Antonio McBroom, Eric Taylor, and Phillip Scotton are the founders and operators of the largest and only Black-owned and Black-led multi-unit franchise group of Ben & Jerry’s, Primo Partners. While their journey started with one location in North Carolina, they now have a collection of 14 franchises across the country and will soon open their 15th location.
EBONY spoke with McBroom to discuss the lessons learned along the group's entrepreneurial journey.
"Primo Partners exists to create opportunities for historically marginalized people. That’s how we’re going to grow generational wealth in our community. The thing I love most about this journey is the impact. You rarely get alignment with your purpose and the work you do on a daily basis. Ben & Jerry’s allows me to spread love and joy to everyone visiting our different locations," McBroom says. "But it also allows me the platform to really impact my team and the folks I work with daily by creating job opportunities, learning opportunities, and travel opportunities. That’s what makes me stick with it."
Whether you’re looking to delve into business ownership or what entrepreneurship entails, check out five lessons Antonio McBroom of Primo Partners has learned.
The Genius of the Word "And"
According to McBroom, you must first learn to prioritize competing priorities. While most entrepreneurs may find themselves tasked with decisions, he feels that a change in perspective might be helpful.
"So many times, we're faced with decisions as entrepreneurs, and we look at things as ‘either or,’" McBroom explains. "The real genius in leadership and entrepreneurship is in the ‘and.’"
Who, Not How
There's a certain beauty in collaboration that materializes into some of the most powerful teams. That’s no different when it comes to the men of Primo Partners. The Ben & Jerry's franchise owner feels that more effort should be placed into finding the right line-up of colleagues.
“So much in business and life boils down to finding the right person to engage with. Whether it's banking, partnership, staffing, you name it," shares McBroom. "Sometimes we get lost in the how and the what, but really need to focus on the right people.”
Your Main Thing Should Be Keeping Your Main Thing Your Main Thing
“This is all about the power of focus. It's easy to make everything an urgent priority or focus. Never lose sight of what's your main thing, and keep it front and center," says the franchise owner. "I once made the mistake of trying to focus on all the weaknesses of my business, like seasonality, and tried to expand the product mix and lost over $100,000 in 10 months. I bounced back from this with a focused sense on maximizing my season and selling my core product more exponentially during my season, and quadrupled my profit in 2 years.”
Servant Leadership Is the Ultimate Leadership
Putting the needs of others before yourself is not only selfless, but a recipe for success.
"Putting others’ highest priority needs first is a recipe for winning in business," McBroom tells EBONY. “Do this with your team, guests, and community, and the business success will be a natural by-product.”
The Most Important Topic You Need to Become an Expert In Is Yourself
“Self-awareness is crucial for entrepreneurial success. Taking self-awareness assessments like DISC and KOLBE can really help at the beginning, and over time becoming a real lifelong student of self-exploration through meditation, yoga, and positive intelligence training can take your business impact to the next level,” shares McBroom.