Have you ever had to call in a favor to a supplier or vendor to your business? Or have you ever been on the receiving end of being asked to provide a favor? In our episode today, Bew White, founder, and Chief Fishing Officer, at Summer Classics shares with us his highs and lows of growing his national furniture company and how calling in some favors with suppliers saved his company.
Bew is the founder of Summer Classics furniture company, was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Society of International Business Fellows, and the author of “A Summer Classic” listed in the show notes.
LINKS FROM THE EPISODE:
- Check out Summer Classics furniture: https://summerclassics.com/
- Get a copy of Bew’s book and learn more about him at: https://www.summerclassicshome.com/bew-white
- The audiobook, hard copy, or digital version can be purchased through Amazon by CLICKING HERE.
- If you are ready to franchise your business or take it to the next level: CLICK HERE.
ABOUT OUR GUEST:
Bew White lll, is Chairman of the Board of Gabriella White and its brands, Summer Classics, Gabby, and Wendy Jane. In 2013 he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Society of International Business Fellows and in 2021 Bew White received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association. He is also the subject of the well-received biography A Summer Classic: The Bew White Story by Christopher Taunton.
At just 28 years old, Mr. White left his job at his family-owned business, Avondale Mills, and started a sales representative company in 1978 called Vista Corporation, specializing in selling outdoor furniture. In 1987, Bew started multiple companies in an effort to expand from selling on the road to building a national brand. One of those companies was Summer Classics, which was created around Bew’s thought of designing and manufacturing products that he would want for his own backyard. With a business model based on creating products that were consumer-driven, would stand the test of time, and would not go out of style, Summer Classics officially took off in 1987.
ABOUT BIG SKY FRANCHISE TEAM:
This episode is powered by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: https://bigskyfranchiseteam.com/ or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:00):
Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week we help growth minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise Team. And as we open today, I’m wondering if you have ever had to call in a favor to a supplier or vendor for your business or have you ever been on the receiving end of being asked to provide a favor?
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:25):
Well, in our episode today, Bew White, the founder and chief fishing officer at Summer Classics, shares with us his highs and lows of growing his national furniture company and how calling in some favors with some suppliers saved his company. Bew is the founder of Summer Classics Furniture Company, he’s been named the entrepreneur of the year by the Society of International Business Fellows and the author of A Summer Classic, listed in the show notes. So let’s go ahead and jump into my interview with Bew White.
Bew White, Summer Classics (00:57):
My name is William Bew White III. Is that too much information? So I started a company called Summer Classics in 1987 after I was on the road selling as a sales rep and then in 2008, I started working on getting into the indoor furniture business, the outdoor furniture business called Summer Classics and then the indoor furniture business is called Gabby and it interested my son and he got in. And so it opened in 2010 and then I have another company called Wendy Jane that my daughter started and people might be answering this because it’s generally hard to work for your father or vice. And so people might find that interesting because I was really looking for a succession. I was like, I don’t want to sell this, but I may have to if I can’t get the kids interested. So they got interested in deciding to have them here and they started their own company within the company, which they had something I never had, which was money, because I was always broke. One of my quotes I love is, “Never run out of money.” So [inaudible 00:02:11] always running out of money and watching my cashflow and making sure I didn’t.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (02:19):
Yeah. Well, and so when your son and daughter started those enterprises, are those within your portfolio of brands or did they start their own brand? How did that work?
Bew White, Summer Classics (02:32):
Yeah, well we have a holding company it’s called Gabriel White Corporation that’s named LL., it’s named after my mother. It’s on everybody’s paycheck but it’s the holding company and we really did it for financial reasons. And then the other companies are inside that. In fact, Wendy Jane is actually inside Gabby because we just didn’t want to have too many new brands in the business, so we actually had several brands that we got rid of. So those are the three last team brands, I call it. It’s probably modeled a little bit after Williams-Sonoma, but we have a wholesale division where we sell to dealers, we sell to customers like, you live in Alpharetta and so I’m sure we have several customers that have furniture stores up there in Alpharetta, and then we have our own stores. And so there’s it. And we have private label where we make product for other people and then we have e-commerce and then we have our own retail stores and then our big business is selling to designers, decorators and furniture stores.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:47):
Great. Well, and that’s something that I’m really interested in speaking with you about here is, this whole idea of distribution. And I’ve spent my career the last, and at this point, over 18 years in the franchising business helping companies franchise and certainly work in licensing and dealerships and so on, but the majority has been in franchising and ultimately it’s a method of distribution. And so I’d love for you to share your story. You have locations all over the country and distribution nationally, and I’d love for you to just talk a little bit about your growth and experience in doing that.
