Determined to save the American diner, Randy Garbin began publishing Roadside , a quarterly newspaper devoted to diners, in 1990. He wants to move his advertising base beyond diners to regional and national clients (Ho Cof ee, May, [Article link]).
You won't attract traditional advertisers with a small circulation among a broadly defined audience that picks up the newspaper for free. Instead, target certain companies and sell the public-relations possibilities. A food company might join you in a "Save the Diners" campaign; you could also sell T-shirts and mugs to diners for resale.
Mona, Meyer, McGrath & Gavin
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Steven Rosenthal asked for a guide to improving his employee reviews (A Kinder, Gentler, Employee Review, April, [Article link]).
When I had to write a guide for performance reviews, I went to at least 12 businesses and asked for copies of their review forms -- some were optometrists like me, but I also asked restaurants and shops -- and took the best of each. Taco Bell's was particularly good because it tells employees exactly what the company is looking for. Now, on my own form, I define desirable qualities such as adaptability, reliability, and initiative. I also recommend How to Do a Superior Performance Appraisal, by William S. Swan (John Wiley, 1991, $32.95), which helped me set standards for those qualities .
Dr. Jack Hall
Angels Camp, Calif.
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Last December Bryan Chaney asked whether he should offer friends a discount when they visit his bicycle-sales-and-repair shop. Readers said no, but one disagrees (Such a Deal, December 1991, [Article link]).
Offer a discount to friends who provide referrals or who bring new customers into your shop. That way you'll keep their loyalty while building your business.