As I mentioned it was my daughter’s 18th last week, and as ever it gave me some valuable reminders for my business (and yours).
The steak restaurant on the birthday itself was good, but it could have been exceptional. What went wrong? First, the food took longer than it should have done. It looked like they didn’t have enough staff for a full restaurant.
Second, my meal was cold. It was meant to be to start with, as I ordered a selection of steaks which I was to cook myself on a hot lava plate. Sadly, however, the hot lava plate was lukewarm. If the restaurant had carried out the ‘checkback’ which all restaurants are supposed to do shortly after serving it would have been quickly solved. However, as I said it looked like there were not enough staff, so it was 10 minutes before I was able to get the manager’s attention. When I did, he instantly said “lava plate cold?” indicating that my problem was a common problem. If it is, why didn’t he ensure his staff checked back as quickly as possible, or better still make sure their process tests the temperature of the plate before it leaves the kitchen?
The second issue was a little more frustrating for me. We hired a photo booth for the party on the Friday. It was excellent. A stand up booth with a Mac computer, loads of props to make you look suitably ridiculous and enough space for a group of 10 to get into the booth at any one time. Photographs were instantly printed in duplicate – one set of four for my daughter’s scrap book and one for the people in the booth.
The only problem?
The guy running it didn’t provide any warning when he went to dismantle it, so my 84 year old mother missed the chance to have a silly picture taken with her 18 year old granddaughter. A simple process of a 10 minute warning that he was going to pack up soon and the frustration that I am still feeling would have been avoided.
What does any of this mean for you or me as business owners, particularly from a marketing perspective?
Processes. Systems. Have them. Use them. Check them regularly to ensure that everything is doing what it is meant to be doing.
Check your figures every week or at least monthly.
- How many visitors went to your website?
- How many enquiries did you receive?
- How many did you convert (how many files did you open)?
- How many enquiries did your advertisement produce?
- How much did you bill?
I am sure that last one is in hand, but are the others?
Having processes in place to regularly check your numbers ensures you discover early on when you have a problem which then allows you to nip it in the bud. A simple checkback at the restaurant and a 10 minute warning from photo booth man and I would have had nothing to write about this week – so their failure has meant you have had to suffer this week too ;).
Keep on keeping on, and ensure you have processes in place and use them consistently.
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