Do you buy "in-house"?

One of my store fronts is in a great traffic location. No, it’s not out in the middle of the road. The shopping center in which we are located gets a lot of pedestrian traffic walking in front of the store. I see customers and other shopping center employees crisscrossing all day long.

What struck me as odd the other morning was an employee of the grocery store anchor walking by. It was his return trip that really caught my attention. He had what appeared to be a sub and a drink from the deli located in our shopping center. Yes, this was around lunch time.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

His store offers a full service deli . . . in-house. Assuming this was for himself, why did he go elsewhere when he should be able to get the comparable product from his own business? That $5 he chose to spend somewhere else is now gone. Multiply that by the number of customers a day times the number of days a year they are open and soon that $5 trip turns into a large sum of cash.

Are your employees spending their dollars someplace else? Do you know why? Have you tried to change that? Have you asked them? What are you missing?

These are key questions leaders need to answer.

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