Everywhere you go, you can hear people comment on how good it feels to be “back to normal.” They are, apparently, referencing how nice it is to be able to see friends and family, go out for dinner together and to do the things that maybe we all took for granted, the things we had to do without for almost two years.

Today, we seem to be managing Covid. We can’t say it is gone from our lives, not when the numbers continue to rise in some areas and new variants seem to be discovered on a weekly basis, but we are not allowing it to control us.

In the business community, it has been a very long hall. First the pandemic, then supply chain issues, staffing problems and rising costs that you have little or no control over. The bright spot for small business in all this? The people are coming back, and while they are forced to make their dollars stretch as far as possible, make no mistake about it, they are back and that is something you can work with.

Seth Godin is a prolific author, entrepreneur, teacher, motivational speaker, and marketing guru. He is best known for ideas like finding the smallest sustainable market, providing things of value for people who care and being remarkable. He believes competing on price is a fool’s game, where even if you win, you lose. In a time of rising prices, doesn’t it make more sense to do what you can to keep prices reasonable, but then set yourself apart from the crowd by the experience your customers have when dealing with you?

If you are fortunate enough to have built a business strong enough to have made it through the past couple years, then you probably know most of this already, but it bears repeating. Be grateful for your customers, they are the reason you are in business and the reason you stay in business. Get to know them, if not by name at least by face and show that you have noticed they were here before and hopefully will be again. Treat them the way you would like to be treated.

If you make their choice to shop close to home the right decision it will be one they will happily make again and again. Others will decide that going for a drive to a place where their support is appreciated is well worth the effort.

The best part of this is that the only cost is the attitude with which you greet your customers, and it doesn’t matter if you are in government, retail, wholesale, service, agriculture, or tourism. You are your business so make the effort and show the world your best self. Many others won’t make the effort, but you can. Be remarkable!

Terry Tinkess