I enjoy watching the genre of reality TV programs where an expert helps owners fix their business. One show, “Restaurant: Impossible,” features an expert who helps a business owner turn around their restaurant with a budget of $10,000 and only 48 hours.

Many aspects of the fix are glossed over in a one-hour show, but three key points are consistently addressed, and they apply to any business.

Know your why. If the reason you have a business is solely to make money, you are likely feeling unfulfilled. And there are much easier and less stressful ways to make money than owning a business. Ask yourself why you started (or purchased) the business. If the needs of the owner and the needs of the business are out of alignment, the result is an underperforming workplace and a passive-aggressive environment. Align your business with your purpose, not the other way around.

Make your offering purposeful. For a restaurant, this means a smaller, straightforward, and focused menu. When the menu features your expertise, service, and quality go up, costs go down, and the price is driven by value (not competition). The same is true for your business. It’s typical for your list of offerings to grow over time to please a customer, but also makes it unwieldy for potential new ones. The more focused and select your offerings, the higher the quality and value you will deliver. Kill legacy items. Focus your “menu” around your competitive advantage. Learn to say no.

Know your numbers. In many of the episodes, the owner doesn’t know their revenues and their costs in the worst cases. As a company ages, particularly if financial performance is not up to expectations, discouragement can cause one to stop looking closely at the numbers. In a restaurant, this problem manifests in items on the menu that are sold at a loss, and unsurprisingly these are often the most popular items. The same is true for your business. What are the margins on the specific products or services you sell? Do you sell strategically or just whatever the customer will buy? Are you focused on gross margin without adequately calculating the burden? Do discounts or “loss leaders” generate sufficient sales to make them worthwhile, or are you just stacking promotions?

Your business is likely neither a restaurant nor on the brink of failure, but these keys are essential to us all. If you feel like you have been pretending that everything is “fine,” it is time for a “tune-up” to get back on track. If your work environment is more passive-aggressive than passionate, I can help you have more fun and make more money.

Let’s talk. Set up a day and time on my schedule by clicking here.



“A well-run restaurant is like a winning baseball team.
It makes the most of every crew member’s talent
and takes advantage of every split-second opportunity
to speed up service.”

– David Ogilvy

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