You’ve built the perfect business machine to solve your customers’ needs and problems.  While building the business, you created the perfect mix and you can follow a recipe for business success with that perfect recipe. Now, if you don’t follow the recipe and add in one wrong ingredient, the whole dish or business is ruined. Listen to a few examples from Matt and Rick describe the “Paprika Effect’ and how to prevent those mistakes from happening in your business.

Just like a recipe can easily be ruined by one small wrong ingredient, so can a business. It doesn’t matter how well you have done 99% correctly. If you don’t connect all the dots all the time, it doesn’t take much to break even a perfect machine.

Rick recommends the book The Road Less Stupid where the author argues that in order to be successful at business and life, do fewer stupid things and not necessarily focus on just the smart things. The book describes in business you identify the problem, then a machine to solve the problem to get from point A to point B. The machine is your business. In the book he uses the analogy of a recipe. Once you build the machine, it should be like a recipe. If you don’t follow the recipe it describes a paprika effect, where even one minor deviation to the recipe can result in disaster.  For an example of this process, let’s recreate your grandmother’s famous apple pie recipe. You have all the ingredients and follow the recipe. Then right before you put it in the oven, you add paprika which wasn’t in the recipe.  It seemed insignificant, but the sprinkle of paprika ruined the entire pie.

The Paprika Effect: Don’t Deviate and Follow a Recipe for Business Success 

The Paprika Effect is the same for your business. To succeed and to do it over time is a very difficult task for any business. If you don’t follow the recipe and connect all the dots all the time, it doesn’t take a lot to break the machine.  

In the fitness business, if you over-promise in the sales office and under-deliver on the floor, you will push clients away. It doesn’t matter how many things you got right if you got one small thing wrong.  For example, in your sales process you mention you are going to help the client track food every week.  That expectation of a little paprika has been set with the client now. Even if everything else goes right, but we never had them track food.  It makes that little sprinkle of paprika on the recipe that wasn’t supposed to be there serious.  Now the whole pie is ruined, just like the customer experience.

In this episode, Rick and Matt emphasize the importance of all details in a business. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. As a franchisee or a gym owner, your most important role is to keep reminding your team of the details and why they should be doing them. Always sweat the small stuff.

Tune in to listen to a few examples of the Paprika effect in the gym and how small things make all the difference.

Key Takeaways

  • How one ingredient can ruin your entire business (02:31)
  • If you don’t connect all the dots all the time, you’ll break the machine (04:20)
  • Sweat the small stuff: All small details are important (07:27)
  • The barbershop experience: Clients expect one thing all the time (07:53)
  • How it doesn’t take much to push people away (12:27)

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Mentioned in this episode

Matt Helland

Rick Mayo 

Alloy Personal Training Franchise


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