I was at a coffee shop in the Aljunied district of Singapore enjoying a nice plate of braised duck kway chap. The duck rice stall owner (let’s call him Ah San) came over with a frown and sat down with me and he lamented over the gloom future ahead in which the media was reporting.
Ah San asked me for my views on the situation that have seemed to affect businesses, even for a small food stall like his. So I asked him in what ways was he affected, to which he replied that he was selling lesser plates of duck than he was 6 months ago.
Now, only his regulars come by to eat his duck kway chap.
“Ah San. You duck rice is actually average tasting, like the other duck kway chap stalls around,” I told him bluntly, only because I was a regular to his stall.
“I like your personality - which exudes warmth, friendliness. It makes me feel like I’m welcomed so I keep on coming back to eat here. Plus, the way you present your duck rice is very well planned. Instead of just giving bones and tough parts, you worked on the braised duck a little more by slicing and deboning the duck instead of chopping it up along with its bones and then serve to the customer. Something the other duck rice stalls around do,” I added.
Further on I said, “You also made sure you spread the gravy over the dish and allow the thick broth flow down deliciously. Every plate you prepared was almost like a piece of art. Ah San, quite simply you make the food look delicious. That is why I keep coming back! Had it not been for that, you could have had a tougher competition.”
He looked at me with his eyebrows raised so high until his ears twitched. He smiled and then went back to attend to his stall, back behind the chopping block with his cleaver and a wide grin on his face.
It’s all about the presentation – if you look good, people remember
Presentation is very important in getting your products out. Ah San could not have had a good share of the market if not for his effort in creating presentable and delicious-looking dishes. Add to that the fact that his personality was something to go back to.
I have seen many businesses not planning how the way they want to present themselves to the world. Perhaps maybe because a certain contract is beckoning or the deal does not warrant too much on looking good. So the effort in presenting well is kept at the back of the to-do list.
However, if you look good, people will remember you and there is a higher chance for repeated business. It might be even more expensive to redesign a bad business presentation once set out just because one tries to save cost at the start-up or launching a new product.
I always believe that having a good presentation always opens more opportunities.
Nobody will give a second look at a bad design but they will remember a good presentation.
When in doubt, just put it out to the world through friends and families and ask for honest opinions before embarking on the image. I later learnt that Ah San had improved from constructive feedback over the years on his duck dishes. When he adjusted his presentation of his dishes and made it a routine to lay it out nicely, regulars to his stall appeared and kept his business going.
So before you set your company out into the world, make the effort to plan your presentation from top to bottom. The plate you show may just ride you out of a storm.
Terence Lim, Strategic Consultant, Aggro Design Studio Pte. Ltd
The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.
Do you know more about this story? Contact us anonymously through this link.