What does it take to scale a business from a $2,000 initial investment to one that serves customers in tens of thousands of venues all over the Midwest? Let’s dig into that.
On Episode 27 of the podcast, we talk with Dereck Lewis about how he took his grandma’s cookie recipes and turned them into a business that has had a 100% growth rate each year since it started in 2012. For one thing, it takes the right mentors. It might take a little bit of “this is my last best chance” kind of mental motivation. And it takes a ton of hard work.
Dereck Lewis is the owner of Thelma’s Treats, makers of handmade ice cream sandwiches that are, well, delicious. Dereck started this venture after sticking a toe into the worlds of insurance and real estate.
This is a fascinating conversation – it’s kind of the podcast equivalent of a buddy movie for start-up nerds. Dereck digs into the challenges he faced early on, talks about two great mentors that helped immensely and also provided some tough love.
If you are looking for an engaging, fine-grain look at how to scale up a business, this will be time very well spent.
What You Will Learn in this Episode:
- How to scale a business starting with a bootstrap and a prayer
- Lessons from growing up in a family business
- How to build in resilience in an up or down economy
- How to pivot to the segment of the business that is working best
- The role of faith and principles in the way you run your business
- Knowing when to level off growth in a business
- Building a track record that will attract lenders
- Finding the right mentors who will tell you the truth and help you grow
- How to scale a physical infrastructure-heavy business