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The 20,000 Dow

Today is December 10th and when I’m done writing this I’ll be off to tonight’s weddings and events. The Dow closed yesterday at just 250 points shy of 20K. All major market indicators closed at record highs. Things may change by the time you have time to read this, but fingers crossed! It looks like 2017 could be a good year.

So, what are we going to do about it? I am cautiously optimistic and preparing for another growth year. Here are three of the things that I’m doing that you might find appealing to you and your firm.

1. Re-reading Mastering the Rockefeller Habits
A few years back I read it, and then like so many things, it got put on the backburner. Quite frankly, I switched my focus to Good to Great. With double-digit sales growth, each year for the past four years, I think my firm is doing that. If you recall, Good to Great is about getting the right people on your team, getting them into the right seat, and then figuring out what you can be the world’s best at.

Mastering the Rockefeller Habits gives great direction for growing your catering business. It deals with mastering the areas in our firms that we all have in common: Growth; People; Strategic Planning; Core Values; Organizational Alignment and Focus; the Quarterly Theme; Employee Feedback; Daily and Weekly Meetings; the Brand Promise; and Bank Financing.

2. Focusing on Staff Training and Development
Our employees are our internal customers, and if we don’t treat them as well as we treat our customers, the good ones will join a catering firm that does. Our staff members need to grow personally and professionally. There are all sorts of ways to engage them, reward them, reprimand them, and train them. Read Employee Engagement for Dummies and put into practice some of their suggestions. I have and they work.

3. Budgeting and Planning Strategically
Yes, I know that some of this is not fun. We’d rather be doing it than talking about it. But seriously, if you want to grow your top and bottom lines, you need to make time for the numbers and the vision.

We all know that Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.

“But Bill, how do I find the time to do this? My customers and employees need me 24/7!”

I know that, but unless you want to continue to be a “one man band” rather than a “symphony orchestra,” then keep on doing what you’ve always been doing and you’ll keep on getting what you already got!

If you want to grow, however, you need to train and hire people to help you so that you can work less in the business and more on the business. Doing this may not be for all of us, but it is the path I chose and I’m happy that I did.

If you want to take advantage of the improved economy, if you agree that things are going to be better for businesses like ours, then 2017 might be the year to put the pedal to the metal and focus on growing…but cautiously.

Blessings and may 2017 be a great year for all of us. —Bill

P. S. I hope to see you at Catersource and that you attend all three of my panel presentations. I promise you that if you apply what you will learn, your investment in going to Catersource will pay off in spades. 

Get Fresh, December 2016

Bill Hansen

Bill Hansen

CEO, Bill Hansen Catering and Event Production, Miami, FL

From catering for four U.S. Presidents, to Pope John Paul II, to champion Super Bowl teams, Bill Hansen brings over 50 years of catering, entrepreneurial and food service management experience to his consulting practice. A published author, Bill’s extensive expertise has made him one of the country’s leading food experts and Founder and CEO of one of South Florida’s top catering firms.

Bill’s areas of expertise are in leadership, and management. In 1980, he founded Bills’ Catering with his best friend Bill Hendrich. In 1990, Bill began teaching Catering Management at Florida International University. After 403 years, Bill’s firm continues to prosper, while spawning scores of South Florida caterers...