The recent renaissance of artisan coffee shops, small gyms and other craft businesses isn’t random or unexpected.
In today’s highly modernised, fast-forward and anonymous world of social media, people unconsciously seek for small imperfections, a human touch, an authentic chat and a genuine smile. At first it seems to go against logic that customers choose a local places with tiny, uncomfortable chairs and often slow service over a spacious, luxurious, multicultural coffee lounge and an underheated garage fitness studio with little equipment over a 5 star global gym. There is, hovewer, logic in this madness.
Big, multimillion companies can offer beautiful interiors , very fast service and professional and state of art equipment.
It looks good from the outside but the underlying goal is always the same: to get the biggest return possible for greedy shareholders. This leads to the automation of the work place, boardroom stress, overworked employees and a lack of integrity and authenticity.
For example, did you know that gym chains do all they can to discourage their members from visiting the gym? Their ideal client is someone who buys a 1 year membership and then never turns up. This is the reason they can sell 6k cheap memberships with a place only big enough to accommodate 200. They are there not for the benefit of their clients but for financial gain.
In opposition to that, the majority of local owners aren’t in the business because they want a Ferrari and a condo in LA. These lunatics are prepared to work very long hours, day after day, teaching, selling, advertising, mopping and cleaning because they love what they do, they love helping and love creating communities.
The biggest advantages of a small, family run place are its atmosphere, great service and honesty. Customers don’t mind sharing a table with a bunch of strangers when they feel that the place is authentic.
No Wi-Fi is not a problem anymore, just chat with others, share experiences, exchange ideas. People are even prepared to pay higher prices and wait in long queues in return for being served by the owner who will remember their name and will ask about their mum’s health on the next visit.
That’s what matters. That’s where the future is. Don’t be a number in the shareholder’s return. Promote local independent businesses and grow with them.
Strong Body, Open Mind, Beautiful Soul.