All businesses progress through different stages of life, traversing a life cycle that affects what decisions should be made and how. While every business matures and changes at a different pace and faces different challenges at each stage, there is a pattern that can generally be traced throughout each.
The frozen yogurt business is no different. Frozen yogurt companies like Yogurtland pass clearly through the seven stages of the business life cycle:
Seed, Start-Up, Growth , Established, Expansion, Mature, Evaluate
This first of a three part series explores the early days of a frozen yogurt business and how best to manage typical challenges associated with each.
Seed: Birthing an Idea
Seeds for the industry as it is today were first sown during the 1980s, when frozen yogurt was new and fabulously trendy.
But a decade of the fad was followed by a fizzle which few frozen yogurt shops survived. While consumers loved the creamy and light dessert, it soon came to be perceived as only a less satisfactory version of ice cream. Businesses were found to only mimic popular ice cream flavors without investing in quality or providing any unique spin.
Renewed interest in the frozen yogurt concept emerged in the early 2000s, and Yogurtland took up the quest for an improved frozen yogurt brand in February of 2006 with a new inspiration and plan. To truly invest in success, it is important to spend time creating a vision that is unique and has a strong value proposition. Learning from what was lacking in the bygone days of frozen yogurt taught businesses in the new century to be more than just imitations, but to take on life of their own.
Start-Up: Tracking Time and Money
Frozen yogurt in the 21st century was a completely different experience, and innovative presentation was one of the most evident ways in which the business transcended its past. Yogurtland has been credited with pioneering the self-serve system, allowing customers to operate the yogurt machines and create unique flavor and topping combinations, while paying by the ounce for exactly what they wanted. Suddenly the concept of frozen yogurt was fresh and new. Customers could satisfy cravings as never before, down to the final swirl and last chocolate sprinkle.
At this crucial phase of the business, money is a key factor in eventual success, a fact which can make the per ounce model of payment even more ideal. Business owners should count on constantly revising the budget, matching finances to customer needs, making sure the business remains on the right track.
Frozen yogurt entrepreneurs knew enough to build on a stronger foundation than was present in the 80s. After starting with something unique, they gained significant customer interest. And they didn’t stop there. By investing in more quality innovations and digging deep into delivering flavors that satisfied and surprised, frozen yogurt businesses like Yogurtland pushed themselves into the next phase.