Video Transcript Brian Schnell: Welcome. I'm Brian Schnell. I've been in franchising for 25 years. I have the privilege and honor today to spend time with Shelly Sun, the co-founder and CEO of BrightStar Franchising and for today's purposes, the author of Grow Smart, Risk Less. Shelley, welcome. Shelly Sun: Thank you very much. Brian: Shelly, tell us about Grow Smart, Risk Less and why you wrote the book. Shelly: I wanted to help business owners be able to have a step-by-step resource guide that's not available on the market today to know exactly what they need to do to build a successful, sustainable franchising business, as well as know some of the mistakes that we made along the way so they can help avoid those. Brian: For those owners that are thinking about franchising and growing their business, why should they consider franchising? Shelly: I think franchising is a great way to scale. It uses the least amount of capital so arguably the least amount of risk. And, you know, for us, we looked at that we could have spent $300,000 to $500,000 just to open two to three more locations. But we could use the same amount of investment to build and sustain a franchise organization that would service so many more customers and open so many more locations. And so, for me, it is absolutely a great way, if you've got a successful, solid business model, to explode the growth of it. Brian: Shelly, there are other books on franchising. You and I have read those books. What's different about Grow Smart, Risk Less? Shelly: I try to take the approach of allowing a business owner to really ride the journey with me about what they need to do throughout launching a franchise system and past the launch, which I think is important, of how do you seed the right culture, both with your internal team and with your franchisees, to allow the franchise organization to be a brand that's still going to be a round 10, 20, 30 years from now. I think the books that I see are a more academic approach compared to how do I really do it. And I've really done it. So I knew what went well, and I know where we stumbled along the way. And I made all of those tips, tricks, and best practices available to the reader to have them have a much stronger, faster start and hopefully more success than we've even been able to have. Brian: One of the concepts that you talk about in the book, Shelly, is whether a business is franchise worthy. What do you mean by franchise worthy? Shelly: There's many factors in making sure a business is franchise worthy. And we go through all the things that should be analyzed in the book step by step and have some resources on the website to help with that. But I think the two primary areas that have to be in place is there has to be a demand for the services or the products that the business is selling in a larger geographical area. It can't just be something that is a local flavor. Brian: So that consumer demand? Shelly: The consumer demand has to be there in Florida as much as it is in Illinois to make franchising the right avenue. Because that's about scaling to a larger geographical area. The second thing is that presumably the company-owned model that's going to be franchised was profitable, was successful. But you have to do the same analysis to make sure that once you add in the fees that franchisees will spend, that they can be profitable as well. And so I think it is looking at both the franchise or viability, but as or more importantly the viability for the franchisee. Brian: You've talked about the importance of this feasibility study. Can you give us some more examples of what that looks like and how that plays into the competitive landscape? We started by just looking and seeing who the competitors were. I mean, as simple as a Google search to see who the competitors are out there that are providing senior care or home care. And then we had that list that were coming up pretty repeatedly. There's ways to access public information on all of those companies to see how many franchise units are they selling, and how profitable are they, and how are their franchisees are doing. And we go through in the book, step by step, exactly how to get access to that information that many business owners might not know how to tap into that. But there's many resources out there to help with that, and we've tried to make that available as well. Brian: One of the terms you use in the book is a student of franchising. What do you mean by being a student of franchising, and how do you spread that throughout your team? Shelly: I think I realized when I became a franchiser that I wasn't just in the home care business anymore. I mean, I have a home care business model, but I have a franchising business model. And I didn't know that. And I like to know what I'm doing and make sure I can do it well. And so when we started franchising, you know, I wanted to go to every event. I wanted to join the International Franchise Association. I wanted to get my certified franchise executive designation, because I really wanted to be among those that knew what franchising was and how powerful it could be. And I encourage anyone who's looking at franchising, it's not just about making sure their model is viable. But once you make the commitment you're going to be a franchiser, for the sake of your franchisees and the sake of your business, you need to go back and be a student and understand that there's a business that you came from and there's a business of franchising, and they're different.