About Your Soon-to-Fail Business…

27 Sep

Political-pictures-subway-biohazard-drill-oblivious Dear coffee shop owner,

I watched you try to kill your business today and couldn’t help myself from eavesdropping. As I sit in your mostly empty shop I couldn’t help but think about what a great little location you have, right on the main drag in a hip new mixed-use neighborhood, up the street from the theater, across from a major grocery store. Indeed, you have some good foot traffic, as evidenced by the dozen or so people who came in between 2 and 3 p.m. today.

But you probably missed that as you were head-down in deep discussion with the rep from Delta Sky Miles trying to sign you up for a $5k weekly commitment for their email program. You were concerned about the cost vs. the return of the program. Yet you’ve paid no attention to harnessing all that you already own to drive more business.True, you do encourage people to share your web site on Facebook and Twitter with those tiny little logos on the front page. But you’re nowhere to be found on either. If I wanted to check in here on Facebook or FourSquare, I draw a blank on search results.

Those hundreds of people walking by your store can see a couple fliers taped to your window (ugh) and a free WiFi banner. But there’s no visible suggestion to find your online. Nor are customers urged to follow you on Twitter for special offers and announcements, like your new flavors.

Now you’re lamenting to the sales rep the high food cost and waste. Hmm, instead of your two employees staring at the ceiling, could they instead be kicking out a special offer via Twitter for the next two hours on those cup cakes starting to near the end of their shelf life?

You have some interesting events here too, like cupcake decorating classes. I know that from your web site, so kudos. But I don’t see any pictures. Would it kill you to post a half-dozen shots on Facebook and tag your best customers? Heck, maybe even offer them a discount on a half-dozen cupcakes if their friends come in and say they saw the pictures.

Your shop built into several hundred brand new apartments, all less than a five minutes walk from your front door. Yet your online ordering is clumsy and hard to find. Seriously, how hard would it be to offer people to start their day with the delivery of a couple fresh cup cakes and hot coffee?

No, instead of thinking about any of this you’re busy talking about the next Groupon knock-off and email programs that will hit me seven times in the next month. Sad.

I would have gladly mentioned all of this to you, as your were sitting three feet from me. But you never bothered to ask how I was doing, of if I enjoyed your products. Well, it was nice visiting your store. I wonder what will open here next.