As a society, we embrace the idea of the speedier the better. Expectations on wait time amount to minutes rather than hours (or days). But doesn’t obtaining something fast compromise quality?
Although I’m not a real fan of Mexican food, as a business owner offering business blogging services, I found an article in Fortune Magazine about Chipotle’s profit margins fascinating. I read that Chipotle’s growth has been remarkable and one of the highest in the fast food industry. Which is quite notable given that the restaurant says it spends more time on food and its preparation in comparison to other fast food establishments:
Chipotle is a niche in a huge market. American fast food is dominated by burger joints. Fast casual emerged in the 1990s as a refinement of conventional fast food. Instead of frozen fare processed elsewhere, dishes are made from scratch.
The Fortune article reports that Chipotle’s high margins can be explained by other efficiencies. “Throughput” refers to the rate of customer service, a Chipotle obsession, moving 300 customers an hour through the system. Their stated goal is to offer “Slow food fast:”
Chipotle’s (CMG, -2.84%) growth has been remarkable. Revenue for the 12 months ending June 30 was more than $2 billion, up 23.5% from the prior year. Since 2006, revenue has nearly tripled; in the same period the number of restaurants in the chain doubled. In restaurants open at least a year, sales were up 11% in the first half of 2011. Profit margins in Chipotle restaurants have been in the 25% to 26% range — among the highest in the fast-food industry.
Similar to Chipotle’s outlook on quality, many businesses pride themselves on spending more time preparing and devoting more care to their mission and service. Why? Because ultimately, investing the time and being meticulous in our jobs and in the overall work we do is what creates success across the board. At Say It For You, we strive to create and produce high quality business blog writing and it certainly pays off.
So, in what way can the Chipotle’s example be instructive in blogging for business?
- As Fortune points out, Chipotle is a “niche in a huge market dominated by burger joints”. It’s true, Chipotle’s unique approach to the market has served them well. This point is key and one that I stress to those in corporate blogging training sessions. The first step is to define your business niche and then focus blog content writing on the needs of that niche target market.
- Chipotle emphasizes efficiency in customer service, but not by rushing through the preparation and sacrificing quality. Precisely because they’ve put the needed time and care into the preparation, there are fewer customer service issues. Blogs have informative and business-relevant content that increase traffic. The lesson here? When online readers feel their needs are being addressed, versus sites containing purely promotional material, blog posts are able to achieve better conversion rates.
- Like Chipotle’s customers, I tell business owners and blog content writers: your blog may be posted (and your online visitors may arrive) just one at a time. On the other hand, blogs are the perfect tool for achieving “throughput”. While even the most unwieldy websites contain only a finite space for text, blogging doesn’t have such constraints. While individual posts are short, the content stays around forever, helping you build equity in those all-important keyword phrases and categories.
It certainly comes as no surprise that in business, we all strive for quality and care. This goal creates a standard that we want to follow and emulate. In the end, you might say the secret of successful corporate blogging for business is serving up slow content, fast!