Why I focus on fundamentals and you should, too.
World class sprinters learned to walk just like you and I did.
Jaques Pepin cut and burned himself as often as anyone else while he was apprenticing in Europe’s great kitchens.
And you, too, will have to learn your craft and your business starting with the fundamentals regardless of the path you’ve chosen to take.
One element common to all of my work with clients is a near-obsessive focus on the fundamentals of running their business.
When I meet with a new client, the first order of business is to get to know them and their business as intimately as possible. I need to have a firm grasp on where this new client live on the spectrum of skills and mastery.
I gather this information so that I can build a plan, a roadmap if you will, that will help me guide my client on the journey from where they are to where they need to be. That journey always begins with the fundamentals.
Just like you can’t build a house without a foundation, you can’t build (or grow) a business sustainably without an intimate understanding of and mastery over the fundamentals of running a business, not to mention a Food and Beverage business.
The truth is, you can’t escape the fundamentals. They will always find you and force you to pay them your dues.
The only question is, how painful do you want that process to be?
I live and work in a booming food town and I have watched many new F&B business owners wing it when it comes to understanding the fundamentals of running their business. As it turns out, each one of those businesses experiences one of the following outcomes as a result of winging it…
- They get “lucky”
- They simply survive
- They bleed to death, slowly
- They never make it off the ground
When I say someone get’s “lucky,” I’m not implying that their business goes gangbusters regardless of their shirking the fundamentals. What I mean is that, sometimes a concept strikes the right cords and the public response is enough to cover up their lack of mastery on the basics of running their business.
Also, many of these “lucky” businesses have more going on in the background than meets the eye. Often times, they’re paying big bucks to have someone cover their skill gap for them.
Simply surviving is like this, but much, much worse.
Many times, a business will eschew their fundamentals and the business will generate just enough revenue to survive. This is painful for many reason, but the most obvious is the time, energy, and social costs that comes from running and F&B business.
Food and beverage is hard. It’s demanding, the hours are terrible, the pay is usually just as terrible, your family and social life will suffer…and all of this just to get by? There are way easier ways to just get by.
Simply surviving isn’t sustainable for all but the most masochistic of business owners.
Bleeding to death is the most painful scenario to watch. Often times a new F&B business will simply lose money and other resources slowly, drip by drip, until they die.
This is made all the more terrible by the fact that, in most cases, the business owner simply doesn’t know why the business is bleeding resources or how to stop it.
Finally, sometimes a lack of mastery over the fundamentals leads to a business just never getting off the ground in the first place. Starting any business, much less a F&B business, is hard. There are a lot of moving parts and tons of work to accomplish before the business can actually take flight.
If you don’t possess the skills to make that happen, it’s unlikely that your business will get off the ground to begin with.
Now, I do want to be clear about something before we continue.
Having a mastery over the fundamentals of operating a F&B Business doesn’t guarantee that none of these things will happen to your business. F&B is dynamic and, like any other industry, there are a lot of reasons businesses struggle and fail.
However, I can say confidently that without the fundamentals, your business will suffer one of these fates or, as often happens, you’ll sacrifice a lot of money and resources to pay someone to fix the problems caused by your lack of fundamentals mastery.
At Newberry Consulting, we have a four step process for working with new clients to ensure that the fundamentals are covered, understood, and continue to be refined and perfected.
First, I put each client through a Road Mapping session. This is a low-cost discovery process that allows me to get to know you and your business better while getting a good understanding of any challenges, goals, and, most importantly, any fundamental skill gaps facing you and your company.
Second, I take the analysis from the Road Mapping session and build a path forward together that addresses any issues discovered during the discovery and sets you and your business on a trajectory toward acquiring and missing skills and achieving your goals.
Third, a system for regular coaching check-ins is put in place to make sure that you’re getting the feedback and support you need as you’re implementing the systems we built together. Also, we offer more hands-on implementation services if these are needed or desired.
Fourth and finally, all of our clients get lifetime access to our private Slack Channels where I host regular Q&A Sessions, post members only content, and where a helpful community of your peers participate to help support you on your personal and professional journey.
I want to end this post with one big idea that, if you take nothing else, will encourage and help you to get your business on track toward reaching your goals and providing the lifestyle that you deserve…
If you’re just starting out, slow down and invest in learning the basic fundamentals of running a business. It doesn’t matter if you invest in coaching, classes, books, podcasts…just be sure that you’ve taken the time to learn and implement the fundamental techniques of running a business.
If you’re already in business and you know things are going the way you’d like for them to, invest in coaching. It doesn’t have to be Newberry Consulting (though we think that’s a great idea), but find someone that you can trust to help you analyze, identify, and solve your specific problems.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. If you’re ready to invest in your business, whether it’s brand new or already working, I would LOVE to talk to you. I’m passionate about helping business owners gain insight into and control over their business so that they can create the community and lifestyle they desire.