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Bam! A Lesson From The Kitchen

emeril_live.jpg Over the weekend I was watching a new show on the Food Network, Chefography. As its name suggests, its the biography of a chef. I watched the episode about Emeril (BAM!) and Paula Dean. While watching both episodes, something struck me...something so clear, so pure, so true. Here are the stories of two very successful entrepreneurs. They're both authors, restauranteurs, and TV personalities. They both have found success. And in both stories, this striking chord resonated. Paula Dean began catering out of her own house. Then she moved into the kitchen of a Best Western motel. After a few years, she was burning out. She was spending all of her time at the restaurant, but wasn't making any money and wasn't spending time with her family. Sounds like a familiar tale, doesn't it? Then she decided to offer a country style buffet and shazaam! the restaurant took off. Soon she was able to get an upscale location in downtown Savannah and now it's the most popular place in town. As she tells the story, she says, "I just decided to give the people what they wanted." Sounds simple...she gave them what they wanted, and they responded. Now on to Emeril. In his interview he explained that he loved doing book signings. Why? Because, he explains, "I get to talk to hundreds of people...and they tell me what they want...then I give it to them." Eureka! They both said the same thing. Hmmmmm. Many times, small business owners get so caught up in finding new customers (marketing) and convincing people to buy (sales) that they forget the most basic premise. Give people what they want. It really is that simple. It's very hard to sell and market something nobody wants. But it is embarrassingly simple to sell and market something everybody wants. So think about this in terms of your offering. Does anybody want it? If not, what can you do to change?