Potential businesses should study our market

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Last week, we published an editorial on this page titled “Shop local to keep businesses alive,” (Sept. 18, 2015.) In the days since, a reader posted a response to that editorial on our website, and it is printed on this page today under “Reader Response.”

While we, and the online commenter, agree that supporting local business is important, he does bring up a viewpoint that we hadn’t touched on. If a product or service is unavailable locally, what to do? Most of us do shop locally for the items that are available, but it is safe to say that few, if any, of us exclusively shop local.

In a smaller marketplace such as Western Tidewater, certainly not every conceivable good or service is available. But as we continue to watch small, niche businesses open and close (which happens everywhere, by the way), it strikes us that perhaps potential business owners could spend a little more time studying the viability of their business as it relates to our market.

We have all heard someone else say, or perhaps even said ourselves, that it would be great to have any number of name brand businesses locate in our community (Chick-fil-A, anyone?), and that is most certainly true. But the fact is that if such a business could be successful here based on current demographics, they would already be here. But that doesn’t mean there are not potential opportunities galore to meet the wants and needs of local customers.