Is there too much on your menu? When my father was in his late 80s he didn’t get out much. However, one thing he looked forward to was our weekly Sunday morning breakfast. It became a tradition. We varied and rotated restaurants over the years, but usually stuck with the same staples. Dad always had biscuits and gravy; I had bacon and eggs. One summer we went to the same mom & pop restaurant most Sunday’s.  It was clean and quiet, the staff was friendly, and the coffee is hot and fast. The food was homemade, cooked fresh, and good. Dad liked their biscuits. One weekend when my wife was out of town, I called dad and suggested we try dinner at our breakfast spot. He agreed.

Is There too Much on Your Menu?

It Wasn’t a Good Experience

This small dinette had a six-page dinner menu. It included American, Greek, Mexican, and Italian cuisine. I wondered how they did it. I found out. They do it with inferior food. Unlike their breakfast, dinner wasn’t homemade. The Chimichanga I ordered was worse than a low-end, supermarket, microwave burrito. It was nothing like a chimi. It was awful and dad’s meatloaf wasn’t much better. I took a bite of mine and sent it back. I was done. Please understand, I cannot remember a time I sent food back before or since, that’s not me. I offered to pay the bill but they only charged me one-half. I tipped the wait person the other half. It wasn’t their fault. We never went back, not even for breakfast. Here’s my point. How often do businesses do the same thing?

Solve Problems Don’t Create Them

I’m all for any business offering additional products to their customer base and solving client problems, but only if they’re prepared. Attempting to offer services before they can be adequately delivered hurts an organization on every level—even with the stuff they do well. It soils an organization’s reputation.

A Story of Two Companies

In 1959, the auto manufacturer Renault sold more than 91,000 of one model, the Dauphine, in the USA, by far the largest selling import in America. Renault ruled the market; for one year. The problem was the car was of questionable quality and parts and service were sketchy at best. Some of the garages selling these cars didn’t have the metric tools required to service the vehicle.

The first Volkswagen Type 1, the VW Beatle, was imported to America in 1949. By 1958, a total of 18,000 had been imported to the stateside market. VW moved slow, delivering a quality product with replacement parts available and they trained the technicians needed to maintain the vehicles. You know the rest of the story. VW continues to hold a strong market share and Renault never completely recovered in this market. That was 64 years ago. Some things are hard for the public to forget and forgive.

What’s Your Plan?

Before adding new products or services, before pushing into new markets, before committing to new offerings for your loyal and valued customers, be certain you’re ready. The worst thing you can do is bring a product online before it’s time. You’ll look unorganized, poorly prepared, and greedy. And that’s probably close to the truth.

How Can I Help You?

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a management training plan? Businesses and universities use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. I’m also available to conduct training.

Photo by Foo Visuals on Unsplash