Imagine for a moment that you run a restaurant.
You desperately need to get more bums on seats on a regular basis. You’ve got lots of salespeople phoning up offering advertising deals that are at best likely to be marginally effective. What will you decide to spend your precious advertising budget on?
Here are some insights from Restaurant Doctor, Bill Marvin which have application for many small businesses:
“Instead of being one more chirping mouth crying, ‘Feed me, feed me,’ what if you took that wasteful broad-based advert money and applied it in a different way?
- What if you paid the premium to get a higher level of talent and culinary consciousness in your kitchen?
- What if you increased the quality of the ingredients you use rather than cutting back?
- What if you gave some of that money back to your current guests in the form of unexpected extra surprises?
- What if you gave your regulars an incentive to bring their friends and neighbours so every seat at every table was occupied?
- What if you put an additional person on the front door so arriving guests would never have to wait for someone to greet them warmly and personally?
- What if you took care of all the deferred maintenance you hardly notice anymore, but which causes you to look shabby and makes your guests uncomfortable?”
Sounds a lot smarter than discount coupons, doesn’t it?
You can learn a lot from looking at other businesses you are familiar with and thinking about how they can attract more customers, foster repeat business and stimulate positive word-of-mouth. Once you go through this exercise you tend to be better placed to see your own business through fresh eyes.