Employees: Raided

2012 April: Raided

How protected is your staff from the competition?   It’s a small business owner’s nightmare: Discovering that the competition has “raided” your staff, leaving you with a skeletal crew to run your restaurant. Employee raids are unethical, commonplace and pose a real threat to you. “This sort of thing happens under the radar –– employeeMore »

Marketing Matters: Building a Buzz

2012 April: Marketing Matters

Running a janitorial service in the 1980s, I depended on good old word of mouth (WOM) to generate business for me. Pair that with a business card, and I had a good thing going. In the 1990s when I stepped into a failing pizzeria, I quickly found out that putting up an ‘Under New Management’More »

Marketing: Return On Investment

2012 March: Return On Investment

It’s all about ROI and how to maximize it   There are a variety of gauges a business can use to measure the success of its marketing. But to really measure you must first know your goal. Was it money in the bank, build a database, find a new customer or create TOMA? All areMore »

Deal Breakers

2012 March: Deal Breakers

Seven tips for renegotiating your lease   While the recession is coming to an end, many operators are still struggling. The good news? Your landlord is feeling the squeeze, too. According to the National Association of Realtors, retail vacancy rates nationwide were at 12.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, and retail rents actuallyMore »

2012 March: Ask Big Dave

2012 March: Ask Big Dave

I haven’t updated my menu in a couple of years except for price adjustments. Is it worth it to pay a professional company to do this for me? Austin Rodigero Phoenix, Arizona I’m rarely stopped dead in my tracks. A few years ago, however, I did a double-take as I passed an exhibitor’s booth atMore »

2012 March: In The Know

2012 March: In The Know

You receive a notice in the mail that an ex-employee is filing for unemployment. But he quit the company and one doesn’t receive unemployment for that. He wasn’t fired; he wasn’t demoted and sulked off in dejection; he wasn’t harassed into submitting his resignation. Even though you believe that, in these tough times, ex-workers needMore »

2012 February: Ask Big Dave

2012 February: Ask Big Dave

Tim Ridout, via Facebook Big Rounds Ravenna, Michigan Hey, Tim. Without exception, I can’t think of any ingredient that has gone down in price. Since cheese is the costliest ingredient on our pizzas, and we buy so much of it every week, it comes to mind first. The wholesale price of mozzarella is fixed everyMore »

Ask Big Dave: Show me the money

2012 January: Ask Big Dave

Q: Banks aren’t lending. Where do I go for growth money? Louis Phelps Kansas City, Missouri A: In the current economic freefall we’ve been destined to play out due to very bad decisions made by ‘too big to fail institutions,’ you are suffering. When all else failed, I borrowed from friends, family, my distributors andMore »