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Full Throttle Growth [Entrepreneurship
Posted on March 25, 2013 @ 10:03:00 AM by Paul Meagher

This weekend, I finished watching the last two seasons of the reality tv show Full Throttle Saloon. It was addictive to watch.

The show provides lots of lessons for entrepreneurs. Lessons about marketing, promotion, decision making, managing employees, security, risk taking, and branding.

Mike Ballard is the owner of the Full Throttle Saloon, advertised as the biggest biker bar in the world. Mike was active in pitching the idea for a reality TV show focused on the 10 day season that he opens the Full Throttle Saloon for business. The season coincides with a huge biker rally to Stugis, South Dakota. During this time around 300,000 people pass through the gates (most of them bikers, but also locals). He offers a carnival atmosphere combined with musical events, food venues, branded clothing and drinks, accommodations, and a dizzying number of bars. The brand is about freedom, the outlaw lifestyle, and taking it to the next level.

Mike Ballard is teamed up with Jesse James Dupree (lead singer of Jackyl) and Angie. Each of Mike's partners brings impressive marketing savvy and interpersonal skills to the table. They are different in many ways but there is a chemistry and common vision that makes them work very effectively together.

It is interesting to see how the Full Throttle brand has grown over the last two years. It is poised to expand into other parts of the US and I expect it to grow rapidly over the next year. This is entrepreneurship at its finest and the show provides us all with a glimpse of what it takes to manage a high growth business. There are many lessons in marketing, promotion, and the power of branding for entrepreneurs to learn from watching this show.

Mike Ballard is a strong leader. His leadership comes from his business ethics, his attention to the financials of his business, his appreciation for other viewpoints, his listening ability, his approachability, his rapid and decisive decision making, his calculated risk taking, and his passion to grow his business by reinvesting and taking on new challenges. There is lots of learn about managing a high-growth business from watching how Mike runs his business.

Can't wait for the next season to see where the Full Throttle brand goes next.

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