Tim Zagat on

Starting a Small Business

Zagat was started in 1979 in Tim and Nina Zagat’s spare time—it has since become a household name and the indisputable authority on restaurant reviews. The first to lend consumers a voice for their opinions, Zagat’s guides on dining, nightlife, shopping, hotels cover more than 100 countries worldwide. Tim writes us today to share how they turned their hobby into a successful international business.

Tim’s tips for small business success:

  • Do what you love. If you enjoy what you’re doing, it won’t feel like work and you are inherently more likely to do well.”
  • You need business experience. Even if it’s not formal business training, a law career or expertise in another field is necessary.”
  • Don’t quit your day (or night) job. Having a steady income is helpful so you’re not totally dependent on the new project.”

I wish I had known…

“What we did not know in the beginning actually helped us. Since we both practiced law for many years before we started the survey, we weren’t restricted by the traditional thinking of publishers and were able to create a new model for our business.”