Noooo – I don’t mean your over-use of the F word! I’m sure you wouldn’t dream of it…
I’m actually talking about those poor restaurant business owners who need his help. Almost every time I watch an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares I can’t get over how clueless the owners are. I love to cook myself and for many years I had a ready meal business out in Athens which the Ex-pats loved! So I’m very interested in what these chefs are cooking and how they’re preparing, storing and presenting their food. When Gordon looks closely at their systems which are so disorganised that they’re costing money and customers, I can’t understand how they haven’t spotted it.
One day I realised what was going on. The business owner had got so close to the coal face that he could no longer see the bigger picture. He couldn’t see that the amount of stock he had in the freezers was costing money AND sacrificing quality. He couldn’t see that by screaming at his staff and demotivating them, they weren’t upselling and increasing the spend per customer. And even more importantly, the owner was in so much denial that he would, in almost every case, think that his food was exceptional and blame the customers – even whilst Gordon Ramsay was gagging on some week-old slimy scallops!
If we come back to look at our businesses then, where can we make some improvements here and there to reduce costs and give a better service? For instance, sometimes I see websites threatening to charge those patients who forget to turn up for their appointments. I’ve never been able to see the justification for this and can’t believe that anybody who’s been charged for non-attendance in this way would ever bother going back! So I wonder if a simple mobile phone would suffice, with a quick round of reminders going out the night before to hopefully bring in the full complement of patients the next day. (I forgot to remind my son today not to forget to go to see our Osteopath. Guess what? He forgot!)
It’s a good idea to check costs of supplies every six months too. Compare a few prices and even twist the arm of your regular supplier for a better price. Sometimes if you order slightly more, you can negotiate a better rate per item. Check comparison sites for your energy too. Some will even fix the price for a year or two so that you avoid any rises you might otherwise be subject to.
If you rent your premises from a Landlord, it is often worthwhile employing the services of a Commercial Surveyor who will fight your corner and keep any rent review increase to a minimum. If agreement can’t be reached then he can take it to Arbitration for you. This is especially important when negotiating with a large company who might use strong arm tactics! Find a local Surveyor via the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and give him a call to find out more.
Even checking out better deals for photocopier hire and paper supplies can sometimes save hundreds of pounds over the year.
Taking a business health check now and again can often improve your bottom line. Step back from the coal face and look at where you spend money and see how you can save. Is it more cost effective to buy or hire? Is it cheaper for you to use izettle or PayPal to process credit card payments?
Tightening up your business expenses will have Gordon Ramsay smiling all over his cheeky little face…