I want to talk to you about a danger for your business, but first I need to give you some backstory.
I spent the holidays with my friend Sheri in Georgia. As part of our holiday celebration, we embarked on an 8 hour drive from Georgia to Florida. As we’re driving, I start seeing signs for “Waffle House.” Being a Canadian, this is not something I’m familiar with and my initial impression was something that wasn’t retro but actually from the ‘50s with it’s simple black and yellow signage. As we kept driving, we saw another Waffle House …. and another ….. and so on. Eventually, I asked Sheri what it was since we’d seen so many of them and she explained that it was a national restaurant chain.
But here’s what I find interesting. The branding, which I said looked like it was created in the 1950’s, is actually from the ‘50s since Waffle House was founded in 1955. Their branding has not changed since 1955.
Waffle House’s brand has been consistent this whole time. They found something that worked, that distinctive black and yellow signage, and stuck with it. And because they’ve stuck with what works and kept their branding and image consistent, they have been able to grow their business from one Waffle House to a nationwide chain.
Now, why am I bringing this to you, my business professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners? Your excitement level is contagious and wonderful and I want you to keep it! Before you leap without looking, take a long, deep look at what has been working for you. What has been working? What products and services are selling the most? Really look at what makes up your foundation. Leaps are great, but you have to find where to land.
When you make a change, are you changing something that needs it? You want to avoid destroying something that works in the rush to be “fresh” and “new.” 2017 is going to be an amazing year! Let’s start it right by familiarizing ourselves with our foundations, what is working for us and what do we want to keep. Be Waffle House and expand throughout the country (or the world)! Be Waffle House and build slow and steady, asking yourself what can you do that’s new that does not take away from your foundation.
There. That’s my advice. Go out! Kick butt and be awesome! Be Waffle House! I’m rooting for you.