Video Transcript Brian Schnell: Shelly, in Grow Smart, Risk Less you talk about creating division and organization to win. What lessons did you learn in transitioning from managing company operations to adding franchise locations? Shelly Sun: I think the biggest lesson learned that I would go back and probably do over-- but we've fixed it in the interim-- is making sure that you've got a great leadership team to keep the success of the company-owned locations going, so that you can really focus, as the CEO, on the franchising effort. That's a commitment that you're making, that you're going to be making that be as successful as it possibly can be. And so I think it's important, as you're getting ready to think about franchising, that you have the right team in place. So there can be a wall in between the company-owned operations and what will now be the franchising launch. Brian: What is the leader's role, Shelly, as you start to think about building and growing with your first 50 franchisees? Shelly: They want to see that you're visible. I mean, I would say in the early launch of a franchise, and probably up until you've got 25, 50 franchisees, what the franchisees are buying is the founder. They're buying the leadership team, they're buying the CEO, more so than, I would argue, they're buying the brand. Because there isn't yet a national brand that they are buying into. And so I think having an expectation that you're going to be around and focused on helping the model continue to evolve and improve for their success is a reasonable expectation. And I think the sooner that you can distance from the business you were in with great leadership-- I mean, what I write about in the book is get the business to where it requires no more than five hours a week of setting the direction, and setting the expectations, and inspecting what you expect on the company-owned operation, so the majority of your time and focus, rightfully so, is on the franchise. Brian: How important is strategic planning in these early years? What are the steps that you've used in your planning sessions that have been the most effective? Shelly: I think it's critical for every business-- regardless of whether they're thinking about franchising or not-- I think every business has to have dedicated time to thinking about where can the business go and what's needed to get from where we are to where we know we can be. I think it's important for, in my case, that the franchisees know that I'm laying the course about where we're going and making the right investments today to get us there. My employees are so passionate about working long and hard hours to make a difference because they know the course that has been set and what we're doing and investing to get there. If you don't know where you're going, it's impossible to get to the destination. You have got to chart the course. Brian: Shelly, in the book you talk about the importance of culture. Tell us your views on culture. How much of a culture should happen organically, and how much should be intentionally driven by you as the leader? I think in a franchising organization it is critical that the example comes from the top, but that it permeates the entire culture, that we are in the business, as a franchisor, of enabling franchisee success. And helping them continually be more profitable, have a higher degree of satisfaction with the franchise family that they've joined. And so I think making sure that every employee knows how what they do has an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a franchisee every day, it becomes a mission not a job. And that's the kind of culture that we have intentionally tried to seed throughout. We didn't want to leave it to chance. It's too important to get right. Shelly: How important is it to build the team for the future? How do you balance hiring what you need today for what you need in, say, two years from now? These are probably some of the areas where we could have even grown faster if I would have recognized this early. And I go through what I did well and the mistakes that I made in this area-- is once we recognized that we were growing quickly, we started to outpace ourselves from an infrastructure standpoint-- that we were hiring people that were great today but might not be great in two years. As soon as we shifted, and said, how big of an organization will we be in two years and what skills will we need in our people, and we spent that 10% to 30% more, we actually could grow without adding as many people. Because we had the right people with the right skills to grow with us, and be out ahead of helping to make that growth possible. Brian: In the book, you also talk about the importance of creating a good external team. Tell us about that importance and how you've designed your outside resources. Shelly: I believe that having a great team enables faster success. And so the internal team it is what most people think about. But I think about my suppliers and the relationships that I've been able to build with suppliers, and consultants, and advisors, to be such that they enable me to grow faster, and to be stronger, and to have a great sounding board. We've had great partnerships with attorneys, with public relations firms, with consultants on technology or strategic planning that have enabled us to be our best self. And if you can think about those resources not being a contractual, transactional relationship, but more a true partner in helping you be the best that you can possibly be, they will go that extra mile to learn your business and help you be better, if they understand that the relationship is more than just a contract. And that's what we try to do.