Recruiters Websites is located in a small college town. The posted population is just under 40,000; however, our local chamber of commerce reports that on any given weekday during the school year, there are as many as 100,000 people within city limits. While there is a vibrant downtown district and numerous parks and establishments throughout, there are really only a couple of major roads running, intersecting at a fairly busy hub of restaurants, pharmacies and other shops and stores. Just west of this intersection, directly off perhaps the more trafficked of the two roads, is a decent sized plat that has served as the location to numerous restaurants throughout the years. From burger joints to casual dining to Italian chain restaurants, restaurants came and restaurants failed.
It wasn’t until a few years ago when IHOP announced they would be occupying this black hole of restaurants that something changed. IHOP certainly didn’t bring fare that was filling some empty niche (we had two successful breakfast restaurants, both closer to interstate access). IHOP knew there was more than enough business to go around, but with their clout they were able to resolve what those other restaurants couldn’t fix.
Recognizing the Problem
If traveling east on the road, the major intersection would lie only about a tenth of a mile in front of you when you passed the IHOP. The IHOP would be on your left. Today, if you wished to turn left and enjoy a stack of pancakes, you would only have to throw on your turn signal and wait for traffic to clear before crossing the westbound lanes and pulling into the parking lot. However, before the IHOP arrived, there was no way to turn left into that same parking lot. A long concrete island stretching all the way from the intersection blocked access from travelers in the eastbound lane. IHOP recognized this immediately. They insisted the barrier be removed, or they wouldn’t move forward with the project.
What It Means
IHOP is a powerhouse of a restaurant compared to previous occupants of the space. But even IHOP knew their name and market saturation was not enough to overcome the problem of physical access. They understood that many people were not going to go out of their way to change their course across a busy intersection just to eat there. There was too much other competition that would prove to be far more convenient.
Make Your Organization Visible and Accessible
What does this mean for you? To put it bluntly, a great reputation and a long established history in the industry can be selling points; however, it doesn’t matter if clients never find you. Access is vital. Can you be easily found, and if you can be easily found, can you be easily accessed. In website terms, this speaks to marketing and functionality. Are you getting your name in front of new clients? Is your website ranking well on Google and other search engines? When visitors land on your website, is it responsive to whether they are on a phone, tablet or desktop computer? IHOP understood that in order to succeed they had to be visible and accessible. If you are interested in success, follow their lead. Make your organization visible. And when they get to your website, be sure that it offers them the convenience they expect.