The Times They Are A’Changing. Is Your Business Keeping Up?

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We know economies change, technology changes, consumer buying habits change. But when the change is big enough to put you out of business, is your business ready to re-invent itself? Or will you close down?

This is not a new scenario in the business world. But for the small business owner, it could spell a whole new beginning or the death of their business.

For those of us in Bergen County NJ, Womrath's Bookstores have been an institution. My Mom used to shop at the Womrath's in Hackensack every so often, either when she was looking for a specific book or for one of the unique and interesting treasures she saw in the store. When it went on sale, Mom owned it.

I myself as a young girl found it a neat place to go, wall to wall books. Loved the smell of the books. Loved being around the books. But as times changed and technology changed, well, one could read a book on the computer. Later on, read it on Kindle. Read it on your phone or tablet. Try before you buy, if you will. Read a few chapters and then if you liked how the book was going, you might buy it, download it, and you owned it.

Womrath's in Hackensack closed in 2001. Tenafly Womrath's is closing this summer. This leaves only one Womrath's in Bronxville NY in Westchester County. storeclosing

Over time, technology has put the crunch on the brick and mortar bookstore.

***"Local bookstores have been fighting off potentially category-killing competition for more than five decades, including:

* Rise of malls and chain bookstores — In the 1960s and 1970s, malls and chain bookstores began drawing shoppers away from downtown bookstores. In 1975, Barnes & Noble became the first bookseller to discount books.

* Superstore saturation — Barnes & Noble bought the 700-plus store B. Dalton chain in 1987 and began opening superstores in the early 1990s.

* Amazon and other online options — Amazon.com started selling books online in 1995 and changed the way millions of Americans buy books, with free shipping, overnight deliveries and options for hard-to-find books.

* E-readers — Amazon's Kindle, which debuted in 2007, and Barnes & Noble's Nook, introduced two years later, allow readers to download books instantly on their electronic devices."

*** See entire article about Womrath's Bookstore closing here.

This can happen to ANY business. Many more people are foregoing the trip to the mall, in favor of shopping online via their phone, tablet, iPad, and lastly their computer. Why spend gas, time, have to get dressed presentably, stand in lines, get annoyed, go out in the heat or the cold when you can shop easily online from your own home or office?

If you have a brick and mortar store, you need to take a serious look at technology and consumer buying trends and see how it is affecting you. If you have an online store, you need to do the same thing, albeit with less at stake. Brick and mortar stores pay big rents, and not all landlords are compassionate if you hit a dry spell.

Even so, if you only sell online, you need to examine your competition and the technology and consumer trends because there are always ways to make your business better, more competitive and more successful.

Are you sitting comfortable ignoring the warning signs or are you vigilant and ready for Plan B or Plan C? Do you need help figuring out what to do next?

If you are a small business in Bergen, Morris or Sussex County NJ call us today. Our affordable business coaching and mentoring program can help you avoid disaster by keeping you a couple of steps ahead of the game.

Call us today at 201.880.4905