Main Street Businesses: Marketing? Money? Time? Where Did They Go?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Small Business USA

There are few days I'm not proud of my team, but today I am besides myself.

One of the challenges I've had with Small Business USA and our program - although being incredibly successful in driving results - has been that there is a sub-sector of small businesses that we've been unable to support. We're not alone, most peer advisory groups don't even TRY to help this group.

Why should we try? I hope you've all seen our #LetsSaveMainStreet campaign? 

Why? Because sadly, when Main St businesses fail, it affects all of us. It's our community. It's when you walk downtown, or in a shopping center, and you recognize that yet another business has closed. Dwindling downtowns affect our property values and our quality of life.

Just today, my daughter and I went school shopping in an adorable outdoor mall we love (but hadn't been to in a while) in Canton, CT.  Besides the chains, almost every unique shop had closed. These unique shops, they are the personality of our communities.

Unlike privately owned retailers, chains stay because they have best practices, winning strategies, and leaders with objective perspectives. When you've put your heart and life savings into opening that restaurant or bike shop you've always wanted to own... well, let's face it, perspective flies right out the window once you write your first check.

B2C businesses get captured in the chaos of customers and time. Although our program only takes a few hours a month, a B2C business owner's  time is not their own. Trust me! I know! Growing up in real estate, managing restaurants and then making my career in retail for 25+ years, I've lived it! I've not only run that 1 person boutique trying to figure out how to go to the bathroom between customers, I've led teams of thousands trying to navigate an onslaught of unpredictability on a minute by minute basis.

What's most interesting, minus expensive consultants, I struggled to find any support for this group minus community development groups and the Chamber of Commerce. Even franchises can't help in an individual, let's-dissect-your-business kind of way.

So the gauntlet was thrown and my team is delivering.

Monday night (August 17th) we will offer a free online workshop focused on customer centric businesses. We'll teach you 5 tools to use to better assess your business. We'll give you more tips on marketing your business (without spending a fortune) and help you make some quick changes to really affect your sales and success.  All Monday. All Free.

So let's save Main Street Monday night at 7pm (New York.) Go to  or to register.

 For help building your authentic and valuable brand, improve your business and plan for your future.-  contact us. We're more than peer advisory boards.

Colleen Ferrary is the founder and president of Small Business USA. While maintaining their mission to keep their services affordable Small Business USA ( is changing the success rate of small businesses. For more information or to set up a free consultation or learn about our affordable marketing workshops, please email

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Comments (4)

Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Colleen - What a super idea!  I love this.  We have the same issue in many our Westchester towns, including the higher end towns.

Aug 16, 2015 09:00 PM
Randy Hilman REALTOR® Associate Broker
Randy Hilman Homes - Moultonborough, NH
Guide & Mentor to Home Buyers & Sellers

Thanks for keeping main street on life support.  B2C entities fail when they are poorly run or do not meet consumer needs.  There is no doubt that many fail do to lack of  an owner's basic business skills. But there are many other factors at play in the decline of Main Street.  Suburban sprawl has moved people father from the traditional commercial core; big box retailing has given people lower prices, better selection and convenient, free parking.

It's crazy that I should drive 30 miles one way to a Home Depot to shop for a couple of items that I could probably find at a Main Street hardware store but I do it.  Why?  I'm given a fuller shopping experience.  I get to look at a lot of things that I'm not buying but would like to have.  I have better purchase options. I"ll save on price even though I consumed more time and gasoline than I would have otherwise.

And, of course, now with the Internet, I can shop for so much more than I ever could before that it almost makes no sense to even travel to the bix box retailers, let alone main street.

I remember our little office supply store finally going out of business because its customer base dried up, it often did not have in stock the things people needed and its products were more expensive. If I ordered, I might have to wait five business days to receive my order.  With Staples, I can order online with free shipping and next- day delivery.

There's a reason, I think, why we see more wig shops and nail salons on Main St.  They're serving a customer base that lives in the neighborhood others left years ago.

Aug 16, 2015 09:24 PM
Colleen Ferrary
Small Business USA - New York, NY
Delivering Affordable Success-Critical Tools

Thanks Debbie Gartner! 

I've been in retail for most of my career - most recently leading teams of almost 5,000 employees. After owning Small Business USA for the past few years, I've recognized that Main St retailers are at a disadvantage. I'm looking forward to helping B2C customers tonight. Hopefully you'll join us and invite some friends! :)

Aug 17, 2015 03:57 AM
Colleen Ferrary
Small Business USA - New York, NY
Delivering Affordable Success-Critical Tools

Randy Hilman, great insight! I hope to take step #1 in changing some of those results tonight!


Aug 17, 2015 03:58 AM