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HOW TO BULID A BILLION DOLLAR SPORTSWEAR BRAND – Six tips from Ben Francis, CEO of Gymshark

A guy came up to me and was like, ‘Why don’t you guys make any camo tops?’ I said, “To be honest, I’ve no idea.”

Unable to find apparel that fit him properly, 30-year-old Ben Francis created the ubiquitous Millennial / Gen Z sports brand currently valued at over a billion.

His tips:

Do what you love: A fitness fanatic, Francis was determined to be involved in the industry he loved.

Wise up: The CEO asks other business leaders for advice. Among them, Shopify’s Harley Finkelstein – ‘Shopify… is a level up from where we are now,’ he says. ‘I think a lot of the problems that we’ve faced, Shopify has had similar problems in the past.’

Fail your way to success: ‘Go all in on something and see what happens,’ says Francis. ‘If it doesn’t go well, you can always try something new.’

Hire smarter: ‘If you hire people you genuinely trust, respect and you know are better than you, then over the long run they’ll do a better job than you.’

Safety first: ‘Gymshark was turning over a quarter of a million pounds before I left Pizza Hut,’ he told GQ. ‘Working there allowed all of Gymshark’s profits to be reinvested.’

Know your customer: ‘…a guy came up to me and was like, ‘Why don’t you guys make any camo tops?’ I said, “To be honest, I’ve no idea.” We went back and made them, and people have loved them ever since.”’

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