Steve Zhik is an operations manager for Eight Turn Crepe. He has built and sold a number of small businesses in the New York area. He has also been of great help and assistance to me over the last few years with his thoughts on business. I wanted to share with you a few nuggets of wisdom that he has given me.
In this episode, we discuss how we met, how Steve got involved in Eight Turn Crepe. He discusses his thoughts on scaling, hiring, managing and branding businesses. We also discuss our shared love of travel and Steve answers the questions on:
Favorite movie, author, tv series, musicians, artist, philosopher, superpower, Time, alternative profession, alternative living location, words of advice.
Also here is an article on Steve: STEVE ZHIK BUSINESS LESSONS from my blog.
Steve Zhik has had a number of small businesses over the years that he has turned around and sold. There were a few things in particular that I liked so here is a quick summary of some of the key ideas that he reminded me of which are critical to business and life success.
1) YOUR TEAM ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF ANY BUSINESS
When Steve talks about his staff, it soon becomes evident that he is a huge believer in training and development. He firmly believes that recruiting well and training well are essential to running a high performing operation. While not everything can be taught, he has built an extensive training for each of his businesses to ensure that the people he brings on board benefit as a result.
2) NEVER CUT CORNERS
Another critical lesson that has been learned is the importance of never cutting corners. In the early part of his career, Steve Zhik explains that he would sometimes cut costs by trying to do things himself or spending less money on service firms that would leave questionable results. After a number of bad experiences that ended up costing him more in the long run, Steve changed his approach and now is a firm believer in getting professionals in to do the best possible jobs.
3) QUALITY IS EVERYTHING
A question that Steve Zhik asks his employees to always ask themselves is ‘IF YOU WERE A CUSTOMER, WOULD THIS EXPERIENCE DELIGHT YOU?’ What is so important to building a strong brand is to make sure everything from how the brand looks and feels to how people represent the brand to how the product or service works is taken care of. (In the case of EIGHT TURN CREPE, this would include how tasty and well assembled the crepes are… which they are)
4) FIND A WAY TO EXPAND
When Steve Zhik came on board at EIGHT TURN CREPE initially, he wasn’t interested in just working on a creperie. His goal was to bring the incredible tasting, gluten-free crepes to the rest of the world. His belief is- if your product is good enough, do whatever it takes to get it to the rest of the world.
5) IN LIFE, DON’T HAVE EXPECTATIONS
In business, having high expectations is important according to Steve, but in life the opposite is often true. A rule he uses in life is not to expect much from other people and, instead, whenever people do good or situations work out you are pleasantly surprised.
I also recently completed a special Podcast episode with Steve Zhik and lessons he has learned as operations manager for EIGHT TURN CREPE, a Japanese Creperie in DeKalb Market Hall in Brooklyn. Under the guidance of Steve, EIGHT TURN CREPE has become a franchise and is beginning to expand in America and the rest of the world.