By Kay Wilson
“To those that say small town retailers cannot compete with the internet, big box stores and big city ad blitzes, I say read this book!” Gregg Connell, Shenandoah, IA, Chamber and Industry Association executive vice president.
In 2014, when General Motors dealer Doug Meyer heard several Shenandoah business owners questioning their business processes, he recognized the issues first hand.
His car dealership career had taught him at an early age some basics of doing business in a small town. His family business owns GM dealerships in Shenandoah, IA, Auburn, NE, and now in Maryville.
So, in 2014, he started writing down the business topics and his answers. One chapter led to another and before he knew it there was a guidebook appearing under the title “Selling in Your Town: Your Guide to Running Your Small Business.” Connell was the first to read the manuscript as Meyer was the president of the chamber of commerce at the time. He stamped the document as book material and encouraged Meyer to pursue publishing it to be utilized by every small business in town.
“This was my first and probably my only book,” Meyer said as he described the prolonged publishing work.
Some of the chapter titles are “Most People Want to Buy Local,” “When Walmart Comes to Town,” “Price,” Attitude,” “Facility” and “Who Are You and Who Are You Selling To?”
Meyer describes Shenandoah as a town about half the size of Maryville but with more retail stores owned locally and fewer restaurants and taverns. The customer drift to the internet or larger communities was apparent in Shenandoah, Meyer said, and the topics covered in the book could be applied as lessons to many small-business owners.
In 2015, the Meyer family purchased Boyles Motors. Meyer and his wife, Svetlana, and their three-year-old son, Alexander, will be moving to Maryville as soon as their Shenandoah home is sold.
Books may be purchased through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and at the Nodaway News Leader for $9.