Start small, Finish big
Fred DeLuca one of the co-founders of Subway reckons 15 key lessons explain how he created this international franchise juggernaut. Whether you start small and want to stay small or have ambitions to be like Subway, these are 15 great tips from his book ‘Start Small Finish Big’.
- Start small: Keep the pressure of start-up and fixed costs off your back and learn about business on the job.
- Get the cash coming in: Earn a few pennies and make sure you get cash into the business early. Cash is your best friend in business.
- Be distinctive: Begin with an idea that separates you from the market and gives you a good chance of success.
- Think like a visionary and dream big: DeLuca’s partner suggested they dream of 32 stores in 10 years. They were reaching for the stars and giving themselves motivation to work hard and smart.
- Keep the faith: Even if early failures knocks you around, stick to your guns but don’t be afraid to adjust your sights.
- Ready, Fire, Aim! Thinking and planning too much can stop you “learning from doing”. Plan – but don’t over analyse.
- Profit or perish: Imagine having a million dollars worth of sales but also a loss of $100,000! During your business and brand-building years keep the profit goal foremost in your mind and your cash position comfortable.
- Be positive: In business we establish goals and we don’t know what will happen along the way to make this goal harder to kick. By being positive you eliminate one thing that can go wrong to stop the goal happening – negativity!
- Continuously improve your business: Don’t be complacent and always seek customer feedback to ensure you’re delivering on their needs.
- Believe in your people: Make sure you hire the right people and train them so they can deliver.
- Never run out of money: This is a basic one but a cash flow crisis is the number one reason why businesses fail. Take this as a tip – if this is your weakness and you can’t fix it, then get someone in who can!
- Attract new customers everyday: Listen to customers and then deliver what they tell you they want. Research is vital and the best kind comes from you asking your customers what they want.
- Be persistent and don’t give up: There will be plenty of negatives along the way to success but you have to be focused on identifying problems and creating systems to overcome them.
- Build a brand name: People will want you for no apparent reason apart from the fact that they have been brainwashed into wanting you.
- Opportunity waits for no-one: Procrastination is not a characteristic of winners in business, sport, or any of life’s endeavours. Do the work, and you’ll see the results!
Start Small Finish Big, Fred Deluca with John Hayes, 2009, Mandevilla Press.