GENESEE COUNTY, MI — Grabbing a cup of Biggby Coffee is probably part of a lot of people’s daily routine in Genesee County.
Biggby Coffee is the U.S.’ third largest coffee franchise which started in Lansing, but has spread across all of the U.S., including in the Genesee County area.
With over 902,000 small businesses and 150,000 new small business applications filed last year, Michigan has a strong entrepreneurial and small business community.
Most recently, there was a Black Business Expo held in Flint last month where advice was provided to small business owners.
Despite some of the hard times Flint and its surrounding area has experienced over the years, McFall’s best piece of advice to those dreaming of owning a business starts with having money to do so.
“You have to put yourself into a position financially as an individual to be to be able to make an investment in the business,” McFall said. “That’s step one, is to be in a position to have capital for yourself. Most people who are going to be investing in somebody, if you’re looking for investors, they need to see that you have some capital to put into it. And then they also want to work with somebody or invest in somebody who’s been smart financially.”
Over his 27 years of experience at Biggby Coffee working from minimum wage barista to co-CEO of the company and working with students at the University of Michigan, McFall has learned that by valuing, supporting and listening to his staff, they are more likely to remain in, and be committed to, the organization.
For small business owners, there is a challenge to retaining employees. McFall’s philosophy of cultivating a culture of love in the workplace is one that supports employee retention and building a strong work environment. He believes that to build a team of top-talent, it is essential to first invest in employees to create a culture that not only focuses on building connections, but also pursuing passion.
McFall added there has been a shift in the employer and employee relationship.
“That shift went from a traditional mindset where the employer or the manager went from thinking about the employee as someone you offer a job. You pay them, they show up to work, and for that amount of pay, they are supposed to be loyal and do a great job. That’s the traditional mindset as an employer.