Personas + User Journeys
User journeys of the personas: Juan, “The Observer,” and Anna, “The Advocate.”
Juan, “The Observer”
Small business owner just making ends meet.
Age: 40 years old
Location: Long Island City, NYC
3 years in business
Hires 4 part-time employees
Archetype: The Observer
He is the owner of a Mexican restaurant. What inspired him to open his business was that every time he would go back from Mexico to visit his family, he would miss the authentic Mexican food that he couldn’t find anywhere in New York.
He wears many hats to run his business. He is the chef, manages the restaurant, and does the bookkeeping.
During the summer months, a lot of his loyal customers are away. There are a lot of new corporate buildings in his neighborhood, but they don’t know about his place and he can’t afford to spend money on marketing.
He is also struggling to pay his rent. During the low season months, it has been very difficult to keep paying his bills on time.
Learn from other business owners.
Improve his business
Lack of time.
1. Peter invites Juan
Peter, the owner of the coffee shop near Juan, invites him for an event for business owners in the area. He shares a brochure with more details, says the event is for business owners to get to know each other, share challenges and brainstorm solutions together. Juan is curious and hopeful, he thinks:
“I have been feeling very lonely lately and would love to share how I feel. It could be useful to learn from other business owners. I don’t have a lot of time, but Peter tells me we could meet during slow business hours, the meeting is just 1-hour long and is nearby.”
2. First Meeting: Juan meets other business owners
Juan goes to the meeting at Peter’s coffee shop and meets other business owners in his neighborhood. Attendees introduce themselves, telling what inspired them to open their business. Juan thinks:
“Interesting people and stories.”
3. Peter goes over the agenda and explains the Local Biz Collective Toolkit
Peter goes over an agenda and tells them what to expect from this meeting. Peter tells the group he is using a toolkit by Local Biz Collective that was created to guide group discussions that help business owners in gentrified neighborhoods to connect and work together to solve their challenges. Juan thinks:
“This meeting is well structured and focused. I’m glad someone is leading this meeting with this toolkit that explains what we need to do. I’ve never done anything like this before.”
4. Juan share his challenges and listens to the group’s challenges
During the first activity, as attendees are sharing their challenges, Juan realizes that they all share similar challenges. He shares that it has been difficult to pay rent, and Laura, another business owner tells him:
“We have the same landlord, you should try re-negotiating your rent. I did this a few months ago and it worked. I can tell more about after this meeting.”
“These people feel the same way I do. We are facing similar business’ challenges. I didn’t think I could re-negotiate my rent. I learned something new today.”
5. The group brainstorm ideas together
During the second activity, participants brainstorm ideas for their challenges. Again they share and group these ideas together. Juan thinks:
“My challenges don’t feel as impossible to solve now that I have a team to work with.”
6. The group chooses one idea to work together next time they meet
In the final activity, they choose one idea they would like to work together next time they meet. Since the lack of customers during summer time was their main issue, they decided to pick the “Target corporate offices” idea. They exchanged contact information and make a plan to meet next month to work further on this idea. Juan thinks:
“I look forward to our next meeting.”
7. Juan meets Laura
Laura invites Juan for coffee to talk about how she asked their landlord to lower the rent and invites Juan for them to do a collaboration together. She wants to create a special doughnut to be sold on both their restaurants. Juan loves the idea and says yes. Juan thinks:
“This is a great opportunity to get extra exposure to my business.”
8. Juan talks with his landlord and gets a rent reduction
Thanks to Laura’s advice, Juan finally feels encouraged to talk with his landlord to re-negotiate his rent. His landlord agrees and Juan is thrilled. Juan thinks:
“I really feel supported by my local community.”
9. Follow-up meetings
Participants continue to meet up for 1 hour on a monthly basis. The toolkit helps them to stay on track and guides them to assign tasks and roles to each other. Juan thinks:
“The toolkit has helped us to work collaboratively and stay focused throughout this process.”
10. They implement their idea
They create a coupon discount card listing all their businesses to be distributed to local corporate offices, and by using their network they are able to find a contact person in most of these companies to spread the word.
“I’m so proud of the work we have done.”
11. Juan’s restaurant is very busy during summertime
As a result, they have more customers and the summertime is not an issue anymore. Juan’s restaurant is busier than it has ever been.
“I’m so happy to have this team in my neighborhood. I couldn’t have solved this challenge by myself.”
Anna, “The Advocate”
Volunteer at a non-profit organization.
35 years old
Location: West Village, NYC
Anna is a volunteer for a local non-organization in the West Village that helps preserve small businesses.
Recently a lot of the old shops have been closing due to gentrification and rent increases.
She feels that the sense of community in her neighborhood has been lost.
Many new businesses are popping up, but she doesn’t really know them as she used to know the old businesses.
Bring back the sense of community to her neighborhood.
Help preserve small businesses.
Understand small business challenges to be able to help them.
Connect with new businesses.
She never moderated a workshop.
1. Anna learns about Local Biz Collective toolkit
Anna receives an email about a toolkit by Local Biz Collective that was created to guide group discussions that help business owners in gentrified neighborhoods to connect and work together to solve their challenges. She goes to the website to learn more.
“This toolkit can be very useful to my work helping small businesses.”
2. Gets the tools
She downloads the kit and reads the instructions.
“This is so easy to follow, these are very useful tips on how to run these meetings and inspire people to participate.”
3. Moderate meetings
She facilitates meetings with small businesses over the course of several months and helps them implementing an idea. The idea is to create a West Village Alliance and a website that lists all the local businesses, offers discounts to local residents, and takes donations to help sustain the website and seasonal events to promote the local businesses.
“The meetings are productive and effective.”
“The toolkit helps to build a collaborative team and increases community engagement.”
“I now know more about the current challenges small businesses are facing to better assist them.”
4. Encourages business owners to stay on track
At the end of each meeting, participants make a plan to meet again and have a plan of next steps, in which they split tasks between each other.
“By splitting the workload, their idea becomes possible to achieve.”
5. Teaches the tools to business owners
Anna teaches participants how to use the tools. They no longer need Anna to facilitate their meetings because now they learned how to run these meetings themselves. Now Anna has time to continue her work by reaching out to more small businesses.
“I want to empower business owners to advocate for themselves.”
6. Makes an impact
The business owners group, that Anna helped to create, implements their idea. Business owners feel supported and happy with the success of their idea. Anna shares their idea in the Local Biz Collective website.
“I feel proud of my work and empowered to continue helping other businesses.”