Business Sense or No Cents

So I had to head down to Lake Arrowhead to go to the bank and I thought I would catch up with a couple of business owners.

Must have been a bad day to do it, let me explain why.

First, the Lake Arrowhead Village is very empty. Several business have gone out and the buildings are empty–although some exhibit window displays.

So imagine my surprise when the first business I entered didn’t greet me or even say, “I’ll be right with you.”

I understand when staff is busy but she wasn’t that busy. I was one of two people in the place.

Shame because I had planned on spending some money but when she continued to ignore me after I made a couple of inquiries, after a couple of minutes I just walked out.

How many others would do the same?

I know the owner and you bet I am going to let her know about this situation. It is the first time it has happened to me in her establishment and was quite the surprise.

The next business was dog friendly. In case you have not heard, many of the pet establishments on that side of the mountain have gone under…let me meander…

I met Steve at Ma & Paws Pet Store in Running Springs last week and have to say his timing is pretty good when it come to opening–three competitors closed down on the Lake Arrowhead/Blue Jay  side of the mountain recently.

Steve happens to be from one of the beach city towns I grew up near and we chatted a lot about the south bay.

He also rescued, Max a parrot in need of therapy.

But back to my story…

I entered the pet friendly place only to encounter an obnoxious child barking like a dog.

The mom thought it was cute and staff was on the floor with the kid and a dog while the store dog was behind the counter–the kid’s barking got them all going.

Ugh. Not customer friendly so, I walked out.

I had some business to discuss but I’ll just email the owner instead.

The third place initially seemed to be a shift–I got a nice welcome from the staff but then it began to go downhill.

The food served was awful. I didn’t even eat it–although they cheerfully redid the food item–it, in a word, sucked.

Two bites and I left the rest.

Although they weren’t too busy, the floor had trash and debris scattered around the public area.

The big windows overlooking the lake were streaked with smeared who-knows-what and little hand prints just like they were months ago when I last visited.

There was a business name change but it is the same group. Cousins are running the establishment.

Now, my point is this:

To get my cents businesses need to have sense. People keep wondering why so many locals establishments change over or go out of business but it goes back to basics.

Many local businesses are crying from a lack of business but if the business owners in two of the places were there today, I know for a fact the service would not have been absent.

In times of a poor economy it is more important to make sure that employees are even more attentive to the few customers that walk through the door.

There are some businesses that have been doing well with gains of 15% and more.

The difference?

Customer service and paying attention to detail.

Good quality product served up with a nice presentation is important…but make sure you treat the customer well or they’ll go someplace else.

In fact, I am driving over to my favorite haunt right now!

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 and is filed under Business & Commerce, Mountain Lake Resort.

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2 Responses to “Business Sense or No Cents

  • 1
    January 29th, 2009 13:45

    You are so right about customer service and atmosphere! I do not go out to eat much, but when I do it is out to Peppercorn Grill in the Village. The service is great, the environment is terriffic, and they are VERY CAUTIOUS when it comes to my food allergy (nuts). They even wash their hands between food prep when they prepare my meal so I do not get any contaminants in my food. They make me feel at home 🙂

  • 2
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    January 31st, 2009 19:29

    @Cricket Yes, I like the Peppercorn too. We get great service and smiles at Hacienda and down at the Bus Stop. I also like Sweet Basil.