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How to Open Multiple Locations Without 'Killing Yourself'

Dear Friend,

Last week, I was talking with someone on my list who owns multiple cart locations. He was having some difficulties with the staffing at one of his carts.

As we talked, it became clear that the main issue was that his entire staff was made of up the 'seven dollar per hour' type. There was no one other than himself responsible for the overall operations of the cart.

As a result, when anything went wrong, he had to step in and take care of it himself. Lately, he found that was happening a little too often. That took his attention away from his real goal, which is to expand into more locations.

***
Your mall cart or kiosk will typically only run as well as the people you have working at it.
If all your personnel are the 'seven-dollar per hour' type, you'll probably end up with a 'seven- dollar per hour' type of business.

Now... you can always hire a manager to run your locations.  However, if hire the wrong person,  you end up 'managing' the manager. 

***
Today, I'm going to offer a suggestion for another motivating factor you can tap into to find people to help you expand.  The motivation I'm talking about is the desire some people have to own and operate their own business.

At any given time there are LOTS of people that want to start their own business... that for one reason or another don't feel they have the resources or expertise to get started.

If you help them get started, you can often share in the profits, and expand the number of carts you make money from in the process. Let me tell you a story that will help illustrate what I'm talking about...

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When I started my first heat pack cart a number of years ago, one of my best salespeople was a college student named Vitaly.

Vitaly didn't really want to be going to college. And he didn't want to be selling heat packs on commission at the mall. He wanted to own his own business.  But he didn't feel like he was in the position to do it yet. 

***
I certainly would have liked to have Vitaly continue working with me as a salesperson.

He was a great salesperson.  And self motivated. But I could tell that if I tried to keep him in a sales person for long, he'd of been 'out the door' and onto something else.

So I made a proposition to him. We sat down for lunch one day the following May.

I told that if he came up with a portion of the money for starting a cart, I would put up the rest. And I'd help him get started. Then we would split the profits 50/50. He agreed. 

***
I helped earn the money he needed to get started. I put up some of my profits from my first season. And I helped him get open. He did all the rest.

That holiday season, he sold over $95K in three months. And generated a solid profit that we were able to split. 

He got his start in business, and made a lot more money than he would have working at a cart. I made some extra money without a heck of a lot of extra effort.
Win. Win. For both of us.

***
Actually, I made three other similar deals that holiday season. And ended up with an interest in five carts. My own. Vitaly's. And three others. The next season, I did it with eight malls. In subsequent seasons, as many as twenty five.

Turns out there were some challenges in expanding in this manner.   But certainly less than running all these malls myself.

I gave up some of the profits I could have potentially earned on those carts... in exchange for having someone there that assumed full responsibility In the process, I got open in more malls than I ever thought I would. And made a lot more money.

***
There can be a lot of profit in opening multiple locations. Certainly one way to expand is simply running a number of locations yourself. It can also be quite a challenge to run lots of locations yourself.

Another way to expand is through strategic partnerships with others who are looking to get started in business.  You can put a bunch of extra money in your pocket, without 'killing yourself' in the process. 

***
Best,

Brady Flower

 



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