How to Run a Business

When a company does a good job, they make people happy. They laugh, they smile, they have a good time — that’s what we do for a living. Any business doing that is making a noble effort.

Use these best practices for running your business:

  1. Selling begins once customers “enter” your store
    Every business process of communication must create a positive customer reaction every time. That reaction is the product. Any business, no matter what it is, lives or dies by the customer reaction it creates.
    Don’t just create great products, but also present them well to beat competitors who sell identical products
  2. Consider the lifetime value of your business
    Don’t just create a once-in-a-lifetime experience, create brand loyalty. When first time customers visit a new restaurant, fewer than 50% return because it’s still outside their habit cycle. Yet, if they do come back, there is a 50% chance they’ll return after a second visit and a 70% chance after a third. Therefore, don’t focus on just giving a great first impression, but also a great THIRD impression.
  3. Find what stimulates profits
    Since everyone is in the business of reactions, learn to manipulate those reactions for your benefit. Most people fall into one of four personality or motivational buckets: money, pride, ego, and fear. Craft your marketing language to play off of one of these motivators. For example, if your product is a type of insurance policy, outline how your safety net pacifies a fear. If you’re selling a new type of personal indulgence, be sure to highlight how good it makes people feel.
  4. Treat difficult clients like family
    Every entrepreneur has to deal with those needy, hard-to-please customers, but try to cultivate a new patience by acting as you would with a difficult relative. Just as you wouldn’t lash out at your grandmother during dinnertime, hold your tongue around tough clients to deal with them more effectively.
  5. Hire for attitude, not experience
    A candidate with the right attitude will boost your company higher than an experienced misfit. The key to recruiting is identifying the ideal personality for the job and then creating a descriptive job posting that captures it.
  6. Don’t coddle your weakest employees
    A common denominator in bad business is that managers view their employees as family, coddling the weakest ones and hoping they do better. Businesses should be run more like sports teams, where winning players are encouraged and weaker players find themselves facing pressure to improve.
  7. Teach your employees
    Training is behavior modification. TEACHING is showing someone how to do specific tasks and then encouraging them to add their personalities to make their role come alive. This will result in a happier workforce – and you might even learn something from your employees when you let them be themselves and contribute ideas.
  8. Simplify your menu
    Trim down your “menu” to ease choice and avoid overwhelming your customers with too many options. Simplify the selection process by presenting variations of the same product rather than listening them separately (for example, have one entry for chicken wings and show they’re available in three flavors rather than three different menu listings), bundle offerings into packages, and rotate in new products.Simplifying your menu and offering a rotating selection of new products and offerings gives your customers an incentive to return for promotions or simply to see what’s new.
  9. Keep your target demographic in mind
    Always conduct research on their target audience before opening a business and continue those considerations as your business grows. More upscale bar customers will not react well to a card or a coupon, but they will react positively to a mailing that looks like a more formal and exclusive invitation — it’s simply a matter of design and delivery.
  10. Innovate realistically to serve your audience
    With new technology and trends constantly emerging in the marketplace, it is important to be mindful of your audience before trying something new. Protect and maximize your investments by innovating WHILE listening to customers. An innovation that steps far outside of most people’s envelope of expectation can reduce or narrow your market when your aim should be to constantly expand your market.

For more tips, download Jon Taffer’s free business app, BarHQ available on Google Play and iTunes

2 replies
  1. Dean A. D.
    Dean A. D. says:

    Hi, Jon,
    I really enjoy your perspective of how a business works. I have taken introductory classes to business management. Your words are very similar to the studying of those books I have read. I see you write about diversity issues within in the business whatever your occupation entails. I like hearing those words from experienced people or organizations like yours. All the information I am going to be studying from schools stand point, will be understood since I have been watching the tube or “Television”, which will be at most educational in my career. I do have abilities to reinstate my business license, but at the time, my art work was not making money. Being a starving artist, shows what I need education about. Laughing Out Loud. Picasso was finally making money, after he was dead (funny), sad but true. That area of business is extremely hard. To get on point, people just starting or need some help just to get business on a role again, your show is excellent for the purpose of the shows name “Bar Rescue”. Since I have worked at Round Table Pizza, the business and Corporation itself, is wide spread at least in the West Coast. Later on in my life after knowing more about the concept of business management, maybe that is something for my interests, to invest in. Maybe I would be able to sit down and have soda with you, plus talk about what strategies that would help myself with my own company that I would be able to start. Thank You, going over to play some golf with my dad now. I hope to talk with you in the near future. Great show, keep it on the network. Challenge “Make it last longer than the “Cheers”. Just keep on having fun.

  2. Brian
    Brian says:

    Good stuff, Jon. I really enjoyed your thoughts on difficult clients. In my experience, difficult clients know they’re difficult and when you treat them like family, they’ll be aware of your extra effort and will be loyal forever. Great article!

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