Bew White, Summer Classics (04:24):
I think one of the main reason we got the retail business is out of frustration because our product is differentiated and we were trying to get the basic patio shop, the patio stores. And I think everybody probably in any kind of metropolis has a patio-type furniture store in their area. And we had difficulty breaking into that part of the business because there were a lot of players that had been around for 50 or a hundred years. And so we initially started selling people like Crate & Barrel and Williams-Sonoma and Restoration Hardware and what I call the mass for retailers, and then they started asking us to take our name off of it. We’re like, “Well, we’re not going to have any brand.” So we said, the only way we’re going to have a brand is to open our own stores.
Bew White, Summer Classics (05:12):
And we didn’t know if it would work. So we tried it and it was extremely successful. We tried obviously in the city where it came from, which is Birmingham, Alabama. And we sold more in the first month than we’d sold in five years prior combined. So we’re like, okay, well this could be a model for us and we started talking to people about licensing after that because the model in furniture generally is licensing. So Lazyboy and Ashley are big license stores. And so we picked up that model and then I tried to get some dealers to pick up on it, but they’re like, “Well, you have one store. You haven’t really proven yourself.” So we quickly opened another store in Raleigh, North Carolina, and then in Charlotte and then we started rolling them out.
Bew White, Summer Classics (06:01):
The first three, Birmingham Raleigh and Charlotte, were profitable, and then we opened three more really quick in Richmond, Atlanta and San Antonio. None of those were profitable. I was like, okay, we got to figure this thing out. And so we were experimenting. We had smaller stores, we had stores as small as 3,500 square feet and as large as, the Roswell Atlanta store is 25,000 square feet. And as we experimented, we found what worked best was probably somewhere between eight square feet and 12,000 square feet, depending on the price and location. And so we started getting people interested in opening, particularly when we opened Atlanta. We opened a licensee in Louisville and St. Louis and Chicago area in Holland park, which we talked about. And then we started opening more stores, really, after the great recession happened. And this is intriguing, but from the day I started the company in 1987, we doubled every three and a half years up until the great recession. Up until 2009, actually.
Bew White, Summer Classics (07:11):
I call it a rollercoaster ride, but you’re only going… When you go up to the top and you’re going down and it’s like you’re screaming with your hands up going, ah, that’s how it felt because you’re going so fast and people… I guess it had a lot to do with product, people wanted the product, but we couldn’t figure out how to growth, how to change, morph into this new business that we’re becoming really quick. So when you go from a million to 10 million to 20 million, to 50 million, to a 100 millionaire, to all those required, pretty dramatic changes, and I think you and I talked about this, is we’ve switched to EOS in, I think, 2016, somewhere around there, of 2017 and that made it seem to make a big difference in helping us get a little more organized.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (08:06):
Yeah. Yeah. And for those that aren’t listening in, or that’ll tune into this, the EOS is the Entrepreneur Operating System that’s put together and that helps provide… It really provides a framework just to help structure how you run the day to day operations of the business and give some clarity on different components of the business for sure. That was a great visual, by the way, of this rollercoaster where you’re, you’re riding up, you’re doubling every three and a half years and then 0809 hit and it’s this giant-
Bew White, Summer Classics (08:45):
Yeah, it’s like, oh my God, you hit the bottom.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (08:49):
Right. And you’re not screaming because you’re having fun on the way down, right? What I really like, what’s interesting with what you said here, Bew, is that you talked about getting into these retailers, oftentimes big box retailers and I work with clients over the years and I’ve worked with clients that are really… They view getting in with some of these large retailers or distribution companies or groups like Amazon or what have you for distribution and don’t realize, oftentimes, what happens is what you experienced, where your brand is shoved to the wayside. They don’t really care about your brand. They like your product and now you’re essentially either white labeling or private labeling and you are now captive to their distribution or renewing purchases and buying new products from you. I know you mentioned you made that decision, but when your team was thinking about it, what led you to say, “All right, we’re manufacturing, we’re selling this, but we really need to get into the retail business and they’re very two very different businesses to be operating in.” So just curious how that conversation went internally.
