Are Your Flowers Blooming?

Every aspect, feature or detail of your community is fair game for prospective residents and businesses to use in placing you in the contender or the cull pile. FInd the one thing that makes you a stand out and play to this strength to win.

3/24/20242 min read

Spring is springing up across the country and that means that plants, flowers and trees across your community should be returning from idle to alive. From blah to beautiful. However, sometimes you find that there are weeds or diseases that took root on roots and leaves during the dreary winter. This means that the natural beauty that you could now have on display is seen as neglect until you help to bring these back to good health. Are your flowers blooming is just one example and is not the be-all end-all, BUT what about your road conditions, your signage, your public buildings and parks. What about your attention to private property maintenance, by enforcing ordinances that protect property values by disallowing things that may fit well out in the County, but there is no place for these within your City limits.

These are all things that are seen and come into play when a prospect is sizing you up, but also know that your attitude and behavior, especially of your public employees that interact with the public, and those in customer service roles in the private sector, are also seen AND deemed as welcoming or repelling. The local news is also in front of inquiring eyes and this news is shaping their minds-view of how attractive your town is........or isn't.

The point is, YOUR community is being watched and evaluated, compared to others, criticized or praised. This happens every day in every way by everyone. What can you do to win favor instead of being flattened by harsh public opinion?

First of all, realize that flowers and anything else that contribute beauty and harness good impressions should be in full bloom. Pay attention to details, especially since small things often make a big difference to those who may be seeing something for the first time. We may be accustomed to certain things or parts of town that have always been less than our best, but newcomers see today's ugly as, you know, ugly.

On the anniversary of my book release last month, I re-read it and was surprised how much that I had written about tourism as the door to bring in people, dollars and business investments into rural locations. This does not mean that a new industrial business is not the prize that most small towns will continue to seek as their ultimate small town solution. However, I stand by the importance of what is seen, heard, known about (history, reputation, rankings) your town before the checklist comes into play to assess its "fit" for any particular industry. This is because visible impressions, if attractive, find their way into the heart and minds of those that see it. These positive impressions can-do lead to caring about your town and sharing their experiences with others. These then lead to return visits and thoughts-plans on how to further connect-invest.

Every process and project plan has a starting point, a spark that creates smoke, then a fire. It can be anything-something that someone saw (or heard) that spurred thoughts, then action. Discover whatever makes you attractive, then make sure its always in full bloom. Promote it and constantly invite others to see it. As Jack Palance said in City Slickers. It is concentrating on the One Thing that is the secret to life, as well as the one thing in your community that sets you apart and above the rest. The good thing is that you get to figure it out and choose.