There is no one better to appreciate the power of business checklists than an entrepreneur who has actually flown planes! Pilots literally live or die by their ability to follow checklists religiously.
That’s something I discussed at length with Matt Miller on the latest episode of the Go For Launch podcast. Matt is president and founder of School Spirit Vending, a concept he developed in July 2007.
Matt graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1989 and was an Air Force pilot for nine years. After his military service, Matt worked in both the medical and advertising fields.
As a father of three, with years of expertise in both print media and vending, Matt was able to see school fundraising from a unique, outsider’s perspective. One day, after a child in his neighborhood came by the house selling items for his school’s fundraiser, Matt decided to create a business that would help schools and their clubs or organizations raise money more simply. Year-round, hassle-free fundraising with School Spirit Vending was born.
The School Spirit Vending concept and its simplicity has caught on so quickly that schools all over the country are already benefitting from the program with great results.School Spirit Vending allows children to purchase inexpensive stickers during the school year. It is a revenue-sharing model that ultimately raises money for each school. The company has raised over $3,000,000 for community schools, and this is increasing every day. To date, they are more than 2,000 schools around the United Stated and growing rapidly with a recently franchised model and plans for international expansion.
Matt talks about his previous experience running a vending company selling candy and gumballs mainly to restaurants in the Houston, Texas area. However, when the market downturn of 2007-2008 occurred, his business took a massive hit—to the point that he was forced to deliver pizzas for Pizza Hut, in addition to running a full-time business and keeping up with his parenting duties and church activities.
As a former pilot, Matt learned invaluable lessons about the power of checklists and systems. We talk about the tragedies that befall both pilots and entrepreneurs who “fly by the seat of their pants” and fail to develop and take processes seriously.
Matt shares a special free resource, an ebook called Live Your Dreams: Top 10 Reasons Why You Need To Start A Vending Business. He is a great person to talk to if you have thought about starting a franchise business!
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