At Wingstop, we love to celebrate our diversity and the flavor of our culture. August is Black Business Month! In celebration, we’re spotlighting Wingstop brand partner, Steve Truck about his experience as a Black business owner.
What made you want to be a Wingstop brand partner?
In 2003, I was a senior executive at a Fortune 100 company focusing on mergers and acquisitions. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and a love for business. I researched nearly 50 different franchise concepts before choosing Wingstop.
What excited me was the simplicity of Wingstop’s business model and sales-to-investment ratio. After speaking with other franchisees, I was able to gather enough information to build a solid financial game plan. I was sold. This is my 17th year as a Wingstop brand partner, and it’s still one of the best business decisions I’ve made.
What’s the most rewarding thing about being a brand partner?
I’ve owned several businesses. Wingstop has allowed for more of a work-life balance compared to my other businesses. I’m a workaholic by choice, not necessity. They say doing what you love is never a job…
Do you have any tips for those looking to start a business?
- Do your due diligence by developing a solid, thorough business plan that includes an honest financial projection. (No ‘pie in the sky’ projections).
- Never underestimate the value of marketing and advertising. As the old saying goes: You can have the best product or service in the world, but if no one knows about it, you’ll be out of business quickly.
- Know your numbers. You can’t manage it if you’re not measuring Most importantly, make sure you have sufficient capital reserves. Most new startups don’t make it through the first year because (1) they don’t have a well thought out business plan and (2) they have insufficient capital.
What does being a black business owner mean to you?
It gives me a greater sense of independence and satisfaction.
As a business owner, what challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
All businesses have challenges; It’s how you respond that matters. In general, we keep it simple. First, get a good understanding of the issue. Get input from others – another set of eyes may offer a different perspective on the issue. Second, develop a plan of attack. Third, put your plan into action. Lastly, measure your results and adjust your action plan accordingly.
Why is it important to celebrate and support Black-owned businesses nationwide?
According to an annual business survey conducted by the US Census Bureau in 2021, only 2.1% of businesses in the U.S. are owned by African Americans. That’s roughly 120,000 businesses out of 5.7 million. While we should celebrate Black-owned businesses, we can do better. Business education, financial education and access to capital are key components to drive more business ownership among Black Americans.
Again, let’s celebrate Black-owned businesses, but there’s a lot of opportunity for improvement as well.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about Black Business Month?
I’m just proud to be part of a brand like Wingstop that encourages and celebrates Black-business ownership.