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My Cold Stone MBA

February 10, 2012

 I have always toyed with the idea of earning an MBA. I am currently earning this MBA at the Cold Stone Creamery that my husband and I purchased in Royal Oak in April 2010. This experience has been a fascinating business case study that is providing valuable lessons applicable to my marketing consulting world as well.

Summarizing almost two years of analysis:

  • As originally structured, the business is not making $20K/year, as presented; it is losing $20K/year. It took us a year of collecting actuals to discover this.
  • The constant in our staffing is turnover. It must be planned for and leveraged. At best, each employee stays about two years.
  • The best marketing tool for the ice cream business is warm weather; there is little you can do to draw folks to your store if it is cold.

So what to do with this? The approach was not too unlike what I work with my LMK Consulting clients on.

  • Find the profitability. What parts of the business have the most potential to drive profit? Invest there.
  • Uncover reasons for lack of profitability. What costs are out of line? Is pricing wrong?
  • Who do you need on the team to create the customer service model that you want to offer?
  • Create analytical reports of where the business is, and where you want it to be. Develop action plans (3 year, 1 year, 3 month) to get you there.
  • Reanalyze, adjust, repeat.

We now have data, a plan and tracking mechanisms. Stay tuned for lessons learned along the way!

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