Bew White, Summer Classics (10:13):
Well, I have an MBA in mistakes, so this was one. This was a doozy that I made and that’s how I really got in the [inaudible 00:10:22]. It’s weird because you make a mistake and you pivot and you do something and it put me into retail. This ended up putting me in the retail business. We were selling Williams-Sonoma and we got a really big order from them and it was 10 truckloads. We never sold this much before and we were making the product in Chile. A lot of people don’t realize this, but NAFTA was originally signed with Chile in the 80s. And so we went down to Chile and started working with them on make a product for us.
Bew White, Summer Classics (10:59):
We actually were already worked with them, but this made it even easier. And so we sold this large order of furniture, it was painted wooden furniture to Williams-Sonoma. And we were doing the painting here in Alabama and so we had it perfected and we were selling a lot of product, but not enough to handle this thing. So I went down and worked with the paint company in Chile and got them to supply the paint. And lo and behold, they switched the paint on me from what I specified to save money. I had a call. I shipped it 10 [inaudible 00:11:38]. Fortunately, the warehouse was in Memphis, so it wasn’t that far away. And now I also shipped other customers and my Atlanta customer called me and said, “Well, I got your product and it’s nice, but it rained this weekend.” I was like, Yeah, so?” And he went, “Well, it’s starting to peel already.” I was like, “Oh my God.” I wasn’t worried about this guy because he’d bought a few pieces and, but I had these 10 truckloads out there. I was like, “Okay, what I did?” So I called [inaudible 00:12:04] on my [inaudible 00:12:05], recalled everything, but we were growing so fast, I had nowhere to put it. So we rented containers, the containers that you get on ship bonds.
Bew White, Summer Classics (12:14):
Now you could rent those for like a 100 bucks a month. So I rent them, I got a story out there and I start over and in the meantime, Williams-Sonoma, I’m on the cover of the catalog and they’re selling the heck out the [inaudible 00:12:26] and I’m going like, “Just hold on. I’m going to start over and I’m not going to trust Chile. I’m going to start over and do it myself.” Even though it sound disastrous, they didn’t cancel any orders. They were selling the heck out of it. I replaced it all. It took a long time, took 90 days to do it, but I got it done. And then I had all this stuff sitting out on these containers and so I decided I was just going to have to… I couldn’t sell to anybody, nobody paid me anything, but it made of any value. So I ran an ad in the newspaper because this is before internet.
Bew White, Summer Classics (13:02):
These text machines is about all there was back then. So we ran a ad in the newspaper, “Summer Classics opens the factory to the public.” And man, I should have had the police there. It was like, I get to the plant and there’s people everywhere and we could only run on the weekend because we weren’t open during the week. We were making product during the week. So we did more in that weekend than we had done in Birmingham in the last three or four years combined, I was like, wow, this could be something.
Bew White, Summer Classics (13:34):
So we started running ads just for weekend sales. Of course, we needed the cash flow and this was a media cash so we started every month, we’d run an ad saying we’re open for the weekend, come get it. Kind of like what weekends only does now or The Dump, if you know who that is. And so it worked and I was like, maybe we should just go in the retail business and we outgrew the plant we were in so we moved, but we owned the factory. So we said, well, let’s just open a retail store here and see if it works. So we did and it worked and everybody got excited about the brand and we started selling a regular product, not just closeouts and that’s what got me in the retail business.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:17):
Interesting. Well, I always think-
Bew White, Summer Classics (14:20):
[inaudible 00:14:20] story but different.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:22):
Yeah, no. Well, I always find these stories interesting when you share that, because at the end of the day, when you start the business, you’re a manufacturer and distributing through various avenues and when you start your own distribution channel as a retailer, it is a very different business model and you’ve made that transition and done it very successfully over the years and continue to grow. So I think it’s really, really neat in how you’ve done that. And one of the things we talked about here before the show started, you talked a little bit about the six traits of entrepreneurship and you were happy when you checked all those boxes. You were already an entrepreneur and checked those boxes. So I’d love for you to talk about those six traits and maybe someone who listens in here, maybe they’ll go through the list and see if they check them all as well.
