How Simple Can You Make Your Business?
GUEST POST from Shep Hyken
I love good barbeque. I live in St. Louis, which is famous for some of the best BBQs in the world! Really! We have a number of restaurants that have competed in worldwide competitions and come back with the first-place trophy.
My friend Norman Beck loves BBQ, too. Living in Texas, he’s also exposed to some of the best BBQ in the world, although I’ll argue it’s second to St. Louis. He teased me the other day by sending pictures of dinners featuring brisket, ribs, sausage and delicious side dishes from award-winning Hutchins BBQ in North Texas. He also included a description of its marketing plan.
According to Beck, the marketing plan is simple:
- Cook the best BBQ in Texas. My comment: Always do your best. Beck said the owner has one goal, “Be a little better today than you were yesterday.” That’s a great goal. Even if you don’t hit it, trying makes a big difference.
- Sell it at a fair price. My comment: A fair price doesn’t mean the lowest price. When you sell a good product, the price is less relevant.
- Be nice to everyone. My comment: This is customer service 101. It’s the basics. If you have the best BBQ but treat people with disrespect, you won’t be nearly as successful. And when you combine friendly service with a great product, price becomes even less relevant. People will pay more for the best of both worlds!
- Close when you sell out. My comment: I love the law of scarcity. When people know they have to “act now,” or they may miss out, they make more of an effort to do business with you.
- Repeat. My comment: If it works, just keep doing it!
The other thing you’ll notice about Hutchins (and most other BBQ restaurants), is they don’t spend a lot of money on ambiance. Many BBQ “joints” have wooden tables and chairs. The restaurants are set for function. In other words, no fancy light fixtures or expensive plates. They keep the place clean, and that’s about it.
The point of all of this is simplicity. You don’t go to a BBQ restaurant unless you want BBQ. The choices are limited, and so are the quantities. The BBQ chefs know how much to prepare every day, and when they run out, they close for the night. Customers know this and don’t expect anything more.
Most likely, your business has a few more “moving parts” than a BBQ restaurant. That doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to simplify the customer experience, your internal processes, and more. Go through an exercise in simplification by asking questions like these:
- Is any part of the process of our customer experience (or employee experience) redundant?
- Is there anything in our process that is unnecessary?
- Is every touchpoint our customers experience with us optimized for ease and efficiency?
- What could we do to make it easier to do business with us?
Asking questions like these and implementing the answers will help you simplify your business.
Image Credits: Shep Hyken, Unsplash
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