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Thread: Why are local businesses so secretive before they open?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Dec 2008
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    the delta
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    Why are local businesses so secretive before they open?

    We have an active Main Street group here in town and even though all conversations and development issues in our office are confidential, the group is consistently secretive about anything new they are planning for or what is coming to town. Wouldn't people want to build up support so when the store opens people are there instead of the typical newspaper article ("New store located downtown opened last week") to get business?

    Why is it this way? Plus, they are secretive and then when they need to apply for a sign or building permit they want it done yesterday so "people don't find out". I always tell them to plan ahead several weeks because we move slower than they do and once they apply its all public knowledge.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
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    Start to circulate lies about the business. Tell people that it will be a combination tattoo parlor-topless bar. Once the protests start, the business folks will see being forthwright as an advantage!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  3. #3
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    Appleton, Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    We have an active Main Street group here in town and even though all conversations and development issues in our office are confidential, the group is consistently secretive about anything new they are planning for or what is coming to town. Wouldn't people want to build up support so when the store opens people are there instead of the typical newspaper article ("New store located downtown opened last week") to get business?

    Why is it this way? Plus, they are secretive and then when they need to apply for a sign or building permit they want it done yesterday so "people don't find out". I always tell them to plan ahead several weeks because we move slower than they do and once they apply its all public knowledge.
    Business 101 - competitors will get a jump on them by offering 'pre-emptive' specials and so forth.

    Mike

  4. #4
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Hang on Sloopy...land
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    I have found that they like to get as much news about something at once. If something leaks, they get a slow trickle of news instead of this waterfall.

    Also, they don't like anyone else knowing what they are doing. Lease rates, financing deals, etc. are always kept secret until it is a done deal and many times until well after the deal has been done.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    The Cheese State
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    Maybe your experience is particular to your community. I have usually found that there is no secrecy involved. Most of the time people have not given it a thought. They simply open their business without either secrecy or promotion. The best, though, put together an active marketing campaign to let people know they are opening. That means news in the paper, a sign in the window, and more. One restaurant set up a booth in the farmers market, where the chef would prepare samples of some of the items they might expect to find on the menu. Beignets (in Wisconsin! Yum!), salads, various appetizers, etc. They took emails and had a large following before they even opened. As far as being secretive to keep the competition in the dark, if they believe that, they are deluding themselves. They are also overestimating the reaction of their competition.
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