Communication and the Small Business Owner

Yesterday morning, a part of the hose on our washing machine broke and we were faced with the task of replacing it. A simple part, it is available at most hardware stores with a decent plumbing section, yet we had the worst time trying to track it down. Why? Because most of the small local hardware stores in our part of town seem to be trapped in the 1970s.

There is a Home Hardware store a few blocks away from us. Traditionally, they are closed on Sundays, except in the summer. From Victoria Day to Labour Day, they open on Sundays from noon to 5pm. (I’ll ignore the Sunday closing thing because that’s not what this rant is about but I can’t help but point out that in this modern era, not all of us are Christian and need the day off to be with Jesus.) As this store would be our first choice, we check the Home Hardware website, only to discover that the hours listed indicate the store is closed on Sundays. Since we’re sure they’re probably open, because they have been open on summer Sundays for the almost 20 years we’ve lived in the neighbourhood, Greg calls the store. Not only is there no answer, there’s no voice mail. What to do?

Now I don’t expect a store to have a voice mail where you can leave a message, but sweet sassy molassy, don’t you think it would be a wise business move to have a message on there listing the store hours? I mean seriously, I pick up the phone and call a store for one of two reasons – to see if they have a specific item in stock, or to find out their hours – if their hours are not listed online.

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