniker implies.
Do you run your business like you run your home, turning off the lights to save on the electric bill, leaving up dated wallpaper in the dining room because “that’s the way it’s always been,” or going to bed early just because you’re tired? Do you exercise your authority “because you said so”? We’ve all heard of stores who turn on the lights only at Ms. Jones’ request, who stick to an outdated logo or storefront and flip the “CLOSED” sign to take a potty break. These are your rights as parents, not as proprietors.
Ms. Jones is a rebel. Don’t give her a cause.