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Shi Yanlai's "Study of Success"

Shi Yanlai's "Study of Success"

By Ruban SaundersPublished 6 months ago 8 min read

Since 2008, the global economy has entered a cold winter, but for Shi Yanlai, red, yellow, and blue education institutions are not short of money. "We wear cotton-padded jackets for the winter." "We were lucky to get financing both times before the financial markets went into the doldrums," she said. We raised our Series A round in 2008, and then the financial crisis happened A month later." The Series B round was completed in mid-September 2011 with $20 million.

Fortune favors the prepared mind

Was it just luck? I'm afraid not. If you want to be hit by the pie from the sky, you should at least know where to stand like Shi Yantai. She has a keen sense of opportunity. The first bucket of gold she founded, the predecessor of the Red, Yellow, and Blue Educational institution, was found in the classified information of a small piece of newspaper. "A lot of people don't care, don't pay attention. But we found it. It was a very shallow idea that the market should be good and relatively easy to manage. This is my first small opportunity. In 1996, we opened Beijing's first Fandou Children's World."

From Fandom Music, Shi Yanlai entered the early education industry with a master's degree from Peking University, and continued to expand in this field, from Fandou music to parent-child kindergarten, and then from parent-child kindergarten to kindergarten. With her keen sense of smell and excellent learning ability, Shi Yanlai took the lead in almost every step in China. Today, Red, Yellow, and Blue Education institutions have more than 500 parent-child kindergartens and more than 70 kindergartens in more than 3,000 cities across the country, extending its reach to every field of the education market for children aged 0 to 6.

Do not think that red, yellow and blue are smooth sailing, Shi Yanlai has not experienced stressful moments. In 2001, when the company was formally established, she not only took out the profits of Fandou Music and parent-child garden for several years, and turned out all her belongings, but also "borrowed all the money of our family relatives". "At that time, there was a lot of pressure, only success can not fail". Shi Yanlai summed it up: "There are several principles for success. The first is not to leave one's back." As it turns out, the relative's largesse was an investment that paid off handsomely.

Red yellow blue in the face of the second crisis in 2003 "SARS" period, red, yellow, blue, first kindergarten opened in March, but for the sake of "SARS", was shut in April, it was not until June reopening, red, yellow, blue, also don't like this at the time with deep pockets, suffered a great test of cash flow, Shi Yan decisively to implement salary position upside down, He only received 300 yuan a month, and finally made it to the day when the clouds cleared.

Shi's Law of Success

Shi Yanlai most do not leave their way out of a trick is the initiative to give up holding red yellow blue. Red, yellow and blue is "backbone employee stock ownership". "We don't have a single controlling shareholder, neither absolute nor relative, and I don't have a controlling shareholder," she said. Many friends think she is strange, but she has her dream, "because I want to build a company for everyone". When Red, Yellow, and Blue were founded, the holding team had a total of 38 people, more than a decade later, only two or three people left. Shi Yanlai said: "This is a very proud thing for me."

The second rule Shi successfully learned was "don't take yourself too seriously". "Many people only know red, yellow and blue, but don't know Shi Yan. I'm so happy." Many business founders are more famous than their brands, which she thinks is an abnormal thing. "If a person's halo is too big, there will be no halo around him. If he does not have such a big halo, but gives the halo around him, the team will be particularly healthy and long-term." Shi Yanlai not only distributes the halo around but also distributes the benefits to the red, yellow and blue management team. She believes that a person will not be perfect, but the team can be perfect. Her low-key tactics may stem from the implicit nature of women.

Do not control, not afraid of losing control? "I never worry," Shi said. If you talk to the red, yellow, and Blue employees, every one of them has more passion than I do. Some things should be yours forever, should not be yours don't insist."

The essence of teamwork -- "Attraction"

Shi Yanlai and Honghuanglan's successful experience, if summed up a little more simply and roughly, can be summed up with a particularly female word, that is "attraction". In Shi Yanlai's words, this is "the essence and source of teamwork". Shi Yanlai attracted the Red, Yellow, and Blue teams with her charm and sharing spirit, and the team repaid the trust with passion and effort. "I'm a more trusted person." Shi Yanlai said with a smile, "We have a shareholder, an old comrade, an old aunt of my mother's generation, she took the labor insurance money at the bottom of the box to do with me, you think, she has to trust me, our team has to be more united."

The leading quality and service of red, yellow, and blue in China have attracted many mother franchisers. Shi Yan said, "We have 400 or 500 chain stores now. Many of the franchisees are mothers and fathers, and there are very few people who say 'I will make money soon. They love her (Red, yellow and blue) and want to follow her to grow up. We are a community. By joining the Parent-child Park, many principals have not only established their careers but also gained personal confidence. They have become local benchmarking figures and experts in early education, and their family status, work achievements, and social status have been fruitful." So the company snowballed.

This attraction, based on trust in the character of the individual and the ethics of the company, is so strong that it is not prone to problems even in hard times. Red, yellow, and blue employees and franchisees are mostly women, and the trust and feelings between them are somewhat similar to "bestie".

Of course, the current number of franchised stores in Red, Yellow, and Blue reaches 70 percent. It is difficult to make the quality of all parks uniform just by attraction. Shi Yan, red, yellow, and blue to join the chain has more than a dozen assessment indicators. In the early stage of joining, the requirements for the location of the franchise store are very high, and even special people will be sent to help the franchisee locate. Shi Yan, red, yellow, and blue have a site selection score table, not up to the number of points standard address can not be done, and some principled requirements for site selection, such as the floor, traffic, and parking. Red, yellow and blue attaches great importance to the training of franchisees. Training will be conducted before joining. After formally joining, the company will train the joining team on the culture, system, and specialty of red, yellow, and blue for nearly one month; After the training, there is the guidance of the opening of the park, and the annual supervision after the opening of the park, there is the training of promotion every year. In addition, the red, yellow and blue will evaluate the park according to the star rating. Shi Yanlai said: "Like the national principal conference, we have a ranking, evaluation, ranking behind, it is a shame."

"Attraction" is also the foundation of Shi Yanlai's management art. One reason Shi doesn't like to be called a "strong woman" is that she doesn't want to run a company by thunder. "For the long-term development of enterprises, the human factor is particularly important. Attraction is the most important reason why people can meet, know, and cooperate in the long run." "People are supposed to be drawn, not drawn," she said. In her opinion, a leader should let the team speak openly about things before he or she makes decisions. He or she does not have to beat the table with a red face. Many things can not be solved by beating the table. But some people get things done just fine without pounding the table.

Another reason Shi doesn't like "strong women" is that, in her opinion, it means family gives way to career and life is sacrificed for work. "My career is successful and my family is happy," Shi said. But having the best of both worlds doesn't come without a price, and in Shi's case, it comes in the form of sleep. She gets home at about 9 PM every day. When she gets home, she chats with her son first. When her son falls asleep, she chats with her husband. Staying up late has become her habit over the years. "I can stay up more, but I have to make sure that I'm red, yellow, and blue, and I have to make sure that my son is educated, so I have to make myself sleep less." Shi Yanlai admitted that in her mind, neither herself nor her family nor her children are as important as red, yellow, and blue. "Red, yellow and blue are like my first children."

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About the Creator

Ruban Saunders

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