Mr. Johnson Gray runs a restaurant business in 3 different locations in Houston, Texas. The business is called Chicken Caffe and it sells pizza, burgers, hotdogs, salads and sandwiches. He began the business in the city but has recently expanded. Chicken Caffe’s success has inspired thousands of people to implement their business ideas because it is clear that focus and resilience can lead to a successful venture (Flynn,et al,2015).
Starting the Business
Mr Johnson Gray began the business in his apartment with less than 100 dollars less than four years ago after being retrenched from an audit firm. He says that with the recession the economy was experiencing then, he thought of starting a restaurant that sold healthy foods and at affordable prices since few had money to spend at expensive restaurants. The passion and focus are what fueled his desire to establish the business. With a business plan in place, he began to make sandwiches, burgers, hotdogs and salads in his apartment then went around selling them in his neighborhood. Surprisingly, he noted that those were some of his best moments even if there were so many hurdles such as finances. After six months, he rented a small open space in the city and employed one staff. His quality of service and customer treatment attracted so many people. His clientele included people from all walks of life (J. Gray, customer treatment, January 26, 2018).
Some of the significant success factors included preparedness for the day ahead, where Mr. Gray pointed out that the staff at Chicken Caffe ensure that peppers and onions are sliced and ready for use the entire day. The staff are also remunerated well which explained the high levels of energy at one of the locations. He also pointed out that quality of services and customer treatment are very critical and have contributed to the success of Chicken Caffe. Mr Gray pointed out that customer satisfaction is very important even citing that each and every customer complaint is handled by a customer care staff at each and every location. This has caused the business to grow through referrals by satisfied customers.
Characteristic of a Small Business Owner
A small business owner needs to be resilient and have many ‘people skills’ especially in the service industry. A business owner ought to be aware of the customer needs and strive to meet them not forgetting customer treatment. Video Caffe stands out as one of the businesses that has managed to put the customer’s interests first. Mr Gray pointed out that if 5 out of 7 customers are unsatisfied with your product and quality of services no matter how big your business is, you will lose it and eventually, close down. Each and every customer has to be considered for a business to be successful. Patience is also key when dealing with customers. Mr Gray also says that it is resilience and focus that have contributed to Video Caffe being what it is today (J. Gray, advice to an entrepreneur, January 26, 2018).
Mr Gray pointed out that one of his restaurants operating on a busy street was closed down after a demolition was ordered by the court. He only had one week to vacate from the buiding and find another location. This affected his business and losses due to low sales were incurred for some months. It took a lot of advertising to get back that specific branch on track. Surprisingly, it has grown more than the rest and has a reputation for sumptuous burgers and great customer services. Chicken Caffe also once produced many coupons which allowed their customers to get free food. This caused the business to make losses but the hype also turned many prospective customers into loyal customers (Flynn,2015).
Advice for a New Entrepreneur
Mr Gray’s advice to new and upcoming entrepreneurs was basically to develop a strong work ethic and time management at the early stages of their venture to prepare them for bigger and more demanding responsibilities (Carland III, et al, 1995) It takes a lot of resilience, passion and time to turn a business idea into a success venture. A new entrepreneur should also always put his customers first. For example, a customer once asked for water at the first Chicken Cafee restaurant. At that time, only soft drinks were available but from that day, we started selling water. This incidence even inspired the company to start selling healthy pizzas, burgers and other healthy products. It is all about the customer!
Starting a business, no matter how small it may be, is risky but an entrepreneur has to be willing to take risks and put time and work for it to succeed. Mr Gray expressed interest in venturing into the transport industry in future but for now, he wants to make Chicken Caffe, the most success a business can ever be (J. Gray, conclusion, January 26, 2018).
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