When Ray Kroc bought his first McDonald’s franchise in Illinois, no one could imagine that he would turn that humble drive-in hamburger shop into one of the world’s most recognizable and powerful companies. Currently in over 115 countries, McDonald’s is an international icon that serves more than 60 million people every single day. Not bad for a salesman turned hamburger king. His marketing skills and tenacious business style helped him to create a global phenomenon that is still growing and expanding.
He literally invented production-line style food preparation, and gave people fast and easy meals for good prices. He marketed his brand to kids and families by introducing characters like Ronald McDonald and Grimace. He built restaurants with drive-thru service that allowed customers to grab dinner without getting out of their cars on the way home from work. He satisfied a need and desire that people had to save time and get food quickly and easily. He created restaurants with playgrounds and introduced games and toys along with french fries and burgers in the now famous Happy Meals.
Ray Kroc turned a hamburger into a multi-billion dollar endeavor that is still growing strong today, and this guy was a salesman who saw an opportunity and ran with it. What can you do? His entrepreneurial style and tenacious appetite for bigger and better led to the formation of the world’s largest restaurant chain, yet the operation is amazingly simple and uniform. He took an idea, found a way to duplicate, copy and reproduce it around the world, and he made a fortune and changed the cultural landscape of America and the world forever.
His success wasn’t borne from marketing or business school. He had humble beginnings and always had a gift for sales and persuading people to buy things. This is an attribute that many entrepreneurs share, and you can follow in his footsteps and enjoy success in your own right if you are willing to dream big and seize an opportunity that is before you. Kroc’s success is a classic example of good timing. If he didn’t get that franchise when he did, at a time when few other companies were doing the same thing, there is a good chance he wouldn’t have been a successful.
Every good opportunity has a shelf life, and you can either be the first or pick up the crumbs and be the last. You can make money and be a success at almost anything. To Ray Kroc, McDonald’s was just the product- the vehicle that he would launch to super-stardom. This is a testament to anyone who sells anything. It doesn’t take much to turn a product into a phenomenon other than a bent for selling and good timing. He stumbled on McDonald’s after selling many other things, and perhaps you need to experiment with different products before you strike gold as well. The lesson here is that you need to be aware of the importance of timing and running with something when the going is good.