Who's Paying Attention?
Several weeks ago, a local coffee shop closed. No, scratch that, THE local coffee shop closed. I don't know for sure why they closed because they always seemed to have a steady flow of customers drinking expensive coffee, sharing the WiFi, and having conversations.
Besides the customers, though, I don't think anyone else paid any attention to the closing.
Within a couple of blocks, there are at least three cafés, each one struggling to remain open, any of which could have likely scooped up the now-homeless customers who were looking for great coffee and a "third place" to hang out.
Instead, the biz owners seemed to presume the potential customers would naturally come their way, apparently by osmosis.
If they'd been paying attention, they'd have noticed the potential customers preferred high-quality coffee.
All three cafés still serve a beverage that on a good day might pass as a coffee substitute, but something no one would cross the street for.
If they'd been paying attention, they'd have noticed the potential customers preferred an upscale-ish environment.
All three cafés are hanging on to their "historical" (I'd call it worn out) decor and are airing either TV news or diner-oldies tunes.
If they'd been paying attention, they'd have noticed the potential customers preferred high-speed internet access and plentiful power outlets to plug into.
All three cafés have limited or no internet access and well-hidden outlets that are scarce.
Too often, leaders and business owners are so invested in keeping their own niche floating, they don't poke their heads out of the box to see what's going on around them. With some effort, any of the three cafés could have become the new hang-out for these mostly-millennial customers.
But apparently, no one was paying attention.