Alex Polizzi was in full swing in Episode two of the BBC Fixer programme this week. She said it as it was and believe me this business needed to hear some harsh realities about their business.
This week it was a photography business. The good news was that the lady who owned it could take good photo’s. The bad news? She was in business with her three daughters with undefined roles and in the two years the business had been in operation it was yet to make a profit. Why? Three main areas stood out for me.
One – Excuses, Excuses and more Excuses – This always concerns me a business that uses excuses as the reason to why their business is not succeeding. Excuses in this business included.
“We haven’t got the time.”
Really you are only getting 2 -3 photo shoots per week with 4 in the team and you don’t have the time to look at how you can get new business and or move the business forward. Alex Polizzi hands you on a plate two photo shoots for a butchers and hairdressers and you can’t be bothered to follow-up the leads? Claiming you have no time? Like the formidable Alex Polizzi I have no sympathy.
“We don’t know anything about marketing.”
Understandable as I wrote in this blog piece https://fionadranesblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/we-are-all-experts-at-everything-arent-we-or-are-we/. We are not all experts at everything and we can’t expect to be so look at how you can get assistance. Marketing experts can help you get your business noticed while you get on with the things that you are good at in this case photography.
“There are no bookings this week and only two next week something will come up.”
No it won’t people do not owe you a living. You have to deserve customers and show them why they should buy from you. People who sit back and have this mentality won’t be in business for long. And they can go on afterwards blaming the fact that people didn’t know about them. But the simple truth is that its their own fault as they didn’t let people know and they didn’t offer a service that people wanted. Running your business is hard work but if you are prepared to work at it you will be rewarded but if you sit back? You will get nothing and quite frankly that is what you deserve.
We can all make excuses for why we don’t do things in business but at the end of the day if we are business owners the buck stops with us period. It is our responsibility to make sure that all aspects of our business run smoothly and if they don’t we need to take action to fix it and if we don’t have the expertise we need to ask those who do. Excuses don’t make a successful business they just cause procrastination, bitterness and ultimately if you don’t sit up and take action you are doomed to failure.
Manage – Managing people full stop is hard. It is rewarding but it is tough. And that is when you don’t have any family connection to those that you manage. In this case the business owner was employing her daughters. Not a task I would envy. You have to make tough decisions in business and that is hard when its your nearest and dearest you are managing. But that said you still have to manage. Each person in the business needs to have a distinct role, responsibilities and targets and every person needs to be aware that each and every person needs to play a financial role in the business. Well done to Alex for finally showing both mother and daughters this hard lesson. Hopefully it has turned the business round.
Location – Channel 4 has successfully run Location, Location,Location for a reason.
Why? Because Location matters. It matters for homes and it matters for business. If you are looking for a place to locate your business you need to be where your customers not only are but are willing to come to. This business was located in a low-end shopping mall! Yet was located in a prosperous county with affluent towns on their doorstep. And they wanted to sell photo shoots of £150 plus. No wonder the business hadn’t made a profit in its first two years of business. A good lesson to learn if you are setting up in business think carefully where are your customers more likely to be? Then locate yourself there. Or if you are already in business it’s a good to just take stock once in a while and just reflect if you are in the right location.
Again this week like last also showed that image is key. https://fionadranesblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/alex-polizzi-returns-and-its-curtains/
This was a luxury item with a down-market image. Appearances count in any business but particularly in this business. Investment in this will pay time and time again and thankfully this lesson also got through to this business before it was too late.
So thanks Alex Polizzi enjoyed your approach once more you said it as it is. And three more business lessons were learnt. Excuses are just that excuses. You have to manage your business and have clear roles and responsibilities. Location is key you need to be where your customers are . And finally yet again first appearances count. The Fixer worth watching BBC 2 Tuesdays at 8pm.