Cape Cod is making a few headlines on the population front. All the towns on the Cape, make up Barnstable County. Established in 1685, that makes us the oldest county in New England. Since 2000, Barnstable County is the only county in New England where the population is actually shrinking. There are now more deaths than births on the Cape. With little affordable housing, younger people are leaving for more affordable places to live. That leaves us with an aging population.
Since I’m the “Upholstery Blog”, I should try to make sense out of all this, in relation to the upholstery trade, here on the Cape. Younger people have traditionally made up a smaller amount of my customer base. My customer base is made up mostly of middle age to people in their eighties. So even without a younger population, business should be great, right. Well, I’m not so sure about that. I’ve already had customers faced with having their savings depleted because of a spouse in need of medical or nursing home care. Retirement savings have dwindled due to the poor return on investments the last several years. So that’s beginning to look like my customer base may be slowly narrowing down to the middle aged group.
This is why the Internet is so helpful now. I can reach so many more potential customers. I wrote a blog titled “Upholsterer on the Internet” a while back. I really think my survival on Cape Cod, as a self employed upholsterer, will depend more and more on the internet. Reaching locals and second home owners alike. Most second home owners live in other states, so a web presence is critical. The ironic thing with the second home owner, that lives off Cape, is that they tend to be a “younger” customer.
In the years to come, I wonder what statistic this local Cape Cod upholsterer will become part of.