Exclusive Boss Q&A: Robert Powells, Rocket Fizz
Learn more about Robert Powells' undercover journey as he took a closer look at his company, Rocket Fizz.
How does it feel to launch a hugely successful business in less than ten years?
The early years were very stressful but it feels good now. However, we are never idle and we constantly continue to create new products and to refine our system. Plus, I am not as stressed as in the early days when the banks refused to help us and a lot of people thought we were nuts for starting this company.
Are you still in touch with any of the employees featured on the show?
Yes. I am in touch with all of them. I actually speak or email each one of them quite a bit.
Do you have any fun stories from filming the show?
It was so difficult for me to not talk to customers and thank them for coming into Rocket Fizz. I love it when people are having such a great time in the stores that Ryan and I created. There were times when I would start to talk to customers and then I would quickly remind myself to shut up--I'm Lee not Rob!
What did your frustrations of working the line & doing inventory & pricing teach you about the employees doing those jobs?
It can be physically and mentally grueling. We have a very fun brand and I always want our employees to enjoy their job. That's very important. It taught me how important it is to implement changes--sooner than later. I really want our teammates to enjoy coming to work everyday and enjoying their lives in general.
What do you consider the most valuable lesson you learned while undercover?
I absolutely had to accelerate the development and implementation of our point of sale system. I didn't realize how much time was being wasted and how this affected all of our teammates. Also, I did not know our carbonation tanks were taking two days to carbonate and wasting so much time. I immediately upgraded the system and now the carbonation process only takes one hour. This was a huge discovery for me and has made such a positive and productive difference with our bottling efficiency.
Which employee did you feel most connected to?
Not to sound falsely diplomatic but I truly connected to each one of them. They are all different in many ways but they are all awesome people! But if I had to chose one I would say Marianne because I felt comfortable talking to her about the passing of my former girlfriend. It's always so difficult for me to speak about it and it just seemed okay for me to mention it.
How did you decide you wanted to honor Marianne's brother & Daniel's wife with a tribute sodas?
Bottling and distributing a soda of Marianne's brother brings him back to life in a way. Marianne can see her brother everyday and share her memories of him with people from all over. It's also a great way to raise money for a charity on behalf of her brother. I am a big fan of giving back in life. And Daniel's wife Alie needs help with her medical expenses. Bottling and distributing a soda on Alie's behalf helps create a revenue stream for her that will-off set those expenses. And now that I know Daniel and Alie they are beyond excited about Alie's image appearing on a soda bottle for thousands of people to see and appreciate. It also brings public awareness to her disease and that alone can help other people who are also battling the same medical condition.