I was speaking to an in-law the other day when she warned me that her mood may change dramatically as the weather becomes cooler and the days shorter. She said her personality disorder could be blamed on our bad winter weather and, as good relatives do, she told me this so that I wasn’t shocked when she becomes the in-law from hell. By sharing in advance her upcoming personality swing, she was telling me that it was MY responsibility to prepare for her bad attitude and to deal with it.
The thought ran through my head that maybe she should move somewhere sunny and warm all year so that none of us have to suffer her blistering mood swings. Of course, I did not say this out loud. I actually like my relatives and want to be with them when possible. Having family nearby is good. It makes me feel needed and it gives me more self-worth. Hence, despite the normal pains of having relatives dropping in at inconvenient times, borrowing my tools, or sharing unwanted advice or opinions, they are very important and valued by me.
Later, while sitting in my favorite café and reflecting on this conversation, it occurred to me that good businesses here in Polk County cannot have seasonal mood swings. They need to operate efficiently and meet the needs of their customers all year. Sure, they may have swings in business due to inclement weather, but they must perform every day or lose customers. It doesn’t matter if they are a restaurant or a manufacturing company. They must deliver their goods and services or go out of businesses.
Many Polk County businesses brace themselves each year for the change of seasons. Enterprises that rely on tourism or lake homeowners will naturally feel the pinch when fewer of their customers are nearby. But businesses don’t have the luxury to vent on the business next door. (aka ‘There’s no crying in business!!’) They simply must adapt and keep moving forward. They find new customers, run their businesses more efficiently, or find other streams of revenue to get them through the tough times.
It is this adaptability and creativity that impresses me about our local businesses. They continually find ways to keep customers happy so that the bills get paid, the employees get paychecks, and they make a profit(hopefully). It is also evident to me that local residents feel pride in their communities and make the extra effort to support the home-grown businesses.
As we enter the fall and winter seasons, let’s keep it in mind to support our local businesses. Heck, you may even want to invite your crabby relatives to visit and do their shopping at a nearby store! It could cheer them up.
The Polk County Economic Development Corporation is a public-private organization that was created to encourage and promote economic development and capital investment, create and retain quality jobs, enhance the tax base and facilitate positive sustainable growth throughout Polk County, Wisconsin.