In 2009, I was in trouble. I didn’t have enough money to last through the year.
From 2006 to 2009, not only had it been hard to increase revenues and profits in my restaurant business due to rising costs, employee turnover, and increasing competition but I had added on too many stores, too soon.
I was slowly running out of cash…
Some of the stores were doing well, and some weren’t. The stores that were not doing well were sucking the cash out of the stores that were doing well.
I knew it was just a matter of time before I’d have to close down.
And then I met Rehan, a very successful angel investor, who had previously invested in small companies and helped them grow to be very large and profitable companies. I had this one chance of convincing him that if he invested in my restaurants, I would do everything to grow my business and his investment.
Our first meeting went well (😊 I’m being sarcastic).
I could see it in his eyes that he thought I was an overconfident, cocky kid (BTW I wasn’t a kid, I was 31 years old). Although, I did think I knew more than him, but boy was I wrong…
After 2 more meetings and a lot of anxiety…
He said, “I’ll invest in your company on one condition.”
The truth was, I needed his money and I was willing to do anything.
“I want you to go out and learn more. You know a lot, but to really excel and take your business to where you want to go (I wanted to be a national chain), you’re going to have to learn a lot more.”
He gave me a piece of paper with a few names on it and said, “I want you to read these books, attend these conferences, network with people there and learn from them.”
We planned to meet once a month. I knew that by the next time we met, he’d want to see what I had learned and how I used it to improve my finances, even if it was just a little bit.
I was willing to do anything to get his money, so, I took his ‘one condition’ as the word of god.
I made it my priority to learn more.
I read The Net Promoter Score to understand what it really takes to bring customers back more often. I read TopGrading, to learn what other companies were doing to hire and retain employees for longer and a lot more books that helped me understand what it meant to grow a business without losing money.
At conferences, I’d meet owners and executives of businesses in other industries. They too were hiring minimum wage labor, had high operational costs and intense competition. But they figured out how to overcome these challenges and come out on top.
I kept an open mind. I learned from them and adapted their solutions in my business. Some of those solutions worked, most didn’t. But I didn’t give up. I kept tweaking them.
This went on for 11 months until I finally saw a glimmer of hope. Adapting these proven solutions from other industries to the restaurant industry finally worked. I saw my customers begin to come back more often, my employees stopped quitting and my profit margins got bigger.
I realized that he had taught me how to not need his money and yet do well.
They say that the best coaches and teachers are those that guide you, support you, and show you the way to where you want to go and one day you won’t need them anymore. That’s what he did for me.
And that is my intention for you at F and B Business School. I want to continue providing you with proven solutions to help you overcome today’s challenges, so you can continue to create, grow run your business in a way that makes you happy.
And my hope is, one day, in the near future, other restaurant owners are inspired by you and want for themselves what you’ve accomplished for yourself, your family and your business.
So are you going to wait as long as I did, till the brink of running out of cash? Or are you going to take action and commit to improving your business by learning different ways to solve the same problems, because the old ways aren’t working.
Commit to keeping an open mind and learning new ways to solve old problems and begin seeing the difference in your business and your life.
To help you on your journey, here are some free resources and if you can’t find something you need, just email me. I’m here to help you.
Best of luck.
F and B Business School
An online school to share, inspire and teach the restaurant industry’s best business practices to owners who are committed to improving their business and life.
We teach proven systems and techniques to help you get more out of your hard work and time and help you create a scalable and profitable business that makes your customers, your employees and you happy.
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