Ep: 012 Shawn Burcham

In Podcast by admin

Shawn BurchamShawn Burcham is the founder and CEO of PFS Brands. Shawn spent his childhood in the small southeast Missouri town of Farmington. His parents moved to that area when he was 6 months old, and Farmington became home for him until he graduated high school 18 years later. After working for a couple of different corporations in sales-related roles, he chose to start his own business in 1998. They moved from Willard, MO to Holts Summit, MO in 1999, where he currently lives. PFS brands has gone on to be named by INC. Magazine as one of the “Fastest Growing Privately-Held Companies in the USA” for 9 consecutive years.

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Show Notes:

  • PFS brands was founded in 1998 as a cappuccino and coffee company.
  • Shawn started out working on the company part-time.
  • He grew up with a very loving mother and father who instilled strong roots and core values.
  • Shawn started a lawn care company at age 14.
  • In college, he got the entrepreneur bug.
  • The habit that has led to his success has been goal-setting.
    • Personal
    • Professional
  • He also encourages you to write down your goals and look at them regularly.
  • PFS has a system in place for both personal and professional goals.
  • The company strives to help its employees accomplish what they want in life and in their careers.
  • PFS is a wholesale food and equipment distributor whose brands include:
    • Champs Chicken
    • Coopers Chicken
    • Blu Taco
  • They have stayed true to just chicken for 19 years and for this year decided to get into the taco market.
  • The current number of employees:
    • 130-135: Total Employee Owners
    • 12: Over The Road Drivers
    • 40: Business Advisors
  • The biggest struggle has been cash flow.
    • You have to build up inventory
    • You can’t outpace yourself
      • Need to know what pace to grow at
  • Employee Owned Company (ESOP: Employee Stock Ownership Plan)
    • Wanted to make a statement to Holts Summit and Missouri
    • Wanted to make a statement to the employees
    • All the ESOP is based off of sweat equity
  • Currently uses open-book management but did not start out that way.
  • Shawn grew up around business
    • He realized that people don’t know what they don’t know
    • Is an advocate for open book management
    • It really shows what it takes to run a business
  • His core focus is to help other people to become more successful in both business and life.
  • Culture is a main focus of his business
    • They have created a competitive environment at PFS.
  • The interview process:
    • Starts with an 8-page document on career history
    • They hire on their core values
    • The person will typically go through 2 or 3 interviews
    • Shawn will usually come in at the end to make sure they fit within the culture of the business
  • He gets people engaged within the company:
    • They have weekly numbers that are available
    • The company has key performance indicators throughout the company
    • The people in the field have numbers to hit
    • They use a scoreboard and games to keep people engaged
  • In terms of the culture, he says, “The person leading the company is responsible for the culture,”
  • He empowers the people to do more.
  • The employees started QSR Podcast on their own without him knowing about it.
  • You have to care about the customer for more than just the sale.

Shawn Burcham’s Recharge Round

  1. Share with us how you believe your mindset affects your life. You have to create opportunities for other people to be more successful. 
  2. What do you do daily to bring Energy into your life? Work-life balance is tough: It’s a pure joy to come to work and love to get in the pilot seat
  3. Share the number one connection that has made the biggest impact on your life. Parents: They have been great role models
  4. What advice has Influenced you the most in your life? “Always show up earlier than everybody else, stay later than everybody else, and always work harder than everybody else.”
    “Not about less work”
  5. Recommend a book and share why you love it.  The Great Game of Business, Expanded and Updated: The Only Sensible Way to Run a Company
    Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t
  6. Define in one sentence or less, what legacy you want to leave on the world.  “He was tough to work for but he always cared and always wanted to help other people.”

Piece of guidance:

Have fun and find something you are passionate about


PFS Brands