Bew White, Summer Classics (15:16):
Yeah, and what I found interesting is, Gina Wigman, who also did the OS, who wrote this book, said if you don’t have all of these, don’t even try. And I went… And I’m getting through the first three. I went, “Okay, I got those. Okay. I hope I have these others.” And I thought, wow, I’m just fortunate I had these because some of them, there’s one in particular that a lot of people don’t have and you have to have it, and it’s risk taker. I go to Bible study every week and the guy was talking about, he was giving us an analogy. He said they did a study and all these people that are 70 to 85 years old about regrets, about the regrets in life.
Bew White, Summer Classics (16:10):
And the big one was I didn’t take enough risk. I raised my hand and went, “I don’t have that problem. I think maybe I took too many risk.” But anyway, that’s a big one for a lot of people, but they’re visionary. In other words, you’ve got to see something in the future that other people don’t see. Passionate. You got to feel really great about whatever you’re doing. Driven. And this is one I have that’s keeps me up at night and I don’t particularly like it, but you got to be driven. You’re looking at what you’re trying to do and you’re thinking about it all the time and you’re so driven to get it done, that you can’t sleep. Responsible, which goes without saying, and a problem solver. Responsible would be like, you’re going to pay your bills, you’re going to do whatever it takes and just be a responsible person. And then problem solver, which I think is a lot of what EOS is about, is you’re solving problems and coming out with issues every week.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:12):
Yeah, yeah. No, I thank you for sharing those. Certainly, they make a lot of sense to me as I see that and read this list. Most of my career’s been spent working with entrepreneurs, successful entrepreneurs that have… They’re past that startup phase. As you’ve grown the business, you reach a certain point where you realize we’re probably not going out of business tomorrow, even though you entrepreneurs, oftentimes, still have that fire, that concern of that-
Bew White, Summer Classics (17:45):
That’s a good fire.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:47):
Yeah, yeah. Have that fire burning, right?
Bew White, Summer Classics (17:49):
Yeah. You need that. You need that. That makes you keep going. You’re constantly paranoid. Paranoia. You’re paranoid all the time.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:58):
Yeah. Yep, yep. That’s exactly right. Well, I think this would be a great time just to transition a little bit to the formula here. And we ask every guest the same four questions before they go and the first question we ask every guest is, have you had a miss or two in your career and something you learned from it?
Bew White, Summer Classics (18:17):
I’ve had a miss or 50. I think probably the biggest miss was the 2008 recession. I didn’t miss it, but I was already into the bank for $20 million. I was with Royal bank of Scotland and they were either the largest or second largest bank in the world at the time. I thought I’d be with them forever and then they started firing all the people I knew and I was like uh oh. And so I got into their target and they started squeezing me back. This is 2008 and 2009. I was like, “I’m going to go out of business. This guy’s going to put me out of business because they didn’t like my space.” And I didn’t even know what that meant. “What do you mean space?” “Well, people don’t need your product.” I was like, “Oh God, that’ll be a grocery store. That’s very limiting.”
Bew White, Summer Classics (19:10):
But anyway, it didn’t matter. I had to figure it out. And what I ended up doing is calling my suppliers and saying, “I don’t know what to do.” I said, “You got ideas? What can I do? Help me. Help me. Give me wisdom.” I prayed a lot about it and they said, “Just don’t pay us.” I was like, “Wow, what do you mean? Like ever?” And they went, “No, pay us, but just ride your payables.” And so I ended up calling all of my supplier, all my large suppliers, anybody that I was doing over a half million dollars with, and all of them gave me at least 90 days and some of them gave me, the biggest ones which came to close to $5 million, gave me, “Look, just pay us when you can. We believe in you. We’re symbiotic. We need you, you need us and so we’re just going to let you write us and then don’t top pass, pass whatever you can whenever you can.” And so it saved me. I made it through that period. I paid my line down in nine months from 19.8 million to 2.7 million. So it was amazing that I was able to get through that.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:26):
That’s incredible! What a story and what a journey and also a Testament, it sounds like, to the relationship you had established with your suppliers and vendors, because they’re not going to offer that to you if there’s not an already established, trusting relationship together.
