Four Lessons in Entrepreneurship from the Happy Hanger Café

Dec 31, 2013 by

When I go visit friends, I drive right by the Tampa North Flight Center, a small airport in Wesley Chapel, FL, a few miles north of Tampa.  Although I like to watch the small planes come and go, I had never had any reason to stop there before a few weeks ago.  While I was there, I considered what I could learn about entrepreneurship from watching the airport’s new café run.

#1 Good Stewardship – I have helped several first-time entrepreneurs withHappy Hanger Sign digital marketing and social media. It’s generally easy to tell the ones that have a shot at making it in business because they find ways to make their startup capital go farther. The owner of the new Happy Hanger Café got me in the front door with a sign made of just a few dollars worth of red Solo cups in a chain link fence. A less creative entrepreneur might have chosen to rent a billboard to announce a grand opening at a cost of thousands or to order a custom sign or banner at a cost of hundreds. How can you get more clients using smart, low-cost marketing?

#2 Strong Service – Both times I have been to The Happy Hanger Café, I have been greeted by a smiling server. Both the owner and employees are attentive to the people who walk, drive, or fly in. The owner has her team focused on making sure that drop-ins become regulars. What could you do to improve the experience of those who visit your business and to turn occasional visitors into loyal clients?

toy plane#3 Sound Psychology – I’m a regular reader of Roy H William’s weekly newsletter, The Monday Morning Memo. Every business owner should read it. One lesson it taught me is to find ways to deliver unanticipated delight. In the newsletter, Roy saves some of his best insights for the rabbit hole, a secret revealed only to those who click on the image above the newsletter’s title. For anyone who brings young children in, the owner of the café has a surprise: a gift of a balsa toy glider. What small touch would make your clients remember the pleasure of doing business with you?

#4 Smart Measurement – The second time I visited The Happy Hanger Café, I happened to hear the owner talking with an employee about the kind of Saturday they were having. She knew exactly how much business they had done thus far that Saturday and how that total compared with the previous Saturday’s. As an Internet marketer, I am always interested in whether a business that I am helping is able to see tangible growth in its revenues and profit. Are you using the right metrics to measure performance and to keep yourself focused on building a profitable client base?

It takes great courage to trade the security of a regular paycheck for the uncertainty of a new venture. The owner of The Happy Hanger Café seems to have her venture at cruising speed.

If you stop in for lunch, try the corned beef Reuben.

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