Recently a brand new place to eat, primarily for breakfast and lunch, opened up where we live, Port Coquitlam, BC. Today, my wife and I decided to visit for lunch.
The place is called Jimmy’s Lunchbox and they have been opened for a couple of months in downtown Port Coquitlam. There was a lineup for tables. Not that unusual as it was a Sunday afternoon. They had advised us the wait would be a minimum of 30-minutes.
We could have certainly gone somewhere else for lunch as there are dozens of restaurants nearby as we are a suburb of Vancouver with the borders of the different communities really obscured in this mega area. However, we decided to stay and wait.
Saw a few people come, informed of the wait by staff and then leave not waiting to support a local business.
How many of us complain that we get no support from local people when we have a business? How many of us have distressed about the lack of business from the local population? Why do we look at the sky and shake our heads when friends, relatives and neighbours do not use our products and services?
I would have no way of absolutely confirming if the people which walked away were from the community. However, knowing how small the community actually is and where Jimmy’s is located you pretty much have to be from the community. I recognized one of them. They did not see me waiting in the corner.
Why am I bringing this up? Well, if you are not supporting your local community, why should they support you?
My wife and I shop as much as we can in our community. Our doctors and dentists are in the community. Our vet is here as is our little independent Lumber yard which we always support instead of going to the big box stores in the neighbouring community. The pubs and restaurants are numerous. I am even member of the local Chamber of Commerce and hold a Networking Event in a private room that is attached to one of those pubs, in my own community.
Business is based on not only who you know, but more importantly who knows you. This is no mystery if you have ever done any reading on business. If potential prospects, see you in the community they are more likely to deal with you as you are a member of the same group as they are.
I cannot begin to tell you how many times my wife and I are out doing something and someone comes up to me for a quick hello or chat. My wife’s response is always: “Do you know everyone in PoCo?”
For complete transparency, sometimes I have no idea who these people are, however, they will say: “I saw you at _______.”, “I heard you speak at (some event).”
This particular day, was no different. A gentleman by himself came up to us and said: “I have seen you guys somewhere else and just don’t remember.” The most important word in his statement is…seen. We had a great conversation while waiting, which continues as he was seated at the table next to us. Still have no idea where he saw us. Had a great meal with phenomenal service in a very comfortable atmosphere and did not have to drive out of our community. I would certainly call it a win/win.
The question becomes very clear, where are you being seen?