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The Business Owner that Could Have…Restaurant Tales Part 1

Many times over the past 28 years I have seen small business owners who have been so strong willed and independent that they continually struggle within their business only to create one big mess after another. And thus they leave a trail behind them and accumulation of misfires, mishaps, losses and frustration.

Frustrated Chef Image on Click and Mortar Blog
I am a Frustrated Chef posing as a Restaurant Owner…

Here’s a comment from the diary of one that has lived in the small business trenches for almost three decades… “While you serveth thy client bewareth of the cobwebs, spiders, rusty nails and cracked beams in the basement of marketing that may cometh back to make your work that much more difficult and frustrating ,” – as quoted by The Small Biz Mechanic.

Ok – enough of the commentary, let’s be honest and look at the basics:

1. Some owners are great at sales.

2. Others are great at operations.

3. Some owners are great at finance.

4. While others are great at customer service.

5. Some are even great at marketing, although this seems to be a rarity, especially in this current time of transition to the web.

So with that said – Let us Face the Facts right now!

You are not great at everything. It’s a simple fact and you need to face it and acknowledge it. Pure and simple. Plus once you peal back the layers and come to the realization that you’re not ‘super business man’ or ‘super business woman’, maybe you’ll have an honest sit down with your partner, spouse and/or staff and come to grips with these facts. If you don’t, then you’ll find yourself burning out and becoming less motivated to stay engaged in your enterprise.

Being in small business is tough enough these days without being your own worst enemy. How do I know this? Because I’ve battled it for many years and I see it in many of the privately owned small restaurants that take my money in exchange for good to great food and mediocre service.

I mean how tough can it be for a small café or bistro to put out great food and great service? Well it’s obviously a real challenge for many a small business owner because the Food Network has multiple shows running that are thriving on the mishaps and negligence going on in restaurant land.

I for one experience the ups and downs of these mom and pop café shops as I travel throughout the US and Canada, and it’s amazing to see how an owner and sometimes even a manager can be absent and no where to be seen during the lunch hour.

Great food will go a long way because word of mouth will bring people out of the woodwork, but if service is lackluster then the same word of mouth can put a damper on sales like a rainstorm at an outdoor wedding.

The bottom line…

Whether you own or manage a restaurant or some other kind of small business, work in your strength areas and leave the rest of it to other people who are good to great at the rest. And surround yourself with great people who are great at what they do.

Until next time,

Dave Krygier

Small Business Growth – How to Eliminate the Muck & Mire

Is your small business growing this year and showing an increase in sales or have you come to place where the plateau is everywhere and small business growth is no where to be seen?

The business climate is tough enough as it is these days without having to add a burned out, tired, grumpy owner to the equation. Now this is not always the case but in my experience small business growth or lack of growth is almost always due to the owner and/or managing partner of the enterprise.

On the one hand you have the business owner who gets it, sees the opportunities and then takes action which spurs continual growth. On the other hand you have the business owner who has not a clue about how to increase sales and this might be caused by many things such as burn out, overload or maybe he or she just doesn’t know how to connect with people.

Strange as this all may sound, the land of small business is full of owners and partners who  continue to struggle, fight, kick, scream, yell, and sit in the muck and mire of their own doing. All the while their business sits in limbo or starts in reverse down the hill.

He or she goes day in and day out wondering why ‘things’ aren’t getting better? Why are sales falling or stagnant? Why are we not able to grow and capture more market share?

And then let’s make the situation worse when the excuses arrive at the door and rear their ugly heads to Mr. or Mrs. Small Business Owner. These guys have a way of compounding lack luster sales and turn a temporary situation into what I refer to as chronic excusitis.

It’s like this – when you are in the fishbowl looking out, the world looks a bit weird and distorted. Compound this with all of the above commentary and what do you get?

A big huge mess, that’s what!

So where am I leading with all this? Here it is…

If you and/or your partner or friend or associate has any of the above symptoms, then go get some help! Stop fighting it and find someone who can help you untie all the knots and get your business back on the right track.

