If your entire work environment is your kitchen, then you are the chef in the whole business structure. You hold a secret recipe for success, and you have the ingredients that can help you whip a flourishing venture. But you would need some kitchen utensils for you to be able to prepare the food scrumptiously. These are must-haves in your regular operations to help you deliver the necessary food orders to the front of the house.
While cooking may need some special skills, everyone can learn the basics and become masters in their respective kitchens. All you need is the patience to see through the whole process and a keen sense of taste that takes in every detail of the food and culinary yearnings of the diners. They say that food tastes a whole lot better when you put your heart into your cooking. In the same way, the entrepreneurial journey will last long if you have the passion and perseverance to endure the adventure. Whether you strictly follow a recipe or you cook according to your instincts, running a business is also hinged on your style, inclinations and goals. You have to be watchful of the preferences of the market, relying on your gut-feel and entrepreneurial skills, which you can develop over time.
To come up with a delectable menu of business dishes, you need to use the following cooking tools effectively in the day-to-day operations of your proverbial entrepreneurial kitchen.
1. Measuring spoons: to calculate risks and monitor metrics
Measurement is necessary for business. Even before you leap into action, whether it’s a new venture, a novel project, an innovative product or a fresh business offering, you need to look at some numbers first to determine the risks involved and the probable success rate. Surveys and feasibility plans can help you make decisions in designing your business and steer it towards the right direction.
As you continue to oversee your enterprise, you still need some metrics to identify your points of strength and areas for improvement that will allow you and your business to expand and grow. The figures will give you an overview of your customers’ preferences and your venture’s movements when it comes to profit, loss and revenue.
So, take those measuring spoons out and put in the right amount of ingredients for your bestselling business cuisine.
2. Chef’s knife: to cut big goals to smaller ones
The first thing to do when you start a business is to formulate your goals. These goals become your guide or recipe on how to throw together a successful business menu. As you transition to the next stages of growth, you have to upgrade these goals to suit the shifting landscape of your industry and personal preferences.
To make these goals more edible to your partners, team members and clients, you have to slice them into smaller pieces. Think of your long-term objectives and design mid-term and short-term goals that are easier to track and monitor.
With regards to big ideas, they are simpler to digest if you provide bits and pieces of the more specific, little chunks of thoughts. It’s good to present the big picture with the bird’s eye view, but it is also helpful to look closely into the details and consider every angle of the plan or situation.
3. Grater: to shred targets into daily checklists
Annual targets are often quite daunting. The massive numbers can be a bit intimidating. Similarly, a block of cheese may be unappealing to the senses. You have to grind it to make a good topping. In the same way, you have to split your targets into daily checklists that will be less demanding to carry out.
The daily checklists are wonderful toppings to your weekly and monthly huddles. It will leave a sweeter taste in your mouth when you see your small achievements day after day. Knowing that you have ticked off a lot of things at the end of each day, it becomes a source of encouragement. When you miss a task, you can easily go back to it the day after for you to complete it.
4. Strainer: to filter out the negative factors
The business space is full of many elements, both favourable and unfavourable. While you take in the positive ones and turn the undesirable into something constructive, it is often wiser not to dwell on the negative components that will wear you down. You have to sift through all the information and comments and let the good feedback inspire you. As to those things that leave a bitter taste in the mouth, let them motivate you and not discourage you, then move forward to better yourself.
Even in your business undertakings, you have to ensure that you take out some rotten tomatoes, whether they are problem employees, inefficient procedures and systems, non-operational equipment, or a terrible concept. Once you have retained the elements that are useful and valuable to your enterprise, work towards polishing them and upgrading them so that they yield flattering results.
5. Peeler: to scratch the surface
There are more to things than meets the eye. Some small ideas can bear fruit into remarkable innovative products. Simple shop fronts or office buildings house remarkable products or talented personnel. An inconspicuous hole-in-the-wall turns out to be serving the best-tasting food in the area.
In the entrepreneurial highway, you may come across unassuming individuals or modest businesses that will turn out to be a big help to your venture. Scratch the surface and discover opportunities and potentials hidden in everyday things. Sometimes, you need to dig deeper to mine a gem.
