About Workforce Echoes

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Surviving or Thriving?

Surviving or Thriving?
Frank left his high power executive’s position to open a bakery.  It had always been his dream and finally he was prepared to make the leap.  After six months of hard work, his new bakery opened.  Breakfast pastries, desserts, and wedding cakes were his specialties.  Business was great for the first three months but then fell off significantly.  Frank quickly grew very concerned about his small and declining profit margin.  What was going wrong?
His bakery had been open for five months when a man came into his shop and asked if Frank made pizza.  Frank answered “no, we are a bakery.” 
The man replied “Yes I do love your pastries.  However I need someone to make 125 pizzas for me every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  It’s for large groups of teens we regularly host for training programs.  Our training center is right across the street and I was just hoping you could help us out.  We may need orders on occasional Saturday’s as well.”

Well, Frank’s eyes lit up as he calculated the profit he could make on a regular basis.  He hated pizza, had no interest in making it, but after some discussion, he agreed.  At least it would bring in some profit while he figured out how to make his bakery work.
The pizzas were a big hit.  The teens loved them so much that they frequented Frank’s bakery asking for pizza!  Frank had to add them to his menu.  Pretty soon, 70% of his revenues were from pizza.  He and his staff were so busy making pizza that little time was left to focus on the bakery items.  Customers that did come in for bakery items were disappointed at the slim selection.  Frank was so busy keeping up with the pizza business that no time was left for the planning, creative problem solving, and marketing needed to get his bakery back on track. 
Six months later, Frank shut down his bakery turned pizza shop.  He hated making pizzas.  It was not his dream.  
What went wrong?  Actually Frank never took the time to determine what went wrong when his bakery sales dropped. 
Is your business a gourmet bakery turned pizza shop?   Is your business focused on surviving rather than thriving?  Our next blog postings will focus on what went wrong and how to avoid this all too common problem.

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