Be like an Arrow - Mister Ji's Jinius - Business Tips - Vol 1

When we start a business, we have a particular a vision in mind. Typically, we decide early on what our business is going to be about and the type of customers we are going to target. However, it is also typical that most entrepreneurs miss their mark and the business fails to attract enough of the intended customers. Why does this happen? The typical cause of this problem is the fact that most businesses do one thing, say another, and look like something completely different. You have to look, talk, and walk the same way. Consistency is very important.

Everything about your business should send a message to your customers that is straight, pointed, and on target. Your audience is your target, your message is the arrow. Many businesses lack clarity in their message. When a customer visits your business (shop or website), the customer should know right away whether or not this is the right type of business for them. I am going to use two different restaurant business models to illustrate my point but the concept applies to any entrepreneurial and small business venture.

For example, if you are looking to start a high-end, expensive, Italian restaurant located in an upscale neighborhood, you probably want to advertise something like this: "Authentic Gourmet Italian Cuisine. Ambient Lighting. Private Rooms Available. Please Call Ahead for Reservations." When customers walk into an expensive restaurant they expect an upscale environment, expensive furniture, waiters/waitresses, and nicely printed menu handed to them. Chances are they will not even know what to order from the menu items and will have to consult the waiter but a lot of these customers are not there for the food, rather the upscale experience.

If you are looking to open a Mexican fast food restaurant, you might want to consider a less costly location. When a customer walks into a fast food restaurant, they will want an easy to read menu with few items, prices included, and the menu should visible from back of the line. These are the elements that make it a "FAST food" restaurant. Your advertisement message should be something like this: "Spicy Burritos, Tacos and More!  We Have a Dollar Menu! Open 24 Hours a day! Indoor and Outdoor Seating!"

Does this mean that a fancy restaurant should have nothing but expensive items? Does this mean that a fast food restaurant can't have great tasting expensive items? The answer to both questions is no. You can have "special items" that target a wide ranging audience, however, you should look to target a specific audience first. Once you build up a reputation as a great business, you can expand your business.

Look at Walmart, slowly but surely, you can buy dang near anything from Walmart. Walmart now has clothes, groceries, pharmacy, optometrists, tire centers, electronics, plants and landscaping, and everything else. However, Walmart did not start out this way.  Read a brief history of Walmart.

JiNius - Entrepreneurship and Small Business Tips by Mister Ji