Bew White, Summer Classics (20:46):
Yeah. Yeah. I had made sure that I was close to all the CEOs and all the businesses that I was… Well, any that I did any significant business with. So it made a huge difference. Made a difference in whether I stayed in business or not. So, and I wrote a book about it, not just about that, but about all this, the trials and tribulations of having your own business and what you need to get through situations like that.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (21:16):
Sure, sure. Well, what’s the name of the book and give a few highlights here while we’re talking about it and we’ll make sure we get that link in the show notes as well.
Bew White, Summer Classics (21:26):
Yeah, it’s A Summer Classic, oddly enough, is the name of the book. The Bew White Story. It opens with me in the hospital. By the way, in Atlanta, I paid my hospital a while. And literally over there, I was like, “There’s something terribly wrong with me.” I drove to the hospital emergency room and they admitted me with these blood clots in my lungs and almost died. And then it jumps to college where I meet my wife who really went through some difficult times with me in the business, particularly, and had faith in me, somewhat like my suppliers and said, you can do… I kept going, “This is crazy. I’m making $40,000 a year for 10 years. I just need to give up.” And she would just go, “No, you don’t. You can do this. I believe in you.” And I was like, “Okay, she believes in me. Maybe I can. So I just keep going.”
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (22:24):
Well, there’s a great spot to ask the next question, which is, has there been a make or two, you’ve shared some already here, but others that might stand out that you’d like to share with us?
Bew White, Summer Classics (22:38):
Yeah. I think getting past that 2008 or 2009 recession and then getting my kids in the business, I think, was critical getting my son. The way my mother would say it is, “You’re not a spring chicken.” I was like, “Okay. Of course, they kill chickens after about four months or six months.” I was like, “I hope I’m a little beyond the spring chicken”. Anyway, she said that and so I was thinking, “Man, I got to get my son in the business.” And he had a great job with BASF, a huge chemical company. I was like, “I really want you to come in.” And then he got interested when I got into indoor furniture business in what I was doing.
Bew White, Summer Classics (23:21):
He said, “Okay, if I can do this, I think I’ll come in.” So I got him in. Oddly enough, he and my daughter came in February of 2008, which was great because they couldn’t quit. You couldn’t change jobs because there were no jobs out there and everybody’s firing everybody. So they hung around in it and William came out with a new company called Gabby and it was home run from day one and I was like, wow, I can’t believe this happening during the great recession. And I think it had a lot to do with that nobody was opening new businesses in the great recession. So we opened this business. It’s extremely successful. I think it’s going to be bigger than Summer Classics within the next three or four years, maybe. Maybe five at the most, but pretty quick because it plays in a bigger sandbox. And so then my daughter started one about three years ago and that covers our accessories, which right now is pillows and rugs and lighting. So that’s been very successful as well. So I think being able to do that, have your kids working for you, which I know is a trial for them, but I’ve let them do their own thing and say that as long as they’re successful, I stay out of it.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (24:38):
Yeah. Yeah. I like how you said they came on right as the great recession was starting and coming into full force there and they had nowhere to go. They had a couple years that they had to learn the business and make it go.
Bew White, Summer Classics (24:57):
Yeah. And then they come out with it and they’re going, “Wow! This is going to work.” They’re excited and they say now, it’s the best decision they ever made. And get this, my daughter was in New York trying to get on Saturday Night Live for three years, being a comedian. And so she went into sales and you can imagine, if you have this hilarious person working with you, you just love them. And so she was extremely successful in sales. And then she said, “Well, I want to come in and do my own thing.” So she did. And that’s what got Royal done.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (25:31):
Oh, that’s so fun. Well, let’s talk about a multiplier or two that you’ve used in growing yourself personally, or the business or professionally as you’ve grown the company over the many years.
Bew White, Summer Classics (25:43):
Well, the multiplier is always people. If you’ve worked in EOS, what is the thing that comes up almost every single time? It’s the people. You’re always talking about the people and you’re always trying to improve your people. So we are constantly in this upgrade mode to find better and better people and every time we do, the business expands and we do better. So I think if there was one multiplier, that would be it, but I’ve had several along the way, which differentiation, which is hard for some people, but we’re real creative. So we’ve been able to make product that’s very unusual. In fact, when people walk in our store, they’ll get about halfway through and say, “Where’s your outdoor furniture?” And then we’ll go like, “Well, you just walked through it.” Then they’re like, “This is outdoor furniture? You can put this stuff outside?”
