If anyone pokes fun at my father-in-law, there is a 99% chance he’ll deliver this line. It usually goes like this:
Them: [insert wisecrack here].
Him: Sure, sure, very funny. You know, you’ll miss me when I’m gone.
Them: Where are you going?
Him: I don’t know, but I’m on my way.
Oddly enough, a few weeks ago I overheard a frustrated employee at Borders say something similar to a customer.
Customer: Do you think anyone will remember this store in 5 years?
Employee: Oh, please. No doubt about it – people are going to miss us when we’re gone.
Borders, of course, is going out of business.
When the news of the store closures broke, I was a little sad. I took my kids there once a week, and we loved exploring the children’s book section together. Would we really be able to replace the fun moments we had there?
Sure we would. After all, the store itself never delivered a heartwarming experience. In fact, until the kids started reading, I really had no need to set foot in a bookstore – everything was cheaper at Amazon.
So while I’ll miss those weekly trips, I won’t miss paying for overpriced books that I could just as easily have purchased online.
When I think about it, these feelings aren’t restricted to just the bookstore. I don’t miss visiting the bank either. Or the post office. I don’t miss going to music stores, and even though I once said that I couldn’t handle life without newspapers, I was wrong.
All of this is a roundabout way of asking a serious question: when your business is gone, will customers miss you?
If the answer is “no,” it’s not too late to change everyone’s mind.
But unlike the last line of my father-in-law’s joke, you’ll need to figure out where you’re going. Quickly.