Skip to main content

Biggby Co-founder Brews Up Advice for Entrepreneurs

Michael J. McFall, co-founder and co-CEO of Biggby Coffee, knows how to grind. Biggby is the third-largest coffee franchise in the United States, having grown to over 300 locations across the Midwest. That gives McFall plenty of street cred as he teaches the subject of entrepreneurialism in his class, Finding Your Venture, at the University of Michigan Center of Entrepreneurship.

McFall feels strongly about investing in interpersonal relationships as well as developmental opportunities and leading through entrepreneurship. In fact, we felt our entrepreneurial issue was a good place to tell you about McFall’s book, “Grind,” which is a practical guide to starting a new business by skipping past the MBA and heading right to success. “Grind” touts itself as a no BS approach to take your business from concept to cash flow.

We asked McFall how business owners can attract and retain employees.

“We have to change the paradigm,” McFall said.  “As leaders we need to make the investment first in the employee and earn their loyalty.”

On employee development, McFall said the employee is akin to a volunteer.

“How would you treat somebody who is showing up to work for you for free?” McFall asked. “This is the level of appreciation and respect you need to show people in your organization.

“Your job as a leader is to facilitate an environment where everyone’s voice is heard and understood,” he added. “When a team is getting full engagement from each member, the team has the best opportunity to thrive. This is really hard to do and generally starts with the leader. Leaders need to quiet down to open up space for others to contribute.”

“Grind” is filled with strategies, anecdotes, calls to action and insight — and it inspires entrepreneurs to stop guessing and start grinding. In the spirit of its author, we suggest you grab a cup of coffee to enjoy this good read.

Find McFall on Facebook at and learn more about the book at