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Running a business keeps you running fast and furious every day.  Running a food-centric business takes it up a notch... okay, maybe five notches.   Frankly, owners wince at the very thought of facing the big picture.  It's unwieldy, it's awkward and just entertaining the thought is enough to annoy you.  "I know I should (fill in the blank)", or "I have no idea where to begin to find a (graphic designer/equipment repair person".  

Here are ways to begin the new habit of breaking old patterns.  Start by walking around your business when it is quiet, or when staff have left for the day.  Write a list of items that need your attention.  Some of the items you write down on your list do not have an immediate answer.  Identifying the problem is still worth the effort.  Here are three ways to start looking at your business and start breaking old pattern.  They can guide you.

 

NUMBER ONE:  RETREAT/RESET

Take a moment, away from your business.  It's probably unrealistic and quite unnecessary to actually take a retreat from your business -- i mean like the one in the Bahamas.  But a simple retreat where you take a half day, to a quiet corner of a coffee shop, to a peaceful place in your home, and address the six most important parts of your business:  strategy, distibution, financial stability, customer service, operations and quality product.  Take time to decide how you  want to focus on each of these topic, all year long.  Decide how often you can afford your mini retreat, because you do need time to focus on each of these areas of your business, all year long.  Then you can determine how and when you can reasonably address the big picture, and not be afraid of it:  it's your own personal reset button.  Resetting will eventually be appealing, not fear inducing!

NUMBER TWO:  READ THE SIGNS

By now you have made your list of things you want to fix.  Be willing to look at your list, regularly (this is where you constantly reset).  There will be the items that require simple fixes.  That means clean the air compressor, fix keys on your POS system or quickbooks management system, change items on the menu because the food cost is no longer good.  All these things can become part of the method and practices staff address.  If it is not in the everyday process, then it's time you take that as a sign, and figure out how to add it into the tasks.   Maybe it's adding items to the staff monthly cleaning list, or managers responsibilities, to ensure it gets done in a timely fashion..

NUMBER THREE:  ALLOW

Allow yourself to learn from yourself.  This is your entrepreneurial spirit.  Take time to look at the past, present and future of your business.  There are so many aspects of your business:  strategy, distibution, financial stability, customer service, operations and quality product.  Allow your business brain, and entrepreneurial mindset needs to focus on each.  No, not all at once, but take time to think about how to improve each of these areas.  The time you take now transmits your ideas and plans into the future of your business.  This will give your customers a much better experience, and lead them to appreciate exactly why they like your business so much.  

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