Every day from even before your Michigan small business is formed, you as a small business owner are making decisions. These decisions are big and small but they all have an impact on your business. So if you make a few bad choices you are stuck and your business is doomed, right? A few bad decisions will not kill your small business but failing to take the steps to correct these choices will doom your business.
It was announced that West Michigan based business, Schuler Books & Music will be closing its downtown Grand Rapids location. Schuler’s owner Bill Fehsenfeld said that the location was not hurting the chain but it was not experiencing the growth that he expected. With Schuler’s lease terminating soon, Fehsenfeld has decided not to renew it.
Fehsenfeld cited a few reasons for the lack of growth. The first was the location of the store. Being a block over from one of the more heavily trafficked streets in Downtown Grand Rapids has created a void in foot traffic. In addition to this, Fehsenfeld believes the lack of traffic downtown on weekends and during the evenings makes it tough for any retailer to survive downtown.
Location is terribly important for a retail business. Retailers will always attract their loyal customers but success hinges on attracting the business of new customers. Schuler Books made all kinds of attempts to attract customers including acquiring a liquor license. Unfortunately all of Shuler’s attempts fell short of the impact they were looking for.
With the changing look of Downtown Grand Rapids, that includes the addition of more downtown housing and higher education institutions, there might be some additional foot traffic downtown. Right now though, it’s a tough location for a retailer to make work. If you have made a bad choice of location or another bad decision in starting your small business, that does not mean you are stuck with it. There are ways to reverse those decisions. Leases can be renegotiated or transferred to a new location. Ownership can be changed. Operations can be switched. Business models can pivot. Being able to identify those issues and have a plan to correct them is what matters. A business adviser can help you through this.
Source: “Schuler Books closing downtown Grand Rapids store as owners pull the plug on 5-year experiment” by Garret Ellison of MLive.com