Franchisor Profile: Shelly Sun, BrightStar Care

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Shelly Sun, CFE, is CEO and Co-Founder of BrightStar Franchising, LLC, a healthcare franchise system providing the full continuum of home care, child care, and medical staffing services. Shelly also serves as Chair of the International Franchise Association’s Executive Committee.

In the rapidly changing healthcare industry and regulatory environment, BrightStar Care franchisees – like all small business owners – must make time to work ON their business, not IN their business.

For us, this means putting the right processes and people in place to enable their businesses to run smoothly without their 100% involvement. Gino Wickman’s book Traction outlines the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) and the steps to help business owners get clear focus on the right people and processes that are essential to the growth and profitability of their business. We invited Gino to speak at our Annual Franchisee Conferences in 2013 and again in 2014, and we’ve set up training sessions and produced educational and informative videos for franchisees and their teams to adopt the EOS. The results have been tremendous! Reflecting on the amazing impact that EOS has had on our corporate organization, I’m confident that this will help us speak a common leadership language and help our brand reach its full potential.

In addition to implementing the EOS with our franchisees, I conduct 4 hours of leadership training with new owners and offer a 2-day strategic planning workshop at least 4 times per year to help our franchisees plan their business and employee roadmap over the next 5 years, 3 years, 1 year, and to set critical 90-day objectives.

In addition to immensely helping out franchisees, the implementation of Traction’s EOS process has helped me with my own personal work-life balance. I appointed an “integrator” who runs the day-to-day, and I now have two direct reports (my “integrator” and my executive assistant), compared to eight direct reports a year ago.

My time spent on strategy for our enterprise and the brand, as well as developing strategy with franchisees, has increased to approximately 75% of my time in the past year (up from 25%), and I couldn’t be happier with how much it has paid off.

In an effort to continuously improve our franchise system, and with the ever-changing regulation in the home care industry and in franchising, I spend a lot of time with the International Franchise Association and the Home Care Association of America. I hold this to the highest priority and value the information that I am able to gather and report back to my colleagues and franchisees. I hold BOD seats with both associations in order to keep informed and remain actively engaged in fighting for the small business perspective, and in keeping our franchisees informed of the changes and how to prepare for them so they can focus on serving patients, creating jobs, and building their businesses locally. I stay involved with and on top of issues in franchising and the industry, and lobby hard on behalf of both healthcare providers and the franchise industry as a whole.

In addition to helping our franchisees work ON their business instead of IN their business, I pride myself on offering a strong mentorship program. As a young entrepreneur, I called 15-20 people in the franchising industry who were intelligent and well-respected to learn from them because I was hungry and eager to excel and grow. As a result, I learned invaluable information and strategies for success, and I now am able to share those practices with both my franchisees, and also other entrepreneurs in the industry through a robust mentorship program. Each year, I select 8 people with compelling requests and work with them to strategize on the issues and provide guidance to them. I have come to find that these folks are extremely coachable and that by the time we have our next meeting, they are already implementing and executing things we discussed prior.

As a former CPA metrics and numbers are vitally important to me, and I utilize the skills I learned in my previous career when mentoring. I utilize metrics and Key Performance Indicators, which enable me to help my mentees over a longer period of time with harder-hitting issues, which is more beneficial to them than traditional mentorship programs that offer a one-and-done approach.

For more information on BrightStar franchising, visit BrightStar Franchising, LLC.

For more information about IFA and franchising in general, visit the IFA’s website at

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