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Entitlement to continued business

Like many things that seem to get me thinking lately, it all started with a tweet:

I completely agree with the sentiment: Blockbuster should give up. I haven’t used the company’s services since high school, and I find Netflix‘s services to be what I need.

With that said, the larger issue for me here was a sense that a business is not entitled to continue to be in business. Yet I think a lot of businesses operate with that mentality.  Heck, even Netflix has had some challenges to its continued operations, yet it has survived, at least for another day.

I’m sure not all businesses — or the executives who run them — truly believe they are entitled to continued business. But I can’t help but feel that way, especially in regard to large chain corporations. (Perhaps it’s just their actions that make it seem that way.)

What would a business look like if it didn’t operate with that mentality of being entitled to continued business?

There are a few in Milwaukee that I would say don’t express (or can’t be inferred that they have) an entitlement to continue to operate. Those three would be AJ Bombers, Streetza Pizza* and Coa**.

All three have espoused a strategy of making their customers feel like they are a part of the business and the brand, and I think that helps to lay the foundation that says these businesses and their owners do not have a sense of entitlement.

(I also can’t help but feel there is a tangential point to be made about customer service, but I’ll leave that for someone else to make.)

* Streetza Pizza is the only one of the three examples I have not partaken in. But, following along on Twitter, I get the feeling it can be included in this list.

** There are certainly many more Milwaukee examples. But, being a foodie, these were the first that came to mind. If you have more local examples, feel free to leave in the comments.

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