A reason to come

Near my office is a cafe that has practically no foot traffic, is almost always empty and changes hands every year or so. For each new owner the temptation is obvious – a fully fitted kitchen & cafe with low rent. There’s also a conceit – ‘I can run this business better than the last guy’.

Sadly each of the three owners I’ve met ran the cafe in exactly the same way – as a completely conventional cafe inviting passers-by to drop in for a coffee or light snack. It’s a business model that requires plentiful prospective customers and a scarcity of competition. Funnily enough, that kind of location doesn’t come with low rent.

“Build it and they will come” doesn’t apply for any business – you need to give people a good reason to visit. A reason worth stopping what they were doing, traveling at their cost to your business and giving you their hard-earned cash. If you don’t know what that reason is, your prospective customers certainly don’t.