Don't you hate when one side criticizes the plan of the other without offering a plan of their own? Me, too. But I know why they do it. It is easier to rip someone else apart, than it is to counter with a plan of your own.
The same is true in retail. It is easier to blame the _____________ (economy? local government? weather? federal government? competition? customer base? suppliers?) than to develop your own plan to deal with each issue.
"To open a shop is easy. To keep it open, an art." -Chinese Proverb
The best way to be successful is to have a plan. Have a counter proposal to any obstacle life may throw your way.
Even if all you do is think it through in your head, you are light years ahead of the shops that don't have a plan.
Tonight, before you go to bed, say to yourself, "If _________ happens, our plan will be to do ___________." Pick one issue every night and think it through. The next morning spend a few minutes writing it down. Then you'll be ready for anything that comes your way.
In spite of a bad economy, some businesses thrive.
In spite of the government, some businesses thrive.
In spite of the weather, some businesses thrive.
In spite of the competition, some businesses thrive.
In spite of a shrinking customer base, some businesses thrive.
In spite of supplier issues, some businesses thrive.
Be one of those thriving businesses. Have a plan.
PS If you want to win my vote, don't tell me what the other guy will do. Tell me what you're going to do (and how it will benefit me). Wouldn't that be a fun campaign if both sides took that approach? Yeah, they tell us that will never happen and that is not how to win an election. But what if...
PPS Whatever you do, however, don't you start mudslinging your competition. While it may work to win an election, it never works to win a customer.