When it comes to your business, you often have to peel off layers and blinders that prevent others to know your business more and appreciate your brand better. You have to get yourself out there. Show what’s in the core of your business. Take out the skin and let them savour the fleshy part of your trade.
6. Rolling pin: to flatten humps
The entrepreneurial journey is not always a smooth paved road. There are humps and potholes throughout the path. Externally, these humps are the challenges in the market, the industry and the business world. If you are not strong of heart, you can easily give up. Business owners must have the tenacity and determination to overcome such hurdles, flattening them to prepare the way for his team members and other younger entrepreneurs.
With regards to the internal environment, it is inevitable to find humps in your backyard as well. Your business is also dynamic and has a life of its own. There will always be areas where you can still develop or flatten out detrimental mounds of problems and glitches. It could be your organisational structure, production design, office processes, or human resource.
7. Wooden spoon: to mix all ingredients well
You have a superb well-thought vision and best laid-out plans. On the other hand, you also have your corporate values, which serve as the heart of your company. The staff members are brilliant and talented, but you also want to have a harmonious working culture.
Entrepreneurial success is not attributed to only a single factor, whether it’s a good product, an accessible business location or a visionary leader. It’s a combination of all these features. However, it’s not like a hodgepodge of different aspects of the business. Every part complements the whole. A good business leader knows how to tip the scales, balance things within his venture, and mix everything into a filling banquet of dishes that all go together perfectly.
8. Wire whisk: to smoothen business operations
It’s time to get rid of the bubbles to have one rich, velvety cream. A good business runs like a well-oiled machine. There may be hiccups as you go along, the reason why you need a whisk to blend various portions of the business until they appear like one product amalgamated together. Your whisk can be your work culture or values.
Smoothening things is also a skill of a business leader. When conflicts or misunderstanding arise, the business owner finds ways to come up with an agreeable solution for the betterment of the enterprise. When someone or something is stirring the pot and turning up the heat, whisk the situation to simmer things down. The journey is not always smooth sailing. You will have to use the whisk in several occasions to batter the stumbling blocks and use them to provide lushness to your experience.
9. Can opener: to unleash bigger potentials and new offerings
Don’t let the flavourful ingredients kept hidden in your cupboard. You don’t have to wait for everything to be perfect to launch something. Be courageous enough to allow the market to taste your dish and work on improving its taste as you go along. It doesn’t have to be a flash in the pan or half-baked ideas, but something worthwhile and looks promising when presented to the public. That confidence is your can opener that will unlock hidden potentials and concealed talents.
Throughout your journey, you will have to either introduce your business, inaugurate a store or office, launch a product or service, unveil a concept or marketing campaign, or host an opening gala. Creating a buzz for your business is necessary to attract more clients and customers. The can opener, which may also be an opportunity or strategy, is your ticket to promote your brand.
10. Tongs: to hold the business steadily and take it from hot waters
If you fall into deep waters, don’t be discouraged because that is part of the entrepreneurial journey. You cannot avoid mistakes or problems. But you can always learn from them, correct errors, find solutions and redeem yourself. Your tongs are your positive attitude and perseverance that will hold you steadily in the bumpy entrepreneurial ride. It can also be your support group, such as your family, friends or business organisations like EO Melbourne. The business journey may often be lonesome, and you need to have someone who can listen to your worries, empathise with your situation, and help you find the end of the dark tunnel.
You will always need some tongs to keep you afloat, especially when your troubles are pulling you down. It is your lifesaver to keep you sane and focused. Do not let yourself get drowned in misery. At some point in the cooking process, you have to take out the food from the boiling water, searing oil, or blistering fire. Otherwise, it will get burnt and overcooked, which will make it unfit for human consumption. The tongs will also hold you together so that you don’t jump out of the frying pan into the fire.
Make sure you have these cooking utensils in your entrepreneurial kitchen. If you already have them at your disposal, you can heat your pan, prepare the ingredients and get started with your culinary fare. Remember, entrepreneurship is not as easy as pie. Sometimes you’ll go nuts if you are in a pickle. When things go wrong, there’s no use crying over spilled milk because that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Just take things with a grain of salt and work hard to be the cream of the crop. Be inspired by the stories of entrepreneurs who have gone before you because their experiences show that the proof is in the pudding.