First the story, then the tips.
We are going to start this blog with a fun exercise. Read this word: Triskelion. Now keep reading and I'll get back to that in a bit.
So, this last Sunday night I ventured into the distance with one sole purpose: to support some fellow artists.
Let's face it, although I hate to say it, I'm absolutely a 'manhattan guy'. I have lived here for almost seven years now, and I can count how many times I've been to brooklyn on one hand, and I have a finger or two left. I'm one of those people that gets nervous two hours after leaving town, and usually want to be back in NY at latest three days after I've left on vacation.
Needless to say, for me to venture out of the island is a big deal.
So, when I heard a former teacher of mine had started her own school, and I would be able to see some old classmates of mine dancing in her show, I figured this was a special enough event.
So I headed out to the unknown.
I figured BK is similar enough to Manhattan that I wouldn't have any issues, but still I did prepare a bit, read the simple directions from the theater's website, however unfortunately I did this at home on my computer and not on my phone. Boy, was that a mistake?!
Unfortunately finding the theater was IMPOSSIBLE. Even having a slight idea of what block the theater was on was completely useless, by the time I made it to the general vicinity, I tried to pull this information up once more, which proved to be impossible.
WHY, might you ask?
Without cheating, can you remember that word I had you read at the beginning of this post? I didn't think so.
I couldn't google search and/or map it because the theater's name is hard to remember, spell or even pronounce (to ask the neighboring businesses if they knew where it was).
I pulled up my ticket purchase receipt in my email, but in it there were no directions, no address, or links to the theater website. You could get to the theater name and address after following a few links, so i typed it into my google maps after a few minutes of walking around ans asking people who walked by if they knew about this place....
But even google couldn't find a feasible way to reach this location as it is smack dab in the CENTER of the block.
I asked a good 15 people in the area how to get there (the blue stars on the map represent where I asked some people and nearby businesses). Nobody knew. Not the businesses, the nail salon ladies, the passer by-ers, a restaurant manager at the corner. NOBODY, not even the neighbors, nobody knew about this place.
I found the theater info finally, in the event page the ticket selling service had. The only listed number was the school director -obviously unavailable at the moment- as she would be overseeing the show.
I called my friends who I was supposed to meet there for their assistance, but they had just gone through a similar experience and couldn't help me, since they themselves had no idea how they managed to get in (they came in through some backstage door).
Mind you its cold and rainy 3 degree weather, on a dark winter sunday evening (7pm)
So finally after 30 minutes of walking in circles around the block and after i had almost given up, lost my ticket money, and was completely furious, I found some people throwing out some garbage out of one of those industrial doors in the same block the theater was allegedly on, and they 'thought maybe' the door was just a few steps down but 'weren't quite sure' (mind you these are people who work in the same building).
So I carefully scan the dark, unlit, abandoned building looking wall to my right, and I see this dark metal door with a sad handpainted sign with absolutely no light on it, or ANYTHING that might indicate this was place of business, let alone one in working hours.
I had planned to get there 15 minutes early to have a chat with my friends before the show, but I ended up getting to the theater 3 minutes before the end of the first act. That's half the show I missed.
I said hi to the director briefly, and told her I had a lot of trouble finding the place, and she said "everyone had issues finding it".
Some signs your business need help standing out are:
I don't like to criticize something unless I have an actual idea of how to make it better, so here are my:
10 Ways To Make Your Business Stand Out
I know things cost money, and the economy is currently not the best for business owners, but if you have some drive, you can either do most of these yourself for under 50 dollars, or perhaps raise some funds from your current clientele. A minimal investment might bring you more business.
I hope these tips help a business owner who has no idea why people can't find their establishment, or why their neighbors have no idea their business exists.
D a e v i d M e n d i v i l
is a NYC-based multi-disciplinary artist in the visual and performing arts, creating expressive works through dance, photography, painting, film & design. www.Daevid.net