Decision time for Orange
When a place like Orange has over fifty coffee shops, why is it that some are crazy busy while others struggle for customers? The same can be said about any type of business.
In many cases, the answer is very simple and straight-forward, some people are just better than others when it comes to running a business. The reasons they are better could be many, but one thing can reasonably be assumed, those who do well, work and often work very hard at being successful, they don't just expect bucket loads of customers to walk in their door or simply rest on their laurels. They work even harder during those times when there is a downturn in business generally.
The City of Orange is a business too, and just like people in Orange have a choice of fifty or more coffee shops, people living within 200 km’s of Orange also have the choice of several shopping centres when it comes to where they do their shopping.
If we as a City don't work harder or smarter than all those other shopping centres, the ones people have to choose between, chances are they'll choose to go somewhere else. If we want Orange to function and operate as an overall successful business enterprise, where everyone benefits, we had better soon start getting our act together and start doing things smarter than other centres.
I believe it's decision time for us a City. Are we happy to just float along adopting either a "she’ll be right mate" or "what will be will be" or "sooner or later it'll get better" attitude, or should we start rattling a few cages and sure ourselves up before it's too late?
At this point I need to say that for all of time, I've never seen a Council take a really pro-active attitude in this area of a City's marketing. I have seen token or one-off initiatives occur but the only ongoing or serious campaigning I've seen Council's undertake has always been directed at traditional tourists, NOT so much at average people within 200ks of a city. It's almost as if these people are expected to come here anyway. That is simply not true and lacks any sensible business wisdom. The way Orange 360 functions and the amount of Council money that pours into that organization, demonstrates this most clearly.
Further, if overall spending in a business or indeed a major regional City like Orange drops, doing nothing won't replace it. Some effort must be made to replace the lost revenue.
Negative talk is often frowned upon, but sometimes, facing reality is the best way to confront an issue. Here is Orange right now the general feeling is - retail business is very quiet, real estate business is well down on what we're used to, so are car sales. The situation on the land is worsening and it appears it will take a long time for many of our farmers to recover, if at all.
Speaking as a business owner and someone with strong marketing skills, I can say with absolute certainty that if our Council took a broader and more businesslike attitude to marketing all that our City has to offer, we could be a crazy busy City while other similar centres continue to struggle. That's just straight-forward business thinking.
Like I said, it's decision time for Orange.