Walking through the local mall the other day I ran into the Mad Butcher, Peter Leitch, owner of the Mad Butcher chain and rabid rugby league supporter. He asked how my day business was going. “Well it has been a little slower this year.” “You know where the problem is?” he said “Look in the mirror!”
He does not believe in pulling any punches.
Now I have heard that from him before at another time our business was a bit quiet. Interestingly that conversation took place in a mall as well.
Peter is a well known personality in New Zealand and Australia, highly opinionated and entertaining. He supports the local rugby league side, the Warriors. He is involved in a number of community charities. And he had grown his chain from a single butcher’s shop to a large number of outlets around the country at a time when supermarkets were competing strongly for the retail meat market.
At the initial talk he had told me that in his opinion you could grow a business in any time, in financial crises, recessions and all. To his mind you just applied yourself and it worked.
He had had his share of tight times in the past.
And recently, after a heart scare, he had sold his chain and become the figurehead. He was at the mall to check the local bookshop’s display of his recently released autobiography.
This time he mentioned how most of his franchise chain of stores did great business with the odd one not doing so well. He related about a recent one where he had told the owner to get his head out of his ass and see what was going on. He still did not come right and was eventually replaced by another owner, with the same business model, who succeeded massively.
As he said, some owners tend to think they can have a business and be off having a good time thinking everything would tick over fine. And, as he mentioned, the staff are critical. He related it to bar staff and how some can be so unwelcoming and unhelpful, which, as he pointed out, in the current economic climate is not great for business. Continue Reading