When businesses start to go south, owners often look to sell. They can’t figure out how to salvage the issues, so they bring in a successful businessman and turnaround specialist who is very likely to make the business profitable again. Fito Salume, one of the most successful turnaround specialists has a long history of managing businesses and figuring out how to bring them back from the edge.
Salume owns over 50 businesses. His franchise Mister Donuts had 36 stores at its peak, and they have a robust breakfast menu that people crave. He also bought a 50% stake in the Colombia franchise of Spartan Chemicals when they were having issues. Since he took the helm, they’ve experienced a 20%+ year over year growth, and they’re among the top five largest companies in the cleaning and sanitizing industry. When asked about the secret to his monumental successes in business, he said, “Keep your batting average high, higher than your competition. Always be ready to adapt to new markets and adopt new techniques. Never let another company get ahead of you.” When bringing a company back from the edge of destruction, he stresses the importance of problem-solving. “You need to be quick to find solutions,” he said. “The company’s leadership has failed to solve these problems in the past, so you have to have a keener eye than them.”
Running 50 companies is tricky, but Salume has learned to take it in stride. He reduces the percentage of his mistakes and has worked hard to increase his common sense. “I maintain my role by making the best decisions. I want my leadership to be respected, which means calling the shots in a professional and empathetic way.” He also extremely empathetic when hiring the right people and training them well. “When your employee fails, it’s usually the manager’s fault because he or she wasn’t trained correctly. I try to minimize the number of issues we experience by hiring great people across the board.”
Running one business is difficult, much less more than 50. Fito Salume is an expert businessman and leader who continues to revolutionize industries, and it doesn’t seem like he’ll be stopping any time soon.
A Harvard College and Harvard Business School Graduate, Fito provides tremendous value to many. He credits his success to the education he has received from the “School of Hard Knocks” which is the experience that he gained by working in hundreds of turnarounds in his 25+ year career.