Over the years, we have all witnessed businesses, especially small operations, come and go. It has always been something that has interested me, not just because we are a marketing company, but because too often the reason for the failure is the improper allocation of resources.
By definition, small business have small budgets; nonetheless, the planning process should be detailed and thorough enough to identify all the cash needs.
There has to be an office or selling space, or both, to operate from; there certainly has to be an adequate supply of the products or services to be offered; personnel have to be available to serve customers because an owner can do a lot, but not everything; and then there are the miscellaneous items such as signage, insurance, office supplies, a cleaning service, etc.
If we stop the list there, we have identified the base reason why so many new, small businesses don’t survive for very long. Nothing on the list is geared to letting the target audience know that the business exists or, unless the business’ name is self-explanatory, what the business offers prospective customers. That’s right, marketing dollars.
This deficiency is especially true when it comes to new restaurants. They open for business, but no one knows the menu, the hours, or the type of food offered. The result is that no one comes through the front door or, if they do, they are disappointed that it is not the type of food they were interested in.
There was a recent case of a restaurant that opened but slowly died because the signage did not explain that the business was a restaurant, the menu was in a foreign language, the staff did not speak English well enough to explain the menu items, and the result was that even if people came out of curiosity, they went away disappointed because they ordered something they would not have ordered had they known what it was.
Reserving money to create awareness about the opening through the modern and traditional methods of advertising and public relations is essential. There are many options including digital media, posts on social media, special offers, special events, placing a local media ad, perhaps even purchased on a barter basis, anything!
It is a competitive world out there and many businesses are fighting for their market share.
And, if you think about the past several months and relate it in this case to the restaurant industry, it is amazing how many small and large restaurants have closed from Fort Lauderdale to Delray Beach. Here are the ones we know:
- Joe’s Crab Shack, Ft. Lauderdale
- Sublime, Ft. Lauderdale
- Seaviche, Lighthouse Point
- Bura Restaurant, Lighthouse Point
- Forketta, Pompano Beach
- Tamarind, Deerfield Beach
- PellEgrino’s, Boca Raton
- Juniors, Boca Raton
- Truluck’s, Boca Raton
- Uncle Julio’s, Boca Raton
- Uncle Tai’s, Boca Raton
- 32 East, Delray Beach
- Max’s Harvest, Delray Beach
Sometimes we are so enthusiastic about opening our own business that we forget to plan properly to make sure we are opening a successful business. It may take a little longer to do it properly, and it may take a little more
money, but in the long run it will be far less expensive than opening and later closing, and losing everything.