SUCCESS INSIDER: How 4 Harvard grads built their fast food empires franchising with brands like Wendy's, Taco Bell, Burger King, and Popeyes

A customer walks into a Burger King restaurant on August 24, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.Scott Olson/Getty Images

You don't always have to build something from scratch if there's a perfectly good solution already available. For example, owning a franchise is one way that many Ivy League grads put their business acumen to work. Franchise empires require time, research, and a healthy amount of cash up-front, but the model can be a sustainable source of income for entrepreneurs.

We got the scoop on how a group of Harvard grads created fast food empires through franchising.

Here's how they did it.Advertisement

Welcome to Success Insider, our regular newsletter for getting things done.

This week, we have Instagram tips for small business owners, financial advice from early retirees, insights from the CEO of Trivago, and more.

Almost half of entrepreneurs struggle with mental health. 8 founders and investors explain how they cope with isolation and intense pressure.

Elon Musk.Mike Blake/Reuters

The rollercoaster nature of entrepreneurship, with its mercurial highs and lows, can strain the mental health of founders and small-business owners, which contributes to the field's high rates of depression and mental illness. Business Insider spoke to eight founders to find out how they manage their mental health.

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Small business founders share 4 strategies they used to crack Instagram and gain a new wave of customers during the pandemic

Ade (L) and Antonia Ogunsola of Okiki Skincare.Okiki Skincare

The COVID-19 pandemic has hammered small businesses, and many have turned to Instagram to connect with their ever-loyal customers. We spoke to small business founders who are successful on the platform during lockdown. They shared their top strategies for gaining a new wave of customers.

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A therapy startup set to launch in person in March pivoted online in one week and went on to land $6 million in funding, and now it's looking to reinvent mental-health care as people grapple with the effects of the pandemic

Ariela Safira.Ariela Safira
When Ariela Safira's plans to launch Real, a therapy startup, were disrupted by the pandemic, her team had to quickly pivot to digital. Now, she's raised $6 million in funding from Forerunner Ventures, Female Founders Fund, and Gwyneth Paltrow, and shares how Real's been tailoring their products to match what their customers want today.Advertisement

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Why the key to career success is, surprisingly, to make yourself dispensable to your company, according to the CEO of travel giant Trivago

Trivago CEO Axel Hefer.Trivago

When COVID-19 hit Europe in January, Axel Hefer was appointed Trivago's CEO, having been managing director and chief financial officer for the travel comparison firm for the previous four years. He shares his five tips for career success.

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Self-made millionaires who retired in their 30s didn't factor a pandemic into their financial planning. Here's what they're doing with their money now.

Soonthorn Kittikarnjanakorn/EyeEm

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the calculus for many retirees, but what about the self-made millionaire early retirees who largely rely on investments to fund their lifestyle? They told Business Insider they're not worried about their money, but some have changed things up in big ways.

Here's why.

How an entrepreneur bootstrapped a syrup business from her mother's attic that sold out on Amazon in an hour and is now on the shelves of over 8,000 retailers

Michele Hoskins.Courtesy of Michele Hoskins
When Michele Hoskins started Michele Foods, the young entrepreneur was a newly divorced teacher with three children and no source of investor capital. Three decades later, Hoskins has grown her syrup into a business with products in more than 8,000 stores across the country – and the brand only gained popularity when PepsiCo's Aunt Jemima was pulled off shelves. Advertisement

Here's how she did it.

The founder of the most popular kombucha brand in America explains how the company recovered from a dramatic drop in sales during the pandemic

GT Dave is the founder of GT's Living Foods.Courtesy of GT's Living Foods

GT Dave started his kombucha company as a teen in 1995, home-brewing in his parents' kitchen and pitching his way into health and grocery stores. Decades later, the company has recovered from plummeting sales during the pandemic and started a home delivery service to meet demand for its popular tea drink.

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Leaders from companies like PwC and FlexJobs share their best advice for creating an inclusive company culture now that working from home is extended

A video producer works from his at-home studio to conduct remote interviews with talent on April 19, 2020 in Franklin Square, New York.Eric Stringer/Getty Images

It can be hard to maintain a positive company culture when everyone's working remotely. Here's what execs at companies like PwC and FlexJobs say you should do to build an inclusive working environment.

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