There was so much going on in the world of Hershey in these chapters. Hershey did no advertising until the 1970’s and by the 1990’s, they were spending $200 million a year in marketing. Bill Dearden took over sales for Hershey and in 1976, became CEO. When he brought on two key players, they made him realize how important marketing was and what it was. Now he was unable to walk into a grocery store without noticing Mars products at checkout, not theirs. This was in the Hershey grocery stores. This also led to training of their sales team. All they were doing was bringing product to the stores, not looking at the shelves to see if they needed more one week, just brought product. They began a marketing plan, how to put it in play, and how to do it better. Marketing is so important and goes hand in hand with your employees training. Everyone needs to understand the goals and how you are going to get there. If it is valentine’s season, plan for it, bring more candy, do not let the shelves get empty, which is what they were doing. Keep up with technology. Make sure your team has what they need to succeed and do their job effectively and efficiently. It can be a daunting task changing the direction of your business like Hershey did, but they proved that it is worth it. Fear can cause many people to not push forward and miss out on so much.
Another aspect that really got me in these chapters was an exit plan. Do you have one for your business? We are not going to live forever. Reese’s was doing pretty well and the owner died leaving his sons to fight over who would be in charge of the company and of course, they all had different ideas about that. Hershey ended up purchasing them to save the company. Having an exit plan to me is like having a Will for your family. Make sure you take care of business even when you are gone. In one of the previous classes that was one of our assignments, what is your exit plan? I had never really thought about it, but quickly realized its importance. A good leader will pass on the torch and it should be smooth and effortless. This should be so well planned that the company is not disrupted more than it should be. Will there be bumps, of course, but planning the best you can is by far the best plan you can have.
These chapters showed that planning and great leadership is important. Look towards the future and stay ahead of the course. Being an entrepreneur means juggling every ball in the court and having the right people in place to help you do just that even once you are gone.