My husband and I really enjoy watching Gordon Ramsey’s TV shows, both of us enjoy cooking but that is not why we watch. It is because he has some of the best business advice around. Chef Ramsey is a premier chef but that is not what made him successful. The reason he is successful is because he truly understands business, not just restaurants but business in general.

My favorite shows are Kitchen Nightmares and Hotel Hell because he gives the owners a chance at seeing how a real business should be run. Sometimes it is the food that needs changed, sometimes it is customer service, sometimes it is marketing but every time it boils down to the owners’ lack of understanding of their business. They don’t grasp simple concepts that every business owner must know such as, cost control; inventory control; or even how paying your employees fairly and on-time affect their performance. Turning these restaurants around is not just teaching them how to cook, I have seen him bring in an CPA to teach them how to do a business plan as well as re-designing logos and helping the owner see that the community they are part of can be their best supporters rather than their greatest opponents.

When I first started my business, I really thought having the right office supplies would make it appear that I knew what I was doing. I have been in business for 16 years now and still have adding machine tape from the first purchase I made because I didn’t need 20 rolls. In the last few years I have donated tons of supplies to local schools because I still had an overabundance from that very first year in business.

We are going to launch a new blog series soon called “If I had only known” but I need your help. I need to know what you wish you had known when you first started your business and I will find an expert to answer your questions. These can also be questions you currently have even if you have run your business for a while, so don’t hold back. “I’ve had a lot of success; I’ve had failures, so I learn from the failure.“ – Gordon Ramsay