Common Sense

By Jay Shifley

About 10 miles down Rt 42 out of Ashland, there is a location that has been up for sale a number of times in the past few years.  At first glance, it seems like a great location for a restaurant.  It’s off a busy highway with lots of lights and access roads.  McDonald’s and a Wendy’s showed up at this intersection a number of years ago, just a few yards away.

Mom’s Hamburgers had been the restaurant that had been there for several years—a small burger joint.  When the fast food chains showed up,  it sadly went up for sale. I started watching the property about then.  To be honest, I kind of wanted the property for myself, but was not in a place financially to buy it.

The next place that went into that location was KD Pizza.  KD Pizza just happens to be my favorite pizza— I would actually dream about their pizza when I lived overseas!  This was KD’s first attempt, however, at having an actual restaurant instead of just a take out place.  It wasn’t long until I saw the place was up for sale again.  KD was still in business, but obviously the restaurant experience had failed.

A sign went up a few weeks later outside the property that had “Go Easy” written on it, with a bunch of small writing underneath that I couldn’t read as I drove by.  I figured correctly, though, that it was another restaurant.  I visited it once with a friend to check it out, and even though it was lunch time and the food (I’d call it “homemade fast food”) wasn't bad, we were the only ones in the restaurant.  “Go Easy” closed before they had been open a year.

Here’s what I learned as I watched this saga unfold, mostly behind the wheel of my car.

  1. Mom’s Hamburgers:  Notice when the time for your business has ended, or when you no longer can compete, and get out.
  2. KD Pizza:  Make calculated risks when branching out, so that any failure doesn’t take your business with it.
  3. Go Easy:  Use common sense, and don’t try to compete with businesses that are bigger and better than you are, especially when other similar businesses have tried and failed before you came along. 

 

Originally written: March 21, 2017

 

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