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CHAPTER 2

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Finding the Right Market Opportunities

External Business Environment and Overall Market Assessment

—The “Corner Restaurant Rizzutoism”

Weeki Wachee is a small, sleepy town on the west coast of Florida, best known for its mermaids. Yes, you read that right—mermaids. Weeki Wachee Springs State Park (www.weekiwachee.com), visited by celebrities from Elvis to Larry the Cable Guy, was founded in 1947 and has had continuous underwater mermaid shows ever since (see Figure 2.1).

Just down the road from Weeki Wachee State Park on Highway 19 was a local restaurant by the name of Sandy's. Sandy's served a great breakfast—eggs, hash browns, and the like—a fast lunch and a complete home-cooked dinner for $9.95. Despite its great service and food, Sandy's stayed in business for only 18 months before running out of cash. The volume of traffic on Highway 19 just couldn't support Sandy's expenses. The building was already outfitted with a kitchen and for table service, so the space didn't need to be refitted for the next tenants. Soon enough, another eatery—a more upscale place this time around—rented it fairly quickly. Because the new owners had migrated from New York, the fare was more extravagant, and the restaurant opened only for lunch and dinner. Unfortunately for the owners, the ...

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