Business Lessons From Mexico – Do One Thing Well

For Easter I took a very short and relaxing trip with my wife and step-daughter to Bahia del Perihuete which is known as  Medano Blanco (White Sand Dune) to all of the people in Angostura, Sinaloa, Mexico.  My wife’s parents have a 30 year tradition of spending “Semana Santa” (Easter) on the beach with any family members that can make it.

They set up a fairly large camp right in the bay.  Outfitted with electricity, shower room and toilet.  It’s not quite “roughing it”, but it’s certainly more rough than a hotel.

If there is one thing to take away from Mexico, It’s “Do One Thing Well”.  The best example of this is from a small taco shop in Hermosillo called “Taqueria El Chino”.  When I last stopped there about 3 years ago they had about 5 tables, restrooms, a nice prep area and a small beverage service area.  They are well known for their tacos made from pretty much every part of the cow’s head; Cabeza (a mix of the following items), Cachete (cheek), Lingua (tongue)  and even Ojo (eye).

On this visit I was impressed to find that they how now tripled the number of tables, designed a nice logo, outfitted all of their employees with spiffy new uniforms and built a nice clear menu so visitors like me would know what to choose from.  The largest improvement was a massive new awning that protected all of the customers as well as their vehicles.

In spite of all of this growth, their menu was pretty much the same as it had been 4 years prior.  The only exception was a new “Torta” (sandwich) which we decided to order as a to-go item.  As usual their tacos were awesome!  We left extremely happy.

A few hours later when I got hungry I took a big bite of the Torta and it was terrible.  I’d be curious to find out if this was an experiment that they were running or something they had on the menu for very long.  In either case I’m hoping for their sake that someone lets them know that they should take it off the menu and just continue with what they already do well.

I saw more examples of this lesson all over the place.  From places called “Tortas y Tortas” (sandwiches and sandwiches) to every town having at least one Llantera (tire shop) prominently placed right next to the highway.  They are extremely specialized and able to support their families successfully by staying this way.

In my next post I will discuss making sure you’re protected…