I always read a few positive articles in the morning, regardless of what my day holds. It reminds me that there are other successful people out there that started where I did. I refuse to read any “regular” news anymore, talk about depressing. This quote is from Forbes’s Christopher Steiner. He is talking with Hamdi Ulukaya from Chobani Greek Yogurt about his rise from $0 to $700 million in four years. The full article is here.
CS: There are parallels and advice that’s valid to anybody growing a business, yogurt, tech or otherwise. What are your main tenets to starting and growing something successfully?
Ulukaya: There are five main things I focus on:
No. 1: Keep your product simple. Know what you do and do it better than anybody.
No. 2: Invest in your core. For us, that’s our yogurt plant. We have the biggest best plant in the U.S., maybe in the world. We’ve invested $220 million in taking that plant from a capacity of 50,000 cases to 1.4 million. It’s the backbone of what we do and we treat it that way.
No. 3: When you market your business, know that can fool almost nobody anymore. There is too much information available to anybody who wants it. Be real. People can tell—or easily find out—when you’re not.
No. 4: Focus on profit. I run my business like a mom and pop store. Cash is everything. Without it you can’t increase production and it’s hard to be innovative.
No. 5: Lead as an example. If you make yogurt, go to the plant. Work with your people; if you want people to work on Sunday, be there next to them.
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