Because if you don’t, you’ll most likely end up in the same or worse position moving forward or backward. Plus your business and the people you work with will continue to suffer until they’ve had enough of the grief, stagnation, aggravation and finally leave to seek greener fields.

Ok, enough of the problem – let me share a solution:

1. Admit that you have a problem – whether it be sales, marketing, accounting, operations, all of the above or something else.  Once you admit this and believe me, I know this is not as easy as it sounds because we dealt with this at The TIny Store – make a decision to seek help and then take action to find the best person or persons to help you solve your problem.  Note: this action might take days or weeks to find the right person or team for your business, so be patient. 🙂

2. Take a break and get away from your business for a few days or a long weekend. Get your mind off the business, but be open to fresh ideas and have something to document what might come your way. What I have found is that retreats and seminars can be very helpful to open up new doors and opportunities. If you are lacking the cash for this then go camping, or biking or take a day out at the beach or park. Just find a place to relax and let your mind rest.

3. Tie all of the above together with a commitment to change and take action. Without a commitment and action, you’ll most likely fall back into the muck and mire. The commitment and your sticking with it will make the difference when it comes to small business growth and if your business is going to experience it or not.

If any of the above hit home and you find yourself ready to make the change, SmallBiz Mechanix might be able to offer up some suggestions. Or they can put you in contact with people who might be able to lead you out of the muck and onto the path of growth.

It’s your business, your future and your health.

Take action now!

Dave Krygier

Strengths and Weaknesses & Your Future

We all have strengths and weaknesses yet as small business owners it sometimes seems that the weaknesses can tend to get in the way and even distract us from what we do best.

When I first wrote about this topic a few years ago I myself was in the middle of yet another change and it was a change for the good. A change that allowed me to work in a strength area.

Over the years it had become apparent to me that working in areas that I was weak caused more pain and frustration. So I started to look at ways to work in my strength areas so I could be more productive and enjoy what I was doing.

While at The Tiny Store I was able to focus mostly on sales, marketing and business development, but still had to work on and oversee operations. We had a pretty small staff, usually under 10 people and thus I ended up wearing many different hats and became a plate spinner.

Now before I go on, credit needs to be given where credit is due. John Maxwell is the individual that really brought this whole idea to the surface – Working in ones strength areas versus working in thy weaknesses. At the time he used a scale and it made a lot of sense to me.

Working in your strength areas will take effort. I am the first one to admit that it’s really easy to get sucked back into the areas of your small business that are not strengths but weaknesses.

My suggestion to you is work in the areas or area that you really, truly enjoy.

If you are a marketing fanatic and are really great at it – work in marketing and grow as much as you can. If operations is your passion and you have a desire to grow in this area, then study, work and get busy at becoming the best you can be in small business operations.

To grow in your strength area(s) you’ll need to find help.

Here are a few suggestions: 

1. Outsource your weaknesses to people who specialize in them. It may take some time but you’ll be glad you did. Outsourcing isn’t for everybody but you won’t know if it’s for you until you investigate and see who’s out there.

2. Find an assistant to help with the details and tasks that are dragging you down. This person should be someone you can count on and be willing to teach and can do the work without having to be reminded or babysat.

3. Work and develop your strengths on a daily basis. Get stronger in one area at a time. This takes time and you will need to take the time and not rush it. It’s a daily process making new habits and breaking old ones.

Believe you me I understand how overwhelming it is when it’s You Inc. and everything rides on your shoulders. It’s not easy being self employed – running your own small business.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to grow and focus on your strength areas every day. Take baby steps at first and work at finding people to take care of the areas of your business that are not your strengths.

Your strengths are your future, so begin to focus on them and leave the weaknesses to others. If you need some guidance and help building your strengths – contact The Small Biz Mechanic and ask for the Small Business Strength and Conditioning Plan.

To your strengths,

Dave Krygier