Formula for Small Business Success

It seems quite simple, but sometimes we make things so complicated – we apply strange procedures, change strategies, move schedules and do almost anything to change the status quo – but in the end we realize that in the beginning, we were booming and now it’s too complicated to get back to where we were.

Often we make sudden changes in our business and we feel or believe that those changes directly created improvement when, in reality, the improvement was due to external conditions.

My suggestion is that anytime we progress or worsen, we need to isolate the whole truth of that particular situation in order to avoid confusing the facts. It’s very easy to celebrate a victory or cry about a defeat, but it’s complicated to analyze the facts with cold minds and no feelings.

An example of this is if one day I start selling product “a,” which goes against the nature of my restaurant’s business and results in phenomenal sales. Then the next day, I sit down after the euphoria of that huge increment of sales to find out that none of my usual customers had bought product “a,” rather, a large group from a hotel behind my restaurant had come looking for that special product. If I had not done any research about sales of product “a” on that particular day, I would have most likely placed a large order for that product and sold only a few. My inventory would have skyrocketed and my sales would have seen no difference. This particular increase in sales would have been due to external conditions.

When it comes to maintaining a successful business, apply this basic formula: 1+1=2. It might sound silly, but in numerous occasions we try to create mathematical formulas, logarithms and algebraic functions to arrive with the same end result, but with much more effort.

My best advice would be to follow the simple formula above as well as to never sacrifice the quality of your product. Forfeiting the quality of your product may help to improve your sales in the short term, but it will take you out of the game in the future. A customer can forgive you for a high price, but they will never forgive bad quality, and if you are a part of a franchise, you do not want to sacrifice the brand’s quality because it will affect the entire system’s reputation.

If you’re involved in a franchise business, the most important thing to do to start improving is to follow the manuals provided. These are prescriptions for success. If you do not believe in the policies set forth, then do not get involved with that particular franchise. Instead, open your own business under your own rules. I can assure you that in the long term, these formulas have proven to be efficient if they are fulfilled. If you are looking to open up a franchise, make sure to research the franchise business you want to get involved with: the brand, the business model and the other franchisees, because if you follow the same rules as the other triumphed owners, then the entire business will have an even larger chance for success.

Born in Veracruz, Mexico, Fernando Lara-Celis has recently opened his 6th successful Schlotzsky’s franchise in the Dallas area. He can be reached at

Source: Corp! Magazine


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