Let me introduce you to two business owners: Kim Novak owns the very cool Knitting Board, which creates wooden looms for crafters, while the other is a friend who just opened an exciting a new restaurant in New York.
Two very different enterprises, but both individuals have found that ”keep it simple stupid” can be the foundation for a successful and thriving business.
While both have some exciting marketing and product components, it is the basics that are making them winners in their market.
First, each brings a real zest and zeal for the business. And, with that, comes a great deal of experience and commitment, because they really love, love, love what they do. They’re eager to keep learning, so they can keep their clients updated on all the latest trends. They take time each day to focus on “thinking.” Just thinking. With the “attractive distractions” in our day, we forget to just “think.” The end result? A better business.
While that’s excellent business sense right there, they go the next step: they both understand and accept their weaknesses.
Like most creatives, they’re not proficient with the finances, so, they partnered with the proper staff to manage the books and get explanations of all financial terms and formulas.
They also follow the tried and true business formula that 80% of sales and profits are driven by 20% of customers, aka, the “80/20 rule.” The restaurant offers a limited menu that can change every day, but with proven dishes that the kitchen staff can create effortlessly. Similarly, the Knitting Board has a limited (but complete) selection of looms, and they keep things lively by highlighting the newest and top selling items.
Both realize the importance of being seen by their staff, and therefore stay visible and engaged in the everyday business operations. At the restaurant, one oversees the kitchen and virtually every order, while her partners and management team check in on the diners, ready to assist whenever a problem arises. Kim keeps an eye on every marketing effort and has a part-time staff who continue developing new patterns, creating new blogs, and marketing materials.
Each one sees mistakes as an opportunity to learn, and adapt. For instance, the restaurant experienced numerous delays in its opening, but restructured the financing and menus in order to work with the new time frame. Meanwhile, Kim continues to search for new markets, and is now working on new products and programs to attract customers from Europe and beyond.
Both entrepreneurs continue to focus on excellence, and how to achieve it. They understand Ben Franklin’s adage: “A great idea without execution is hallucination.” The restaurant uses the best and freshest ingredients, and the Knitting Board focuses on high quality wooden looms versus the cheaper, and easy to break, plastic ones. Yes, both could cut corners with using a lower quality product, but, in the end, both the customer and the business suffer.
These two examples illustrate how operating a successful business is not really brain surgery, but, rather, means following a few simple principles. And, if you love what you do, have the right staff, offer a quality product, and delegate to the experts, you have the foundation for a simply wonderful business.
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