I’ve been working for 3 years to open a HUB in my community. We opened for a short time 2 years ago. It’s felt like there was lots of interest but little support.
After we shut down, I took a deep dive into HUBs. All kinds of HUBs. All over the world. Within the past month, as preparation for being on a panel at a conference, I took a road trip and visited several HUBs in my Province.
Some were thriving. Some were struggling. Some were doing okay.
What was the difference?
The difference was the attitude and focus of the leaders.
In the successful spaces, the focus was on the user – their needs, making them feel welcome and really caring how they are doing. Everyone knew what everyone else was working on and everyone was ready to lend a hand.
In the struggling spaces, the focus was on the place, the amenities and how they contributed to making the space pay for itself.
In the successful spaces, people genuinely cared about how you were doing, how you could get the most out of the place and what else you needed.
One of the most successful is the new Halifax Central Library. I was there mid afternoon on a Tuesday and the place was humming.
There were people reading, surfing the web, talking and staring out the window. I saw a couple of groups working together, there were people in tete a tete, maybe tutoring. There were clearly many business meetings. What a great place to meet up, I know, I had a meeting there the week before.
Two staff reached out to me with help. It wasn’t urgent enough for me to ask for help, but in both cases it made my experience a little easier and better. I was using the self checkout on the 3rd floor and one of the staff came over to tell me that machine required that I push the books in all the way to desensitize them for the alarm. Then, I stopped to pay my fine and the woman offered me a bag for my armload of books. I know, I should know better than to go to a library without a bag.
What does this all mean for your business?
Focus on your customers not your business. Ask them how they are doing. Why are they buying that dress? What made them want a haircut today? What are they building with that lumber and in that case, did you need these longer screws? What’s next in your business or life? How can I help you with that?
You will be amazed at how easy it is to help people and give them exactly the experience they need. All the fancy marketing in the world can’t beat this strategy for business growth.
May is Priority Month. You already know what to do, you have the long list to prove it. Which should you do first? Where should you put your energy and time to get the best results? That’s what we’ll work on this month. Sign up for the newsletter here for tips, hints, resources and ideas on our monthly theme.
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