Starting and maintaining a business is no easy task. There are many factors that come into play. The success rate is much lower when compared to other industries. The risk involved turns many people off from opening one of their own. The amount of capital to open a physical location requires investors and involves a lot of red tape. If done right though, a business can become quite a profitable venture. It’s important to know what you’re getting into.
Clayton Curtis of Social Hospitality™, a boutique digital marketing agency shared about Important Tips For Entrepreneurs:
1. Establish A Relationship With an Online Vendor
There are several websites that provide online equipment and supplies ordering like Instawares – an online restaurant equipment and supplies company that carries everything you need to get started with opening your own restaurant. Having a relationship with your vendor allows you to easily order supplies and equipment when you run out.
2. Listen (and talk back) to Your Customers
This can be said of any industry but with restaurants it’s extremely important to listen to what the market wants. Restaurants tend to be “word of mouth” businesses that carry on the goodwill of its current customers.
Thanks to new channels like social networks, online review sites, and restaurant blogs, it’s easier (and cheaper) than ever to listen to what people are saying about your restaurant. These channels include: Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
Take these criticisms that appear on social networks and work them into your overall marketing/business strategy. While many see social networks as a vehicle for “promotion” they are most effectively used for communication.
3. Keep Track of Your Customers
This can be done through a number of methods. Back in the day (and probably still) would do giveaways where customers would drop their business cards in a jar out front for a chance to win a free meal. The business would then collect the email information on the cards and add them to a mailing list, offering catering and corporate party information.
While this tactic may still work it’s important to identify more effective ways to collect their information. Building a customer database is important and what you do with that information is even more vital. Email marketing is easier and more effective than ever. You should be segmenting lists and creating different personas based on open rates in response to specific promotions.
4. Set Yourself Apart
Although it’s tempting to offer everything you can possibly cook it’s wise to specialize in one area.
5. Service, Service, Service
Speaking of customer complaints. Most unpleasant experiences related to restaurants stem not from undercooked food or cheap wine, but customer service. There are several ways to ensure a quality customer experience:
6. Do Competitive Research
Go out and see what your competitors are doing. Eat at other buisness and take notes. Notice what others are doing right and try to emulate that in your company. Also take notice of things they’re doing wrong and try not to repeat it.
7. Target The Right Demographic
Understanding where the wallets are is important if you want to last in the business. If you’re catering towards a lower-income demographic then you want your marketing to reflect that. In most cases though, you want to target consumers with the most money to spend. If you’re going after an older crowd you must realize that that’s a well which will eventually run dry. Young up-and-comers is the holy grail of demographics because this crowd will form eating habits that they’ll carry over to their social circles and family. That’s why understanding modern marketing principles is necessary to capture this demographic. Young, affluent consumers are extremely savvy thanks to modern technologies like smartphones, iPads, and other connected devices.