Is 2015 your year? Will you be starting or expanding a new business? Have you made a commitment to creating the life you want for yourself both personally and professionally? Every month business coach Terri Brukhartz will share her tips and thoughts on how you can create the life and the business you want. This is Terri’s second post in the series. Read Terri’s earlier posts in the series here.
Over the last few months, I’ve written about how important it is to know where you’re going if you really want to create something different in your life. I’ve given you some tips on being more productive and changing old habits. If you’ve been able to use some of these ideas, that’s great! Now I want you to stop. Continue Reading ❯
The revered television drama “Mad Men” aired its last episode this month. While many mourn the end of the show, being immersed in the 1960s has brought back a number of trends and showed contemporary Americans the gamut of ’60s culture, from fashion to drinks. While ’60s food trends were never featured as quite as prominently as beverages, there were moments when viewers saw a glimpse of dining during this time. Continue Reading ❯
In the fast-moving world of tech startups, there is a thing called Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. This absolutely brilliant concept was developed by Eric Ries, who many consider to be a genius/demi-god – at least in Silicon Valley.
An MVP goes like this: build your product, launch it, and iterate on customer feedback. It forces a startup to get their idea out there quickly and turn it into something people want, need, and use. It’s brilliant, because instead of mulling over an idea and tweaking it for months and years on end, you just shove it out there and see if it sinks or swims.
Well, the same framework can be applied to your brand. Just as a company’s product will evolve over time, so too will your brand. A minimum viable brand, or MVB, is a good jumping off point. It forces you to avoid hand-wringing over getting your brand to “perfect” before launching, and it leaves you with plenty of room for growth. Continue Reading ❯
Business owners have been taught both that the customer is always right, and that you should do whatever you can to make a customer happy. In the words of Marshall Fields, “Give the lady what she wants.” Sometimes, this is great advice. I once requested a horrible haircut from a stylist. He told me why what I wanted wouldn’t work with my hair and tried to talk me out of it. I insisted and he gave me what I wanted. I left the salon feeling great, two days later I came back because my hair was unworkable. He asked me if I would trust him from now on, and I agreed.
But, I recently had two experiences with small businesses that have shown me how wrong this philosophy can be. Continue Reading ❯
Warmer weather is on the way, and businesses are starting to gear up for summer. Whether you own a restaurant or a salon, summer is a good time for businesses to enjoy more customers and maybe even some out-of-towners. Here’s some news and insights to help you get ready for the summer heat: Continue Reading ❯
Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer, is Monday. Here in Chicago, spring has been a little wet and cold so we’re looking forward to the season of outdoor dining! Speaking of dining, most of our focus this week has been on the National Restaurant Association show. Continue Reading ❯
According to Forrester Research, we are in the Age of the Customer. This means that if you want your business to grow and thrive, you need to become customer-obsessed.
Ok, cool, well, that doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Especially not when Forrester breaks down what you need to do to be customer-obsessed. We’ll go over that in a minute, but I just want to preface their list by saying this is not hard stuff (especially not for a small business). And in fact, you are probably already doing some, if not all, of these things.
Continue Reading ❯
Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?
As children we learn ”slow and steady wins the race.” Then, as we grow up, we are encouraged to move quickly and accomplish as much as we can as quickly as we can. In a world where faster is considered better, many businesses are questioning the philosophy of “harder, better, faster, stronger” in favor of slower, more ethical and mindful production of goods and services. Now, across many different industries, consumers are being encouraged to slow down. Continue Reading ❯
Today is the last day of the NRA (National Restaurant Association) 2015 trade show. We met a lot of great people at our booth, and we got to attend a lot of really interesting sessions (thanks to our friends at Breadcrumb for sponsoring those educational sessions). Personally, I went to a really interesting session about how restaurants can use Google to get information on food trends and capitalize on those trends. So, I know there are scientific ways to track food trends, but I’m taking a more casual approach. Continue Reading ❯
We’ve been spending a lot of time this week at the National Restaurant Association show. According to the National Restaurant Association, there are 990,000 restaurant locations in the U.S., and more are popping up every day. Are you thinking it’s your turn to start the next great place to eat?If you’re thinking about starting your own restaurant, we recently created a guide to help you get started. Below is a sample, let’s call it an appetizer portion, of some of the great information you can find in our How to Start a Restaurant Guide. Continue Reading ❯