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Put A Little Love in your Heart
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Overview Transcript Case Study Video
Jonas and Anne Beiler
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Jonus and Anne Beiler started Auntie Anne's to generate cash for Jonus' counseling center. They never dreamed their secret recipe would win so many customers in so many places.
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Gap, Pennsylvania: In 1988 Anne Beiler turned a mistake into a new product. She was preparing food to sell at Saturday's farmers' market. Like so many of us, she did not have the right ingredients and began to substitute things she had on hand.

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WATCH TELEVISION THAT TEACHES 
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Key Ideas of this episode
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1. Small Business School Pay attention to spot opportunity
» Think about what motivates you
2. Create your unique selling proposition
» Ask yourself, "Can I franchise my business?"
3. Put systems and teachers in place to develop a franchise organization
4. Find an angel when the bank turns you down
5. Be good to attract good
6. Put people ahead of profits
7. Hire expert advice when you enter uncharted territory
8. Create a product that makes people say, "Wow!"
9. Teach people to be nice
10. Put a leadership succession plan in place
11. Make your mission statement inspirational
Extra: More of the interview with Anne
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What came out of her oven was a wonderful soft pretzel. But, she wasn't satisfied there. She and her husband further tweaked that new recipe until she heard, "Wow!" from her hungry customers.

Today, Auntie Anne's Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels are baked fresh in over 800 locations and are the perfect high carbohydrate, low-fat, back-to-the-basics snack so many people crave.

So now, we travel out to Gap in Pennsylvania's Amish Country; it is a simpler place. And though it may be an unlikely place to be running a fast-growing business, maybe there are lessons here for all of us in these hostile times.

This business is based on love and on giving.

This is the American Dream. It has come alive for all the right reasons. Assuredly there is much to learn from Anne Beiler and her people.

Contact:
Auntie Anne's Inc.
Hand-Rolled Soft Pretzels
160-A Rte 41
P.O. Box 529
Gap, PA 17527 USA
Tel: 717.442.4766
E-mail: For Business and Public Relations
URL: http://www.auntieannes.com/
Stores: Locations near you!


We invite your questions or comments

  • SUPPORT PUBLIC TELEVISION:
    Become a member of your local station. If you are already, great. If not and your business is doing well, consider joining the Producers' Club ($1000).
  • JOIN, JOIN, JOIN: Your professional associations in your industry are your key to continuing education, market research, collaborations, strategic partnerships, capital and so much more ... often you'll find that you enjoy like-minded people and many will become friends for life.
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Amish country, Gap, Pennsylvania
  • NATIONAL TRADE ASSOCIATIONS / LOCAL CHAMBERS.  There are national trade associations for every industry and business sector. These associations are the most relevant resources for continuing education and networking for small business owners. We are not alone.
  • CASES BY BUSINESS TYPE. Click on the heading to find all the business types and then click on your type of business to check out those case studies.
  • ANGELS & LIGHT: Angel capital has been studied in earlier episodes; there are also references are in our Paths & Steps, especially the section about money within Step 6. An online resource to find an angel is Ace-Net, now located at Cal State University - San Bernardino.

    LIGHT: You learn about Anne's acrostic which permeates their entire corporate culture. Review the transcript segment and guide where Anne discusses how each letter of this acrostic is meaningful.
  • FIRST PRINCIPLES: Starting a business is the road to economic independence for most of us average people. Read a little more to see why incorporating a business keeps the passion of the American revolution alive!
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  • ABOUT BANKS: Of course, Anne Beiler will be forever indebted to her angel, "the chicken-farm banker." You should know, however, that Auntie Anne's currently enjoys banking relationships with local banks – Bank of Lancaster County and HomeTowne Heritage Bank, and a large national bank – Wachovia.

    Before going to a bank for money, understand what it is that a banker wants. For every loan document, they use the statistical data of the RMA. Although we have a section about money and it can be useful, we all need to know about RMA, The Risk Management Association. This is real insiders' information on your financials so take note.

    This organization is your banker's banker. They know more about key critical ratios than anybody on earth. Over 3000 banks and 16000 other kinds of financial organizations contribute the essential financial data from their loan inventory to RMA's Annual Statement Studies to calculate key critical ratios for every major industry type (and for most subsets of business vis-a-vis the SIC and NAICS). With over 150,000 loans per year, that is statistical relevancy.

    Do you know the average key ratios within your industry? We need to be tracking ours in the TV/Production Industry, so get to know a banker and ask! To really make a study of it, keep an eye out for the next seminar by RMA in your area. It'll be the best money you'll spend to understand the organic nature of your business, and learn what it is that your banker so quickly knows about your industry.

    For more, track: RMA's seminars, history, and Journal and articles by Kathleen M. Beans on small business scoring (i.e. used by the SBA for their Low Docs).


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