Birmingham, AL (PressExposure) February 24, 2012 -- Restaurant Expert Witness, Restaurant Consultant, and CEO, Howard Cannon advises the would-be restaurant owner to learn the business thoroughly, stating, "What you don't know can hurt you. Every day that you don't learn means that there is more you don't know, and a lack of specific industry knowledge and/or a lack of general business knowledge can quickly kill a restaurant. Complacency about the business will allow other, more aggressive owners to take advantage of what they know and exploit your weaknesses."
Cannon adds, "Learning is a required part of this job. Spend the necessary time gaining the required technical skills and absorbing as much information as you can about the industry. Then you can be comfortable knowing that you have approached your decision to enter this arena armed with a knowledge base and current information."
The prospective restaurant owner should conduct personal research on the restaurant industry, read trade magazines and books, attend industry seminars, get information from food and beverage distributors and suppliers, take industry-specific and general business classes, work in a restaurant that is similar in concept to his or her desired concept, learn about the competition's customers, conduct a feasibility study before buying or building a restaurant, seek guidance from reputable lawyers, accountants, and restaurant industry experts, and join local associations to network with other business owners and restaurant operators.
A well-conceived and thought-out business plan is essential to making a business work and is a key ingredient to determining the restaurant's success or failure. Cannon says, "People don't go into business planning to fail. However, plenty of people go into business failing to plan." A business plan takes time, effort, analytical ability, and commitment. Writing a business plan will help with the process of thinking through ideas and refining areas of concern, as well as areas of strength, quickly and easily without the large cost of making a mistake later on. The plan is meant to be a working document, which means that it is subject to change as circumstances change. But it should still be solid enough to be used as a guide to business success and a refocusing tool when needed.