May I Take Your Order? vs. How Can I Help You?
Name your top 3 favorite restaurants. How often have you visited them in the last month? My guess would be that you have visited McDonalds or another fast food restaurant more than once in the last month. Companies like McDonalds are the most profitable restaurants in the world, and they do this by not producing the world’s best food. So why is a restaurant known for being unhealthy, offing little to no customer service, and possibly treating its employees unfairly visited so often around the world? The secret is fast food businesses are so efficient, fast, and visible that the product can be “good enough” for the customer with little time or money.
A Product Does Not Need to Be Perfect
Too many business owners fall in love with their product or service to the point where they are crippled by either not being able to allow others to perform key tasks or make important design decisions. These owners–especially in the launch phase–believe that they are the only ones who can perform this task. This attitude limits any chance for growth, new ideas, or business partners. If perfection is the only expectable standard, launches get delayed and opportunities get missed.
Beta Test Your Business
Sometimes we over complicate our business model or product. In the planning stage, “a business model describes how your company creates, delivers and captures value. It is designed to change rapidly to reflect what you find outside the building in talking to customers” according to the Wall Street Journal. Where entrepreneurs get into trouble, is that they over-reach, over-commit, and over-borrow. Start simple and stay simple. Know what your customers want and figure out the most efficient way to provide it. Then make sure they keep coming back.
Perfection is Simple
I recently ate at Waffle House. It’s a good example of a company that has made the most of simplicity. Its menu is focused on primarily on a single meal (breakfast). Moreover, the menu reads like variations on a central theme. It’s easy for a short order cook to prepare. It’s also easy to serve. You can sit down or you can drive through. As a customer, you never have to think or wait very long for anything. With a different concept of perfection, I have to say that Waffle House comes pretty close to perfection. Just remember to take a Pepcid before enjoying it.