Sauer stresses forward movement to Rotary

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Moving forward is never easy because there are always obstacles and pitfalls along the way. But, moving forward is the key to the success of any business.

That’s the message that Pike County Chamber of Commerce President Kathy Sauer brought to the Brundidge Rotary Club on Tuesday.

Sauer told the Brundidge Rotarians that to move forward and be successful in business, a city must create a business climate that is conducive for profit.

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“Brundidge has all of the components to make it a successful business community,” Sauer said. “We are sitting right here with what is needed to move forward – the people, the knowledge and the work ethic. So, what do we need to do to move forward?”

With the question posed, a couple of Rotarians responded with their ideas of what is need to keep businesses open in Brundidge and to create an inviting environment for new businesses.

Lamar Steed, owner of Steed Tire Company, said that when a store opens in town, regular hours are important to the business’ success.

“Whether you’re doing any business or not, you need to keep regular hours,” Steed said. “A new business will come in and set its hours and then, start shuffling the hours around.”

Steed cited a day when he had not done any business and entertained the idea of closing at 4 p.m.

“But between the hours of 4 and 5 p.m., I did enough business to meet my expenses for the day,” he said. “If I had closed, I would have missed that.”

According to information that Steed said that he has read, 65 percent of shoppers think of price first and sometimes it’s not possible for him to beat the prices of chain stores.

“I have to find other ways to get people in my store,” he said. “So, we give the best customer service that we can. And, we know the first names of our customers.”

Steed said that personal service, quality service and letting people know that their business is appreciated are the ways he has found to keep his business moving forward.

Stanley and Jennifer own and operate Piggly Wiggly Brundidge. She said a difficulty in operating a business in Brundidge is that the overhead is higher than in Troy and Brundidge offers a much smaller customer base.

Sauer said that it is most important for residents of small towns and cities to support their local businesses.

“The tax dollars that are spent in other towns support those towns, not your own community,” Sauer said. “By shopping at home, you are supporting your town and helping to keep a neighbor in businesses. We should all make a conscious effort to shop at home.”

Sauer told the Rotarians that to be successful, a town must define its needs, its weaknesses and its strengths and then work to fill in the gaps.

“The Pike County Chamber of Commerce is your boots on the ground,” she said and pledged the Chamber’s support to local businesses in an effort to continue moving Brundidge forward and successful.