You may be getting ready to start a business after dropping out of the corporate world finally, losing your job or you just are ready to take the leap. Whatever your reason I know you’re sitting there going “how in the world am I going to pull off starting a business from scratch?” First off, let me say that it is very possible but it’s no easy road by any means.
One person who knows how lonely the road can be at first and starting an empire from scratch is the famous Emeril Lagasse. He’s very well known for his restaurants but he is ultimately one awesome business owner/entrepreneur. Here’s his tips on starting a business from his own experiences:
Create a culture of loyalty. Many of my staff have been with me for over 20 years. I have a great team, and I make sure they feel respected and appreciated. I wouldn’t ask any of my employees to do anything I wouldn’t do. And I work as hard, if not harder than the rest of the staff, to set an example. I also believe in giving my employees a lot of room to be creative and to express themselves.
My chefs and general managers are responsible for their own restaurants, and they don’t have to worry about issues such as inventory, because we have a director of operations, a director of finance and other staff who handle those jobs at our Homebase. This allows our restaurant staff to concentrate on doing what it is they do best: offering our customers exceptional food and service.
Remember persistence pays off. When I first decided to open a restaurant, I was turned down by several banks. It was the late 80’s and many restaurants were failing. I refused to give up because I knew I had a good concept, so I put together a great business plan that included budgets, the kitchen design, and an analysis of the demographics, to show I was serious, focused and educated. Finally, one of the most conservative banks in the south agreed to give me funding.
Pay it forward. In 2002, I launched The Emeril Lagasse Foundation to provide culinary training, and developmental and educational programs to children in the cities where my restaurants operate. I think everyone has a responsibility to give back to the community if they can, and to help future generations learn new skills and better themselves. In the hospitality business, we can’t grow if we don’t invest today in the children who will be running the industry tomorrow.
Sell without selling out. I knew the chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) from his previous job, and one day over breakfast we talked about the possibility of Martha expanding and partnering with someone who offered food-related content. I wasn’t looking to sell my brand at the time, but a few days later, her chairman called to say that Martha liked the idea and wanted to partner with my brand.
Look at your company with fresh eyes. I really believe in listening to my customers and building a rapport with them. I have many families who have dined at my restaurants for years. And we continue to provide them with consistency and delicious food made with farm-fresh ingredients. We also try to provide a newness to their unforgettable dining experience.
These tips originally came from Linda Childers article on CNNMoney