I've always admired Tom Lynch. His — and his son's — Woodhouse-Lynch Clothiers carried the very finest menswear that Columbus ever deserved.

By that, I mean, it was the top rack in any serious businessman's closet. Not the goofy runway fashions, no sir. Dependable woolen and tweedy stuff. Three button suits, OK. Four-button? Keep on walking, you hipster.

I'm glad to have a closet full of my father's (and a few of my own) suits with the "Woodhouse" label.

When Woodhouse-Lynch closed its doors, it did so because the times had changed. (Men just weren't wearing as many suits.) And the owners were willing to change with the times — by closing. I've already written about that.

(That was back in February 2008, months before I realized that I would make a similar decision, folding my business into People To My Site on April 1st.)

Swing That Broom
Tom Lynch would often be seen sweeping the sidewalk in front of his store.

It's a good business decision to keep one's front of house clean.

But it's a great business decision to do it yourself. Because, as anyone downtown on East Broad Street could tell you, Tom Lynch was always there to say hello and how are you.

Was it just because he's a kind-hearted fellow? Yes.

And it was because it's good for business to remind folks that — like the wee creatures in Horton Hears A Who — "We are here. We are here."

Tom's warm, caring personality would simply sweep me into conversation. And, as if with a broom, if there was clothing I wanted, the conversation would sweep me into Woodhouse-Lynch.

There's A New Broom In Town
A few days ago, I was walking on Main Street in Bexley's central business district — a pretty fancy name for a nice row of shops at Drexel and Main Streets.

There in front of Star Jewelers was the proprietor and master jeweler, Dennis Howard.

Sweeping the sidewalk in front of his lovely shop.

A few thoughts crossed my mind:

  1. Sure, if business were booming, Dennis wouldn't have time to sweep. He'd be up to his eyeballs in tiny projects. Perhaps he'd have to pay someone else to do it.
  2. But business isn't booming anywhere, so it surely isn't booming in the jewelry market. So he has time to sweep.
  3. And, rather than spending that time staring at the merchandise, he's taken to the street — á la Tom Lynch — and he is reminding all of us, "We are here. We are here."

I walked up to him with such energy and admiration for his entrepreneurial spirit that I might have caught him by surprise. It's a little weird to be congratulated for sweeping the sidewalk. Especially if you are a master craftsman in gems.

Broomstick Marketing
As we dive headlong into challenging economic times, we have to ask: in our own businesses, what is our version of Broomstick Marketing?

Are we entrepreneurial enough to find the broomstick?

And are we marketers enough to start sweeping?