There are many small businesses in Madison. They include restaurants and retailers in the town's thriving downtown, home-based businesses, and family owned businesses. Some of them may be places you and your family frequent, businesses that have been in Madison for as long as you can remember. And some may be your go-to places instead of national chains.
AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong may stand behind a global brand, but he believes in the power of small businesses. In his recent interview with Patch Partners, a website connecting business owners to Patch in local communities, he offered his insight into what can set a small business above the rest of the competition.
Small businesses can hold a lot of power if they are intuitive with their customer base, Armstrong said.
“Small businesses can be nimble and can have intimate relationships with their customers. Knowing what their customers want is a very big advantage.”
Armstrong also noted that real success lies in what your business offers that the competitors do not.
“The advice I would give is the same advice I give myself—how do you create a differentiated and time-saving experience versus your competition? If a consumer cannot tell another consumer what unique benefit you offer, you might be missing an opportunity,” he said.
In Madison, some of the town's most treasured small businesses are in the downtown restaurant and retail district.
R. J Julia Booksellers and Madison Art Cinemas are two of the better known businesses in town, and both draw customers from all over the state, and sometimes from out of state. Along with the U.S. Post Office at the corner of Wall Street and Boston Post Road, and the Scranton Memorial Library across the street, R. J. Julia and Madison Art Cinemas are known as the four pillars of the downtown.
They are surrounded by numerous other businesses, including gift shops, dress stores, and restaurants that include coffee shops and other places where you can get a full course meal, like Cafe Allegre.
Another way to support locally owned small businesses is to participate in American Express's Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24. Last year, over 100 million people participated in this day dedicated to supporting small businesses.
There are more articles and interviews about small businesses on Patch Partners, where you can also sign up for the Patch Partners newsletter and Patch Partners Twitter feed to stay better informed, grow your small business and strengthen your community.
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