business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Content Guy’s Note: You seemed to like it last week, so let’s try it again. Below is a commentary on the same subject as the video piece, but it isn’t word-for-word the same. You can look at both, or is up to you. I look forward to hearing from you.

About a week ago, Mrs. Content Guy and I went out to dinner. We went to a local place where she likes the lobster sliders and I like the beer. It was still reasonably early when we got there and we had our choice of tables, so I steered us into the bar. I like high bar tables, and Mrs. Content Guy likes me, so she went along with me.

About halfway through the meal, though, the bar started filling up, there were people all around our table, it was quite noisy, and Mrs. Content Guy suggested that maybe next time we could go sit in the dining room section, where things tend to be quieter.

We’ve had this discussion before, and it is one of those things about which we disagree. She likes quieter restaurants and a more peaceful dining experience, and I tend to like a bit of hubbub, a bit of noise.

Thinking about it, I realize that the reason for this likely is that I generally work by myself - I’m a writer, and that’s what I do. (Okay, I sometimes talk to Sansolo several times a day. But that’s by phone. Usually, it is just me and my laptop.) Mrs. Content Guy, on the other hand, is a third grade teacher - she’s surrounded by rug rats all day, and it is no wonder she likes a bit of quiet when the day is done.

It seems to me that this is an opportunity. I’ve read that more than 20 million people work from home at least one day a week, and the recession has meant that more people than ever do not go to an office or place of business each day. That means that a lot of people are missing the community of work, and that is something that retailers of various types - supermarkets, c-stores, restaurants, even barber shops - are uniquely positioned to provide. If they put their minds to it.

Think about it. Are there ways that your business can offer a sense of community - an ability to connect - to people who need it more than ever? I’m not talking “singles nights,” which was popular a few years ago, but something less trendy, more enduring, and potentially more significant to the people for whom it is designed.

That’s what is on my mind this morning.

As always, I want to know what is on yours.
KC's View: