HOW WE'LL FRANCHISE
As the pandemic has unfolded, questions have swirled around franchising. Can food service, its biggest category, survive in a time of social distancing? Will people continue to buy franchises in uncertain times? And can brands make large, expensive changes across hundreds or thousands of units? So far, the answer seems to be: Yes! The pandemic has shown just how resilient and adaptable franchising can be. Here’s what comes next.
HOW WE'LL BUILD
In the pandemic’s early days, celebrated investor Marc Andreessen wrote an essay about the power of entrepreneurship. “Every step of the way, to everyone around us, we should be asking the question, What are you building?” he wrote. “What are you building directly, or helping other people to build, or teaching other people to build, or taking care of people who are building?” On the following pages, entrepreneurs offer their answers.
Pivot Now, Thrive Later
Few things will look the same on the other side of this crisis, so don’t hang on to yesterday’s ideas. Here’s how five businesses ditched their original concepts and discovered even greater opportunities.
Lessons from Past Crises
Yes, it’s possible to come out of the pandemic stronger. Here’s how seven entrepreneurs thrived during the recession, 9/11, and other terrible events.
“Incredible Innovation Comes Out of Dark Times”
Sara Blakely has steered Spanx through 20 years of ups and downs, including personal devastation and global catastrophe. It has taught her a lot about the value of adversity.
How We'll Connect
Entrepreneurship is not a solo experience. It’s a collective effort—building a team, finding partners, fostering relationships with consumers that could last days or decades. So while the pandemic has changed the way we connect, it hasn’t changed the simple fact that we must connect. With new tools, philosophies, and work-from-home strategies, we’re setting ourselves up for an interconnected future—whether by screen, in person, or a bit of both.
How We'll Thrive
Nothing will ever be the same, we’re told. The world is forever different. That may be true in some ways. We may want and create new things; we may engage with new technologies; we may be focused on new problems to solve. But let’s not forget: We can flourish in this new world, just as we did in the old. There’s still a bounty of possibilities, and an open sky for our ambitions. We do not need to settle for less. We can thrive. We will thrive. Here’s how.
ONE PLUS ONE EQUALS BILLIONS
Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson’s career was stalling. Then Dany Garcia stepped in to help change everything.
THE CRAZIEST BET IN RETAIL
A little startup called Le Tote recently bought Lord & Taylor, one of the country’s oldest brands. What happens next may say a lot about the future of shopping.
Keep the Team Together
If you really want to make your employees happy, stop thinking like a boss… and start thinking like an employee.
Get That First Meeting
One big meeting can transform a startup—but how do you get in front of the right person? Six entrepreneurs share how they scored some coveted face time.
The Wizard of Whopper
Fernando Machado is the marketing genius who turned Burger King (and Popeyes!) into a buzzy, relevant, always-on-point brand. Here’s how he pulls it off.
“As We Get Bigger, We Need to Think Smaller"
When Ben Weprin founded Graduate Hotels, he thought he’d created an eccentric brand that would never really scale. Six years later, it’s raised nearly a billion dollars and is building bespoke lodging next to colleges nationwide. Now he’s wondering: How much can you grow a company that’s based on local charm?
Business/Unsual – Schmidt's Naturals – “Naivete Can Be Really Helpful”
Jaime Schmidt built and sold Schmidt’s Naturals for millions. Her advice: Don’t focus too much on the challenges ahead. Just get going.
Building a Family's Future
After his corporate career, a father wanted to set up his family for generations to come. Now he and his daughter run a Real Property Management franchise—together.
Calling Out Your Copycat
Founders are turning to social media to make noise when other brands encroach on their intellectual property. It’s a splashy way to defend your company, but can it actually help protect it?
A Laptop That Acts Like a Smartphone
5G laptops are debuting, and they’re promising something entrepreneurs need: nonstop connectivity.
What's in a Name? WHEN THE BRAND IS YOU
After transforming the beauty industry and then leaving her namesake company, Bobbi Brown is leveraging her experience to create more new brands.
THE WAY TO SELL YOURSELF
Our opening sentence is our most important. And too many of us are getting it wrong.
Tap Your Network IT'S WHO YOU KNOW
When I lost my job, I felt like I lost everything. But I hadn’t. Here’s how I built a network that helped me rebound even stronger—and build a multimillion-dollar podcast business.
Location, Location, Location FOUNDERS, GO HOME
To attract the best investors and employees, startup founders once had to move to the coasts. But more and more, they’re returning to their roots to build their businesses.
JOINING FORCES TO GROW
After running her sign-and-awning business for 18 years, Nikki Taheri decided to turn the operation into a FastSigns franchise.
FROM FLYING HIGH TO PIZZA PIE
Former Air Force intelligence analyst Stephanie Moseley became a Marco’s Pizza franchisee. And yes, those jobs do have something in common.
Finding Investors FIRST, GET INVESTORS— THEN, MAKE THE PRODUCT?
When she set out to launch the new paint brand Clare, Nicole Gibbons was told to build first and raise money later. But to really create the startup she wanted, she’d have to go in reverse.
Customer Service STOP DOING WHAT PEOPLE HATE
That’s the philosophy Jesse Cole used to build the Savannah Bananas, an unusually popular (and weird) baseball team. And it can work for any business.
Brand Name SAME WORD, NEW OPPORTUNITY
It’s easy to fear changes to your brand. It’s harder (but more fulfilling!) to embrace them. That’s why Edible Arrangements finally embraced a new definition of edibles.
The Pitchman's New Pitch
Celebrity salesman Anthony Sullivan, known for his OxiClean commercials, bought a hemp farm and launched a CBD brand. Why? Because to succeed, he says, you must be authentic.
Need to Make a Decision? Ask the Machine
Artificial intelligence can now guide employees’ actions at work. But don’t take it too seriously…yet.
Could You Use an Apprentice?
The old plumber and electrician trainee model has been reimagined for the new world—and could be exactly what a bootstrapped, growing startup needs.
Breaking a Few Eggs
Founders can give their companies a lot of charm and personality— but is that always a good thing? It’s the question facing Eggs Up Grill, a quirky breakfast spot that now has private equity owners, a CEO from TGI Fridays, a mandate to grow, and a delicate balance to strike.