“Success Begins In The Bathroom:” Remembering the Fundamentals
Even when it feels like the world is ending, you can still be successful.
Glenn and Jordan Edwards are proof of that. The father-son duo invested in their most recent business “Mixology” in the height of the Great Recession back in 2009. Now they are a 10 store omnichannel retail chain and are here on the Retail Doc Podcast to promote the new book they wrote together, This Is It.
In their book and throughout this podcast, Jordan and Glenn impart lessons on the importance of execution, even when the situation may not be perfect, and remembering the fundamentals (like having a clean bathroom).
“Build It and Sell It”
Paralysis by analysis is very real. Many of us think that we can predict every negative outcome if we prepare just enough.
Jordan struggled with this as he was starting his t-shirt business back in his college days. Carrying out his fair share of preparation, he was, “writing a business plan, and trying to raise money, and opening bank accounts… and weeks turned into months, and months turned into more months… and I hadn't sold even a single t-shirt.”
Luckily, Jordan had his father to guide him. Glenn encouraged Jordan to not overthink what he was doing, by stating the obvious. “All you got to do is make the shirt and sell the shirt, that’s business.”
So many people, especially when starting a new business, hesitate on the execution. This is not to say that we shouldn't do our due diligence before starting a business strategy. But it is important to remember that you cannot prepare for everything.
You will learn a lot more executing your business idea than you ever will preparing for it.
Remember the Basics
“If you want to know how a business is run, you don’t have to check out the boardroom, you should check out their bathrooms.”
In other words, if a company can’t make sure the bathroom is clean for their customers, the rest of the business is probably not handled well either. They don’t have the processes to handle the fundamentals.
For instance, when I was with the startup coffee company “It's a Grind,” I would start interviews with new servers by putting a dirty napkin on the floor. The best ones would always pick it up and throw it away, or at least ask me if there was any place that they could put it. They helped with the basics.
The over-analysis that I mentioned earlier causes us to place a priority on factors that are not important. In fact, we place so much importance on them, we often forget the basics.
But the basics are essential! That is why it is critical to have a fundamental process (like my interview process), to ensure your business is doing well with your ABC’s before you plan on achieving anything beyond that.
One of the fundamentals Jordan and Glenn emphasize is treating everybody like your customer. This means your employees, your vendors, your landlord, and your service providers.
If you plan on building a profitable company for the long term, this must be a priority. You need to build relationships with everyone you work with and make sure they profit from it.
If these relationships are adversarial, the people you work with won’t care about your business, leading them to make their own business decisions that can hurt you.
But if you care about these fundamentals, you can build a massively successful company, for years to come.
You can find more on Jordan and Glenn and their book at https://www.jordanedwards.com. As always, listen to the podcast! You can hear more about Glenn and Jordan’s story (like how they built a successful business coming out of the Great Recession) and learn more about the fundamental building blocks of creating a retail business.