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‘Golden Nugget’ at Faegre Conference: No Eeyores Allowed


Susan Rather is a BrightStar franchisee in Wisconsin who shared her perspective at the Faegre Baker Daniels Franchise Summit this week.

Panelists were asked to share their “golden nuggets” with attendees of the Faegre Baker Daniels Franchise Summit this week—meaning their best takeaways for attendees to put into action—and one speaker put it pithily.

“My nugget is, don’t sign Eeyores as franchisees,” said Susan Rather, a BrightStar franchisee in Wisconsin, to audience laughter and approbation from Brian Schnell, the Faegre attorney who organizes and emcees the annual event and also pressed speakers for their nuggets.

An Eeyore, of course, is the operator who does nothing but complain. Rather said the brand’s CEO, Shelly Sun, has been working to help such owners move on. “Just recently, Shelly has been talking about helping some owners exit the business that just can’t get over what makes them angry and stuck,” Rather said, which makes everyone happier. Rather recently bought out a franchisee in Wisconsin so her healthcare franchise now controls the entire state.

Rather added she’s more than happy to help others who are engaged with the brand but may need advice and help. “I could talk about franchisee to franchisee all day long. It’s one of the things we do to give back to our brand. For us as fellow franchisees and realizing how connected we are, it’s really important,” she said.

BrightStar has “formalized” the peer-to-peer connection by putting performance groups in place, she said. Her husband and business partner, Jeff, often talks to prospective franchisees and helps to lead the peer to peer groups. “That’s an amazing way for owners who are struggling a little bit to have an advisory board.”

The panel was about “brand promise,”and how to align franchisors and franchisees “passionately” around that promise. Steve White, president and COO of PuroClean, had a succinct way to explain his brand’s promise. “We’re an emergency services business and it’s emergency services for property damage,” he said.

John Adams of FullSpeed Automotive was equally on point, speaking about one of his brands, Grease Monkey. “Our brand promise is to deliver less hassle, more hustle” in the experience of getting an oil change.

One last golden nugget? Have a way to articulate your brand promise as efficiently and memorably as these two execs. 


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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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