In this episode we interview Matt Miller, an entrepreneur, and founder of School Spirit Vending – a franchise business that helps schools and their clubs and organizations raise money through vending. Matt shares his entrepreneurial journey, from Air Force pilot to a successful sales career, and eventually starting his own business.
About Matt Miller:
Matt Miller spent the first 9 years of his career as an Air Force pilot, before entering the private sector to work in both the medical device and advertising industries. While a top performer in the corporate world, his long term desire was to be his own boss. A good friend one day mentioned the gum ball machines he and his young daughters owned, and that conversation began a 10 year business quest that has brought Matt’s company,
School Spirit Vending, to the cutting edge of both the vending and school fundraising industries.
Today, School Spirit Vending’s franchising program provides a proven and profitable business system for busy professionals and their families looking to start a small business and develop secondary income streams with a limited time commitment.
The School Spirit Vending concept was developed in July of 2007 by Matt Miller of Kingwood, TX. 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 the 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 benefiting from the program with great results!
- Matt started his career as an Air Force pilot, and then enjoyed as successful sales career, before becoming his own boss.
- Early on he realized that he did not like being told what to do! Which understandably influenced his decision to leave the Air Force after completing his commitment.
- He started his gumball vending business on the side, while he kept his full-time job. The 2008 financial crisis affected his business, and that led him to reinvent his business model and launching School Spirit Vending.
- As he started a family, he no longer wanted to travel extensively, and becoming an airline pilot was not a career that aligned with his vision for his family life.
- An issue with unrealistic quota assignment at his last sales position led him to begin seriously searching for a way to become his own boss.
- A friend of his introduced him to the gumball vending machine business, and he started with a used gumball machine he purchased on eBay. From there he bootstrapped his business and grew it to the full-time business that allowed him to become his own boss.
- One of the most valuable lessons he learned along the way is to place more value on time than on money.
- He did not write a business plan for his business, but he shares that all of his business decisions have been calculated and relatively low risk. Although he definitely completed a financial analysis to calculate the potential profitability of the business model.
- Knowledge Constipation – what Matt calls being too busy thinking about it and learning about something and not actually jumping in and doing it!
- After consulting with his business coach, he decided to franchise his vending business. School Spirit Vending now offers franchises for entrepreneurs looking to generate an alternate income stream or as a full-time small business.
- His goal is to offer an opportunity for real change for his franchisees and the schools and organization they serve.
- Some keys to his business success include: Discipline – doing something every single day, but being patient and understanding that it takes time to build a business. Being willing to step out there and try something, and being willing to fail.
- Click on the book image below to download the FREE book from Matt: Live Your Dreams – Top 10 Reasons Why You Need To Start A Vending Business.
Books mentioned in this episode:
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