Ice Cream Sundays 🍡
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Volume 45- January 2nd, 2022                                                                                                                      View in Your Browser

TODAY'S NEWSLETTER 🚀

Happy first Sunday of 2022! How was your New Year's Eve? Do you have any resolutions? Reply back and let me know what you’re hoping to accomplish in the year ahead. 
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HERE'S THE SCOOP 🍦

A Conversation About Culture

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the concept of company culture and hiring on my mind. Like many of you, I’ve been auditing my 2021 successes in order to set specific goals for 2022 and beyond. And as I think through and organize my 2022 goals for Dream Pops, I like to separate them by if I'm able to accomplish them myself, or if they’ll require outside help from other employees, freelancers, mentors, etc. This not only helps me figure out how to best prioritize and delegate, but also provides a general outline for if/when Dream Pops will require full-time or contract hiring in the coming months. 

As you can imagine, hiring is no small task for a lean team. In this stage of the Dream Pops’ journey, we’re an extremely tight-knit group, with every single employee adding daily value that has a clear impact on our bottom line. Making one wrong hire can seriously derail our team dynamic and hinder our ability to reach our goals. That’s why I’m obsessive when it comes to hiring and culture. 

But let’s step back for a minute. With a topic as cliche as “company culture”– a term often impossible to define, why do we even care? 

The answer is two-pronged–1) consumers now see strong company culture as a differentiator and necessary element for supporting a brand, and 2) employees are the heart and soul of a company. 

To my first point, a recent report discovered that “90% of people believe brands must do everything they can to protect the well-being and financial security of their employees and their suppliers, even if it means suffering big financial losses until the pandemic ends. And 66% of consumers consider elements like company culture and employee welfare as factors that determine whether they buy from one brand over another.” (Forbes, 2021

Given that CPG is one of the most competitive spaces to operate, differentiation is key, and your key to standing out just might be your company culture. 

Now to my second point. Brian Chesky, Co-founder of Airbnb famously said “A company’s culture is the foundation for future innovation. An entrepreneur's job is to build the foundation.” I couldn’t agree more. 

As a founder, you’re going to have the strategic vision and long-term goals top-of-mind, yet your employees are the ones who are going to get you there. If you’re the captain, they’re the crew that will tirelessly–if properly incentivized and appreciated–push you toward shore. 

Conversely, if the relationship between employee and employer isn’t properly nurtured, you’re the one who’s going to pay. 

“According to a report by SHRM, one in five Americans left a job due to poor company culture” last year.” This is extremely costly for employers, given that “replacing an employee costs up to 150% of their annual salary and drives productivity into the ground”. (Forbes, 2021

Bottom line: If you are lucky enough to have star employees, think seriously and thoughtfully about how you can best support, mentor, and empower them to succeed. Their success will be your success. 

 

CASE STUDY 

Dream Pops's Approach To Hiring

Okay, okay. I’ve talked a lot about the importance of WHY you should build a strong company culture, but even thinking about culture can seem like a luxury when juggling the multitude of responsibilities that are the reality of leading a startup.

But there's one place you can spend more time to get immediate reward–making sure you hire the right people. 

Here’s how I’ve approached hiring at Dream Pops: 

  1. Be scrappy for as long as possible. First and foremost, the mistake I see founders make all too often is overhiring. Take time to think through all the roles and responsibilities that you need to cover to scale your startup, and then figure out what you’re able to do on that list. You’d be surprised how much one person can accomplish–especially at the very beginning. 
  2. Refer back to #1. Really… if you’re as scrappy as possible for as long as possible, chances are you’ll have performed every single task you’d ever need to hire for. Having been in the shoes of your future employee will help you clearly understand what types of skills will be required in an all-star hire. 
  3. F*ck Interviews. Controversial but I stand behind my opinion. Sure, an interview will help you see if you gel with a future employee, but how much ground can you really cover in 30 minutes? When hiring for Dream Pops, I put much more emphasis on final results. I love looking through portfolios, prior work, designs, etc. to get a better sense of if the individual will work well at Dream Pops. Plus, I ask future employees to work with us for 2-3 months as a consultant to make sure the role works for both parties. 

 

Good luck & happy hiring! 

EXCLUSIVE DECK 🤫

If you want to learn more about our unique early B2B approach, I’ve created a deck that dives into more detail for subscribers here. It includes outreach templates, apps we use, and important strategies I’ve learned along the way, so definitely take a look.

CHERRY ON TOP 🍒

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Thanks for reading this week. As always, feel free to reply back with feedback, thoughts, and questions. 

 

-DG

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The Courage to Dream. The Will to Innovate. The Tenacity to Execute.

The Courage to Dream. The Will to Innovate. The Tenacity to Execute.

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