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May 28, 2007, 08:38 PM

I may be a bit harsh and please don't take this the wrong way... But I've worked with literally hundreds of businesses over the years with cash flow problems. And almost always the biggest "problem" with the business is that it isn't being managed and marketed properly. NOW let me say that probably a great deal of the "rust" that has accumulated on this business is from the prior ownership-- I've seen that happen more times than I could count! And your relatives may have walked into "it" with a terrific "can do" attitude BUT business turn-a-rounds are pretty hard to pull off. Even for the most skilled businessperson.

My questions are:
1. Do they have a marketing plan? And if so what does it entail?
2. Do they have a set of Standard Operating Procedures that are WRITTEN and followed through on? I mean EVERY operation within that business needs to be written down. Not only does this ensure consistent service but it's a damn site easier training employees by just giving them a copy of the SOP's as opposed to having to verbalize all instructions-- which human beings are horrid at because we're always forgetting something so that our instructions are not consistent.
3. Has anyone given them an honest critique of their business and how customers are treated?

In this instance, like most others where the primary business model is failing, the natural reaction is to "find other streams of income". My problem with this is that if they aren't managing the main business model correctly how can they be expected to pull off a successful income stream using a secondary business model using the same property?

I doubt "out of the box thinking" is needed. What is needed is to make the current operation one of the top-10% in their area, which in the hospitality field comes down to 4 things:

1. Customer service
2. Cleanliness
3. Consistency
4. Marketing

My guess is that they are failing in at least one of these areas.

Correct the problems, do a mass mailing to people that have visited previously offering a nice discount and get the ball rolling!

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