What does it take to make your dreams a reality? While no two journeys are the same, there is a lot to be learned from those who have overcome their fair share of obstacles to achieve their ultimate goals.
Lucky for us, we recently sat down with Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim and Franchisee Skyler Blacknall, both of whom have inspiring stories and invaluable insight to share based on their unique experiences on the road to success.
Our host, Chief Business Development Officer Kevin King, asked them the same question – what does it take to make your dreams a reality – and you can hear what they had to share in the webinar linked below.
For the question we did not get to ask, take a look at the answers below:
Q: What transitions/adjustments did you have to make starting and launching a business throughout the pandemic?
Skyler Blacknall: I took ownership of a pre-existing Smoothie King location, so I didn’t need to worry about being a brand-new addition to the community. However, sales were down from the get-go because of the initial uncertainty caused by the pandemic. I immediately jumped in and started connecting with my community through social media and in-person marketing strategies. The previous store owner generated strong awareness within the community, so I took what worked and added my own flavor to the mix. I was out in the community using flyers and word-of-mouth to market the store as much as I could. Coupled with strong consumer demand for products that focus on health and wellness, this proactive approach led to consistent increases in sales each month.
Q: What is one skill you would suggest your employees work on?
Blacknall: My recommendation for my team members is to always foster a guest-first mindset. All of the technical skills required to work at Smoothie King – learning the point-of-sale system, making the smoothies and operating a drive-thru – are all things you can pretty easily train for. The soft skills, like learning how to engage with customers and find out their purpose, is something that often comes with practice and getting comfortable in that role – almost like a consultative approach to customer service. That’s a skill that helps build relationships with our guests and keeps them coming back, and it’s a skill that can be applied in a wide variety of work environments.
Q: What gives Smoothie King the most distinct advantage over other franchises?
Kevin King: For Smoothie King, it all starts with our masterfully-crafted, custom-blended smoothies that support our guests’ healthy and active lifestyles. These purpose-based smoothies are made with whole fruits, organic vegetables, no artificial ingredients and many with no added sugar. This has resulted in 11 years of sales growth for our franchisees. We are the world’s largest smoothie brand with over 1,300 stores and opening another 100+ in 2021.
Q: Describe the corporate- and franchise-people management cultures?
King: Smoothie King has a very inclusive culture. We involve franchisees in planning and the direction of the company. We value their feedback and input. For our team members, we strive to support them so they can also be inspired to live a healthy and active lifestyle. We do this through a work environment that is safe, healthy and fun. Living healthy and active should be fun and enjoyable, and that’s how we approach it at Smoothie King.
Are You Ready to Learn More?
We are sincerely grateful to those who attended the webinar and took the time to submit their questions. It’s important for us to stay connected with everyone who shows interest in our brand and desires to learn more about what makes Smoothie King such an amazing company.