By now you are aware that here at Texansunited.com we market small Texas towns and all that they have to offer. Of course, this means that we are out and about and that we see a lot of what happens in the towns we visit, and there is one thing that always stands out above all else: Some towns take charge of their own destiny while others tend to float.
There is a huge difference between the two philosophies, and the towns that are successful realize this. In a nutshell, the following is a comparison of the two philosophies:
1. Town A wants to be successful, wants its merchants to do well, and wishes it could (at the very least) raise its sales tax revenue to be able to provide more services for its people.
Town A believes that if people want to visit its town, they will. It has no one out beating the bushes, no one using the Internet as fast as possible to promote the great things about the town, no handouts about its heritage and local history spots for those who do visit the town. It does not realize that most people who enjoy visiting small towns are usually looking for local color, and it may not even really know what local color is.
Town A is not sending representatives to the right meetings and seminars, and it is not sending people to visit the successful towns in order to discover their secrets…and there are secrets. Every single successful small Texas town was unsuccessful at one point.
2. Town B wants everything that Town A wants and more; however, Town B understands that it and it alone holds its destiny, and Town B goes to work to shape that destiny.
In Town B, you will find men and women huddled on the street, in the coffee shop, and in the museums, talking about their latest ideas for promoting their town. You will also find a basic understanding of the history of the town and how it might could be marketed to bring in the tourists. You will also often find brochures, etc. outlining this heritage.
Town B has its citizens heading off to meetings and seminars to gain ideas that might help their businesses and ultimately their town. Of course, Town B also understands that seminars are worthless unless they help citizens grow working legs.
Town B has numerous festivals each year designed to bring in the tourists by the thousands, and the thousands do come. When they arrive, they find stores open late, sound systems playing everything from Christmas Carols, to Elvis, to Wayland and Willie…whatever it takes to create atmosphere.
Visitors to Town B also usually find that the town is cleaner than Town A because the city, the merchants, and the citizens realize that a clean city translates into more dollars for the coffers. Yes, the Town Bs of the state are managing to run in the black as they rack up that hotel/motel tax that does so much for communities. Town Bs also begin with a great idea and a group of VOLUNTEERS who are willing to put legs on the idea…one step at a time.
Of course, none of this is easy. I’ll be the first to tell you that it is sometimes very difficult for all of us who live in small-town Texas to remember just exactly what it is that small-town Texas has to offer visitors who are searching for natural beauty, peace, quiet, nature, lakes, rivers, good food, unique shopping, and as little heritage.
It is also very easy to take for granted just how blessed we are to be able to live and raise our children in these out of the way places where we seldom need to worry about their safety and where good manners are still hanging in there, even if they shake a bit every now and then.
So, the bottom line is that the movers and shakers of individual towns must decide for themselves exactly what it is that they want for their town and then put together the plan that will accomplish their goals, with a lot of hard work, of course!