I remember the first time in Boston when I traveled my first roundabout. It was so foreign and new to me and clever. I loved the difference there to what I'd grown up with in South Dakota. Roundabouts, I believe, are to prevent major accidents from happening at intersections, but they're also designed to keep traffic moving and at a normal pace. The flow is not interrupted and they're suppose to save time. Now they're showing up in South Dakota, and the midwest. We are getting with it! ;)
I never gave it any thought about naming my blog. I thought "roundabout" fell right into sync with Travel Backroads. I originally named my pricing list "Find your Avenue". I like idioms. I've chosen "Loose Gravel" I feel that name might suit me better, if you knew me.
Traveling any road for local is important to me. It just so happens when you live in our part of the world (the great plains) there are a great many businesses tucked away on country roads, secondary highways and totally off a beaten path. I remember as a youth growing up in Rapid City, my mother wanted to stop at many businesses she'd see on the highways and my dad would speed by. From that so called "intersection" between the two of them, came some discord, ha! I realize however that businesses are not just on those highways and byways but down city streets and alleys as well.
Business owners, are travelers stopping at your place, or do you rely mostly on local to support you?
If you do, I believe you're missing the mark. Your local community cannot be that "knight in shining armor" all the time. Many times they are maxed out in various ways including supporting local stores. Those motorists need to stop by your place (spread the delight!) and you need to let them know you are there. That has to rank up there as a number one priority. Not on a roundabout and not getting off however.
So how do you do that? In a way, you want to be like a roundabout. You want the traffic to keep moving, at a good pace, you want to prevent collisions but you also need them to take the 2nd or 3rd exit. You need them to stop eventually however and that is key to your business success. My tag line is "Driving the Passion to Go Local" but it also is we need that passion to drive traffic through our business' doors daily, whether you're city council, Ec Dev Corp or a Chamber of Commerce.
If you live rural, I wonder if you realize how foreign 'rural' is to a city person? They like the I-90's and I-29's. Like all of us, we like the familiar, and the idea of rural living might be very foreign. Many times it's even difficult for them to stop at a business they've admired from a distance.
Are you and your business everything you can be to your customers and potential customers? Recently a friend and colleague of mine, Paula from Dakota Resources, shared this great short 3 minute presentation from Jason Salamun on Rapid City's City Council. In her words, "he hits the nail on the head". Take a look here and listen by clicking on this link #OUTLIVEYOURLIFE. It's inspiring and a great reminder to all of us. You do not have to live rural to get the most from your community. It can be anywhere you live, and as Mr. Salamun says "a city is only as good as it's citizens".
While you're at it, check out Dakota Resources' President Joe Bartman's slides from his RuralX presentation this summer. Especially if you're are rural and not familiar with Dakota Resources, you can be a #RURALSHAPERS. It is a new rural.
Whether you live rural or in a city...whether you own a business or shop at them...whether you travel or not...I hope you're a believer.
Joan of "Loose Gravel"