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When Shane Evans, co-founder and president, left her hard-charging sales training in the past and began focusing on the culture at Massage Heights and the health of its franchisees, unit count began to rise and this year should hit 180. The complicated part? Getting husband, mom, two younger brothers and now the founder of another brand, The Gents Place, on board at this quintessential family-owned franchise.

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Big name retailers have been dominating headlines in recent months with a fresh wave of store closings and bankruptcies. National retail chains closed an estimated 4,000 stores across the U.S. in 2016 and that number is expected to grow by another 5,000 stores this year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

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A long-standing relationship with Larry Wilson, founder of CoreLife Eatery, convinced Stevensville, Michigan-based operator Joyce Lunsford to sign on as the healthy restaurant brand's first franchisee—that and a taste of beet lemonade, something Lunsford thought she'd hate.

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As soon as an Anytime Fitness franchisee signs on the dotted line, Maddy and Paul jump into action. That's Maddy Vaith and Paul Bosneag, the dynamic duo at the Woodbury, Minnesota-based fitness club franchise, who have now taken more than 1,000 franchisees through base camp training all the way through their first year in business.

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Staying even is not OK for Shannon Strunk, who with his wife, Cynthia, operates more than 60 units of three brands in the Gulf Coast. He believes in owning real estate, too, because ‘cash disappears quick.'

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The eyes may be the window to our souls, but our feet have souls as well. In the Indian culture touching an elder's foot is a sign of respect and deference. Foot-binding in the Chinese culture was not only a way for women to show off their family's wealth and thus marry better, but the tiny, deformed feet were seen by some as erotic. And, foot-washing in the Bible, especially when done by Jesus, is sacred.