BE Modern Man Spotlights - Ad Men: Meet Sydney Warren
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

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Name: Sidney Warren
Profession: Entrepreneur / Motivational Speaker / Business Developer
Age: Seasoned

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio Sydney L. Warren is the founder of The Warren Group, LLC a consulting company which works with clients to develop advertising and marketing initiatives to foster process improvement directly contributing to revenue growth. The company is at the forefront of delivering an entirely new form of Franchise Business Intelligence (FBI). The Warren Group also leverages advanced operations expertise to implement and execute top-level strategies to generate effective and efficient franchise operating methods and procedures designed to eliminate problems and improve products and service delivery quality.

A proven, focused and experienced entrepreneur with a track record in managing and growing global brands, Warren has experience building and leading efficient and profitable business operations in branded concepts. He has successfully developed innovative and creative solutions to problems for many organizations ranging from  TCBY and the NFL to Mrs. Fields, Quiznos, Pretzel Mania, Longhorn Steakhouse and TGI Fridays.

At age 14, when most high school freshman are still trying to find themselves or spellbound by the carefree moments of youth, young Sidney Warren was enthralled by McNeil Lehrer on PBS.  “I was intently watching all the business channels and this was before the VCRs so you had to be home to watch it at 5:30,” Warren tells BE Modern Man, Teaching himself how to read the Wall Street Journal, the stock pages, and stock results set the tone for building financial acumen at an early age. He read business classics like Art of the Deal by Donald Trump and Tony Schwartz and Art of War by Sun Tzu to understand how to maneuver and create/maintain a vision. “It was more about me planning at a young age for what my life was going to look like,” says Warren. This new and intriguing information opened his eyes to see what high finance looked like.

Knowledge is truly power when one applies what he has learned. As a youngster Warren operated the age-old lawn mowing business where he sought businesses that needed their lawns cut. He gathered friends in his neighborhood and organized everyone involved to cut the business’ grass then distributed the pay amongst everyone. This was his foray into a grass-roots marketing effort.

Warren, a strong believer in building partnerships, started his first franchise with partner Chuck Baker. They were the youngest African-Americans to ever own an airport franchise: TCBY & Mrs. Field’s Cookies at Greater Cincinnati International Airport. “Keeping in mind that Cincinnati at the time was a Delta hub running about 22 million people through it, [Chuck] and I quit our jobs and went out on faith at a very early age and maintained that business for 17 years.” Warren tells BE Modern Man. A risk taker, Warren grew the business further into a mall location and got a contract with the Cincinnati Bengals as a subcontractor with Aramark to sell pretzels in the stadium. “Another gutsy situation because at the time there were no African-Americans in that space and that space is very, very competitive.” From the NFL to MLB, Warren worked his sport connection strategically, landing a business partnership with the Cincinnati Reds Stadium.

Warren is the epitome of a self-made mogul. He exhibits strength in understanding the importance of adaptability and optimism. “I found myself in these non-traditional areas and creating opportunities within those confines,” Warren tells BE Modern Man. He was able to successfully maintain a small business in a space occupied by huge Fortune 500 companies in food and beverage.

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