Here we go. 12 words per sentence. There is one passive sentence in there somewhere . . . ?
What Is The Secret Sauce That Makes Your Business Rock?
My favorite sort of consulting engagement is working with business owners who are considering opening a second location. This also includes the possibility of franchising their successful business model.
Is your dream is to add as second location of your business model? The key to adding another location is having a business model that can be replicated.
It is critical to know what factors are essential to your business’s success. Not understanding your “strong suits” can be painful. You could miss the mark by not duplicating the very things that made you successful in the first place!
The Most Critical Issue
The most critical self-evaluation goal is to nail down exactly why you have been successful. Sound simple? I promise you it is not.
Answer this question honestly:
What is he secret sauce that has made your business successful? Many business owners believe that the foundation of their business’s popularity include:
• Great pricing
• Quality products or services
• Excellent customer service
• Knowledgeable and super friendly employees
• Convenient location
• Your leadership and presence in the business
Nice. Any of the above sounds probable.
I worked with a client that operated a Pizza Restaurant. He had always believed that the “real” reason that his business was so popular is because he made the best pizza in the surrounding ten zip codes.
Hold on a minute. We talked with customers, suppliers, as well as competitors. Guess what? The results showed that his pizza was very good, but it was not the best in the market area.
The research also uncovered his most significant strength. Surprise! The strength of your business was concentrated on the owner:
• His generally enchanting presence
• He personally welcomed the customers
• He takes a minute for personal chats with the customers
Bottom Line: the opening of a second location or franchising is all about replicating or duplicating your “secret sauce”. In this case, the strengths of this business were dependent on the owner himself.
Sometimes you have to tell a client what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear. I advised the owner to hold off opening another location until he could find a way of cloning himself. Make sense?
Do Your Own Research
Here are a few steps to get you started in really zeroing in on the reasons for your success:
• Ask your employees, including your sales and customer service people, why they think your business is successful.
• Ask your bankers, lawyers, insurance brokers and any other professionals you have worked with a long time what their “honest” thoughts are.
• Ask your vendors, subcontractors or other “partners” what makes your business stand out from the rest.
• Ask someone to “interview” your competitors to see what they have to say about your business
• Most important, talk to your clients or customers and dig down deep to find out why they were initially attracted your business and why they keep coming back. (Tip: Talk to them face-to-face or at least on the phone. Avoid email, letters, etc.)
The answers may surprise you. In fact, I’ll bet you will be enlightened, as well as delighted.
Now that you armed with this research, make sure your plans include a strategy to replicate your secret sauce!