Growing a brand from zero to $500 million in 15 short years can be done. I know, because I’ve done it.
Recently, I thought about our journey building Edible Arrangements from one small store in East Haven, CT to 1,300 stores worldwide and counting. We operated in a fast-paced mode and we were determined to succeed. However there were key factors we never lost sight of during the process.
Here’s an inside look at five business tips for getting to $500 million in sales, and beyond:
Create products and services that are truly amazing. Don’t follow what others have done before you. Set out to reinvent your industry and believe that you can actually do it. In the world of gifting, this meant creating a fresh, unique product and taking care of every guest as if they were a visitor in our own home.
Take pride in every little detail, because it’s the smallest of details that will set you apart. Don’t be afraid to demand perfection and not accept anything less. At Edible Arrangements, we moved quickly but always put care into everything – from our products to our relationships with our guests and our connections with our franchisees.
Hire people who are as passionate as you are. For us this meant finding fruit fanatics who slept, ate and breathed fruit and franchising. Set the bar really high and be the team’s tough coach where needed and their biggest cheerleader when you pass milestones. Make sure you pause and celebrate the good stuff. A hand-written note thanking someone for a job well done goes a long way.
It’s a tough word to write, but it’s more important to have it than to spell it. You’re going to hit road blocks, some of them will make you want to bang your head against the wall. We learned a lot of painful business lessons early on, but it helped us shape the company. We decided to run to each challenge rather than hiding from it. Frequently we had to remind ourselves that it was a marathon, not a sprint. This meant taking one day at a time while never losing sight of where we wanted to go.
Don’t ever lose your passion and vision for what you’re building. You may not feel it every second of every day, but your overall enthusiasm should never wane. If it does then it’s time to step back and let those you’ve been grooming lead the charge.
As you grow your brand, never forget what makes you unique and what made you embark upon this journey to begin with. It all comes down to products, pride, people, perseverance and passion.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Kamran Farid is the co-founder and former Chief Operating Officer of Edible Arrangements® International, the creators of fresh fruit bouquets and fruit hand dipped in gourmet chocolate. Over fifteen years he was instrumental in growing the brand from one store in East Haven, Connecticut to over 1,300 stores in 14 countries and counting. Farid has a depth of expertise in building a brand from infancy into a global powerhouse. His newest venture, Kamran Capital Group, aims to help small businesses grow smarter. Connect with @kamranf on Twitter.