Bew White, Summer Classics (26:42):
It does not look like what you think in your mind is outdoor furniture. So that’s made a big difference. And then also, we are designing our own fabrics and I knew it would make a big difference, but it does make a difference in the way the store looks because when you’re designing your own fabrics, and fabrics is our critical part of what we have on the product, so when you come in, that’s mostly what you see, is fabric. And since we design our own, it gives our store a unique look and feel. I’m [inaudible 00:27:15] got a ton of multiple hours, if you got all day,
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (27:19):
Well, this has been great. I love what you’ve shared so far. And the final question that we ask every guest is, what does success mean to you?
Bew White, Summer Classics (27:29):
Well, I think we talked about this, Tom. It’s relationships, I think. I talked about the most important one is your creator and then your spouse. I always say happy wife, happy life or amazing wife, amazing life. It can work in reverse. Husband doesn’t rhyme with life so I can’t pull that one off. But that makes a huge difference. Your relationship, not just with your family, like we talked about, with your suppliers, but also your employees and also your friends. I have great relationship with my friends, but boy, you got to work it. You got to call them, they’re not going to call you necessarily. You got to put trips together with them. To have a friend, you have to be a friend. So I think that all those have been meaningful for me and I really treasure my relationships.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (28:33):
Well, I think that’s phenomenal with what you’ve shared and as we bring this to a close here, is there anything you are hoping to share that you haven’t had a chance to get across yet?
Bew White, Summer Classics (28:44):
Yeah. On my book, this is interesting, my roommate, I’m just thinking about my roommate in college, is an actor producer, director. He has a couple Emmy’s for Kids Are People Too. It was a show. When I finished it, he read it, he said, “I want to do the audible on this.” So I said, “Okay, great!” So he did the audible and I like audible. I’m driving a lot, so I like to to listen to audible and the reader can make a huge difference if you’re listening to audible, you know that. And so he reads it and he’s crying in a couple of sections. So I called him, I said, his name’s Michael Young, I said, “Michael, you were crying in a couple of other sections there. Do you remember that?” And he went, “Yeah, where was that?” I was like, “Okay, you were acting.” I thought he was being sincere. No, he was obviously acting, but it’s great to have him read it. And I think if somebody really was interested in an MBA in mistakes and how to avoid them, that’s that would be a good way to listen to it.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (29:58):
Bew, thank you so much, again, for a fantastic interview. And I will second your comment about the audio book narration being fantastic. I have not finished listening to the audio all the way, but the narration has been phenomenal. So let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. So take takeaway number one is when Bew shared about his children joining the family business, and it’s always one of those scenarios with kids joining the company, can always be a little nerve-wracking and uncertain, but his kids sounds like it’s gone very well and really are a great example of what entrepreneurship can be within your organization, whether it’s with your kids or not of how they started their own business lines and eventually created their own brand and product lines through the company. Takeaway number two is when Bew talked about this whole idea of when people are at the end of their life, that their biggest regrets have to do with not taking enough risks.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (31:01):
They wish they had or they wish they should have, fill in the blank, and so I think that’s just another great reminder. I’m sure you’ve probably heard that at some point, but it’s a great talking point. And takeaway number three is when he talked about the miss, when he really was hit hard by the economic recession in 2008 and 2009, but it really wasn’t what that miss was. It was the end product of that, which was that he ended up calling up his vendors and suppliers and they worked with him on almost $20 million in payments owed to his suppliers and they worked with him. I thought that was a great takeaway. And now it’s time for today’s win-win.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (31:49):
So today’s, win-win comes from Bew’s comment about what success means to him. And he said it in one word, it was relationships. And he talked about relationships with his creator, with his wife and I think about the story he shared about the relationships with his suppliers and when he had to call them and have that conversation about how he was going to pay them back with not knowing how he was going to in a financial crisis at his company, all of his suppliers were ready and willing to work with him. And that only comes from having a positive working relationship with your suppliers. So to me, that’s the key win-win takeaway. Make sure you’re working with and developing relationships with those vendors and suppliers in your business. Don’t view them as a commodity. View them as more of a strategic partner or an alliance or an ally with you.
Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (32:51):
And that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review and remember, if you or anyone might be ready to franchise your business or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at bigskyfranchiseteam.com. Thanks for tuning in and we look to having you back next week.