Winning in Your Business is Your Attitude

Winning in Your Business is Your Attitude

I have presented this column on business advice for more than 4 years and if my recollection is correct I’ve never singled out a local business. Today I’m going to make an exception and treat you to an extraordinary business owner.  The business is South Fork Deli Café and Market in Cramerton, NC. The owner is Chris Boone.  During a recent meal at South Fork I was struck by several things:
  • ·         Main Street Cramerton is just a bit off the beaten the path
  • ·         The C.C. Dawson Bridge was under construction and closed during the entire first year of South Fork Deli’s operation
  • ·         The food and service were awesome ( I have a 26 year background in food service and recognize these things )
  • ·         Customers were lined up to the door to place orders

Now, let’s put this into perspective. Several businesses closed in Cramerton citing the bridge construction as the reason for the fall off in revenue; and it was as if their prophecy came true.  So during my years as a business coach I tune in closely to understand the underlying messages when I read that a business is closing. Here are few recent cases in point. A five decade family business closed on South New Hope Road mentioning that “they can’t compete with the internet.” They didn’t even have a website, so I wasn’t surprised. Then there’s the five decade family business that closed on Second Avenue in Gastonia because “they can’t compete with the big box stores;” which is true if you don’t teach your team how to ask questions and sell and provide customer service that the big boxes don’t know how to do. Then the best one of all was the four decade business that told us, “No one goes out to eat at the fish camps anymore!” Really?  Have you walked out your front door and noticed that the one across the street is using your parking lot for overflow?
Now I get it that when being interviewed by a Gazette reporter an owner doesn’t want to appear as if he lost control and missed all the signs and opportunities to change and succeed. But let’s not mix up what it takes to win with the below the line behaviors that kill a business. I’m talking about blame, excuses and denial. There is absolutely no forward movement when you live below the line.  If an owner wants to blame the government, taxes, regulation and the economy just realize that your successful competition has all the same issues in play as you do and they are making it work for them. If an owner wants to make excuses for their team’s performance or a bridge being out then just realize that poor leadership and lack of creativity and innovation will help you stay stuck; even close your doors. And if an owner wants to deny that their food and service is lousy then just bury your head in the sand and keep on doing the same thing and wish life were easier.
Back to Chris Boone at South Fork. After my absolutely amazing meal (and this was nothing more than a ham and cheese sandwich and a bowl of soup) I strolled back behind the line where he was busy with orders and congratulated him on one of the very best meals I’ve eaten anywhere in Gaston County. He recognized me from nearly a year ago when I placed an order of boxed lunches to go for a bus trip with several of my ActionCOACH clients to hear a presentation by Brad Sugars in Greensboro.  After the pleasantries I asked him how things were going where he smiled and said, “I’m having an amazing year!” He told me his year-to-date revenue number and my jaw dropped to the floor. Just goes to prove that an above the line winning attitude, where ownership, accountability and responsibility reside, will do more to help you succeed than nearly anything else. That and great food and service and they’ll come from everywhere and get there any way they can; even without a bridge. Go Hard Chris!!

Action Tip of the Day—The Restaurant Formula
·         If you have a poor product but great service, they will come
·         If you have a great product but poor service, they will come
·         If you have a poor product and poor service, they won’t come
·         If you have a great product AND great service, they will line up out the door

Take Action on this and apply it to your business today and then go Run a Lap! Business is Fun!

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