At a recent Turnaround Management Association (TMA) Breakfast Leadership Series event, Richard G. Reinis, the CEO and General Counsel of Krispy Kreme’s parent company, shared his first-hand experiences. He spoke about his involvement in the planning, fundraising, staffing and marketing of a start-up business that grew into the largest Krispy Kreme franchise in the country, and which survived a significant reduction. Read on for a few of our takeaways on building, staffing and marketing a successful business.
Clearly defining your overall mission for your business is vital; it will affect every aspect of your company from the leadership structure to individual employees’ goals. This vision should answer the question of why customers and clients should prefer a world with your company in it, rather than one without, and should provide an overall mission for every member of the company to aspire toward.
During his presentation, Reinis described the main types of employees that work at the average Krispy Kreme location – cashiers, the people making and handling the doughnuts, technicians ensuring that the glazing conveyor belt is working properly, and janitors. If asked which job was the most important, many people might say the technician or the cashier; few would say the janitor. But if a customer had a great experience buying a doughnut, and then saw a filthy bathroom, they probably wouldn’t be coming back. Reinis emphasized that every single position in a company is vital to the company’s overall vision. From the CEO to IT to maintenance, each should be treated as such, both in terms of expectations and respect.
Finding your central branding message is closely tied to the first step of articulating your vision. From the start, the Krispy Kreme brand made itself unique with its freshly-made doughnuts. Cooked and glazed on-site, customers could see the whole process from start to finish. This became the central branding theme of the franchise, with every location flashing, “Fresh Hot Now!” signs to draw in more customers. Once you’ve identified the main value your business provides to customers and clients, find a way to integrate that value into your marketing, making it synonymous with your company and services.