I just saw that another business (a dessert shop) was closing after a very short time in business in Hub City. It's a shame not everyone's dreams come true.

So what do I know about running a business in the Hub City? Well, I run one that's going into its 15th year, and I ran another that I sold off after a year to pursue another business elsewhere. More than that, I've worked with hundreds, if not thousands of businesses as part of my job. Some of these things are pretty universal, and some are somewhat unique to Lubbock.

Location Matters

The town is moving. Everything is headed west. If you're not in the west, you may already be at a disadvantage. This doesn't mean you have no hope because there are hot spots in other areas of town, but don't assume that people in Lubbock will travel out of their way. They won't. People here live in tiny bubbles and consider anything 10 minutes away as "far."

Get It Right the First Time

Everyone gets a fair shot out of the box in Lubbock (I love that about our town), but they will absolutely not come back a second time unless you impress the heck out of them on that first visit. I can't tell you how many businesses I've seen here with lines around the building during their first month, then nobody there after six weeks.

Advertise

Yes, I'm in the advertising business, but that doesn't mean I'm biased. If you can't afford to advertise, then you either need to wait until you can or get every single friend and neighbor to stand on the street corners with signs. We all want to think that we still live in the times when people notice something new going up, but we don't. Lubbock is a little too large for people to notice subtle changes like that anymore.

Don't Be "Too Hip for the Room"

You're in Lubbock, Texas. People here are a bit isolated. Many people who populate Lubbock are from towns even smaller than Lubbock. I'm not demeaning the locals at all, but they're not as urbane as you might think. Trying to capitalize on trends that are just now catching on in larger areas may be way ahead of the curve here. Lubbock probably wouldn't support a one-stop Pierogi shop.

Prepare to Adapt

I'll make this simple with an analogy. If you own a pizza place but everybody raves about your wings, you need to become a wing place pretty quick. A lot of us have had our hearts set on doing one thing really well but then found out the adjacent lanes are the ones we need to be traveling on.

Network

I've found that businesses around here tend to be very helpful with one another. One of my favorite lessons I've learned lately is, "if you have a problem, there's a good chance someone else has already solved it." Lean on your neighbors and other businesses. If you run a dessert place, then have the pizza place next door let you put coupons over there, and vice-versa.

Lubbock Is Incredibly Business-Friendly

I've run the gamut of city departments from codes to fire inspections and more. These things can be very frustrating because you just want to get going, but trust me, you can learn so much from these people. Most people in the city want you to succeed (if for no other reason than they don't have to deal with you anymore). I was always greeted with smiles, help, and suggestions in my dealings with the city. I'm going to straight-up say that it was surprising how cordial and helpful the staff downtown is.

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