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Erwin “Erv” Keup: A Lifetime of Achievement

A Tribute to Erv Keup, author of the Franchise Bible, by Rick Grossman.

Erv Keup
Franchise industry legend Erwin "Erv" Keup

A Lifetime of Achievement: Remembering Erwin (Erv) Keup

By Rick Grossmann

When I was in college I had a small business.

I wanted to expand my business and was evaluating the different methods of business expansion when I was introduced to franchising in one of my classes. I immediately fell in love with the model and started researching different ways to franchise my existing business. At that time being a young college student, resources were tight and the options were few.

I contacted numerous franchise development companies, consultants, and attorneys just to find out that the investment was way beyond anything I could ever come up with. One day, I went into a bookstore and was searching in the business section for books on franchising when I came across Franchise Bible. The author was, of course, Erwin J. Keup. I read the book in one day and started putting together my thoughts and vision for a franchise.  Even though we were a young start up company and had very few resources, we believed we could really make a franchise happen.

On a long shot, I started a little primary research and looked on the back of the book and saw the picture of Erv Keup and his address. I was able to find his phone number with a little hard work and research (this was way before Google). I contacted his office and expected to leave a message. But, when I explained to his secretary what we were trying to do, he immediately took my call and graciously spent over an hour talking to me about our franchise model and shared some money saving tips and ideas to get us started. After we were able to have a few phone conversations, Erv volunteered to drive over 100 miles to Santa Barbara, which is where I lived. But he didn’t mind because his passion for franchising and the enthusiasm that we had made the trip worthwhile.

“Erv Keup’s passion for the franchise industry, the people who worked within it, and his overall belief in franchising and its contribution to the economy, has helped countless people realize their dreams through business ownership.”Rick Grossman

He was able to show us cost effective ways to create our franchise model and was flexible with helping us put our franchise documents together. We launched our franchise and had successful growth over several years. We never would have been able to do it without the help and assistance and the belief that Erv Keup gave to us.

Erv and I quickly became friends and started working on other franchise projects over the years. Erv took me under his wing and acted as my mentor. He taught me the business. I then started my own franchise development and consulting company and Erv and I worked on many projects together over the years and became friends in the franchise business. We knew when our wives were tired of hearing us talk about franchising we could always call each other and spend hours talking about the ins and the outs of our industry.

At the end of last year, I decided that, as Erv entered into his retirement years, it would be a good time to nominate him for a lifetime achievement award. I started working on it several months before the end of 2011 in hopes to present it to him in November of 2011. Unfortunately, we were all surprised and shocked when Erv suddenly took ill and passed away on October 16, 2011.

Even on his deathbed, he was instructing his sons on how to finish the 7th edition of Franchise Bible. Erv Keup’s passion for the franchise industry, the people who worked within it, and his overall belief in franchising and its contribution to the economy, has helped countless people realize their dreams through business ownership.

While crafting ideas for the Franchise Bible 7th edition, Erv told me that he really wanted to emphasize how franchising is such a huge part of the backbone of America, such a part of the success of the American dream, and how it could be a big part of pulling us out of the current economic situation that we’re in today. Erv was a great man and he’ll be greatly missed. This lifetime achievement, remembering Erv Keup, is our dedication and memorial to a great franchise believer and to a man who was always there to aid others in the pursuit of their franchising dreams.

Erv was most proud of his loving family. He would often tell me stories of their many adventures.

He is survived by his wife Mary of 54 years, his eight children, and his 17 grandchildren.

He told me he often teased his kids that 17 grandchildren was a good start but if they followed his pattern he should have had 64.

I had the privilege of attending his funeral service and getting to know other members of his family. They are a family of strong believers in God and his service was a beautiful celebration of his life.

Erv Keup practiced franchise law for over 45 years and helped countless franchisors and franchisees through the discovery and evaluation processes both personally with his firm and through the Franchise Bible. The 7th Edition of the Franchise Bible is due to be published by Entrpreneur Press in Fall of 2012 and it will be dedicated to the life and legacy of Erwin J. Keup.

 

Rick Grossman

Goodbye my friend.

Thank you for being my mentor.

 

–  Rick Grossmann

 

Did you know Erv Keup? Feel free to add a remembrance or comment below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Rick Grossman is founder and owner of franchise development firm Franchise Matchmaker.

Great Clips: Ethical Business Practices Pay Dividends

Despite the recession, hair care franchise company Great Clips is growing at, well, a great clip.

According to Vice President of Franchise Development Rob Goggins:

  • Great Clips has posted same-store sales increases for 22 straight quarters.
  • Great Clips is on target to recruit more than 100 new franchisees this year.
  • Great Clips is track to sign close to 200 leases.

Yet not only are they awarding new franchises at an impressive rate, Great Clips is also receiving awards… the latest being for business ethics.

Great Clips Receives 2010 Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010, Great Clips was presented with the 2010 Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA) for “ethical excellence.”

The MBEA was established in 1999 by the Twin Cities Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals and the Center for Ethical Business Cultures at the University of St. Thomas.  The purpose of the award is to raise the standards for business ethics in Minnesota and to honor companies that exhibit the highest standards of ethical performance.  In 2009 the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants joined as an award sponsor.

MBEA recipients are selected based on company size.  Certes Financial Pros received the small-company award.  Edina-based Great Clips Inc. received the midsize-company award.  Imation Corp. received the large-company award.

Congratulations, Great Clips

In tough times, maintaining a reputation for ethics and honesty is more important than ever.  Obviously, the commitment Great Clips has made in building a reputation for fair-dealing and good business practices is playing a key role in their success.

Congratulations to Great Clips and its franchise owners for the MBEA award and for setting a winning example.

Are you familiar with Great Clips? Share a comment below.

BrightStar CEO Shelly Sun Named IFA Entrepreneur of the Year

BrightStar Founder CEO Shelly Sun is definitely one of franchising’s rising stars.

Since she and her husband JD began franchising in 2005, the healthcare staffing company has grown from one company-owned store to over 160 locations in 31 states and plans to have 400 franchise locations sold by the end of 2011.

Through Sun’s leadership, BrightStar opens 7-12 territories each month and has experienced 811% system-wide revenue growth between 2006 and 2008.  In August 2005, they launched BrightStar’s franchising efforts, becoming the first franchising company in the United States to specialize in both medical and non-medical care and healthcare staffing.

And now, Shelly Sun can add IFA Entrepreneur of the Year to her accomplishments.  Here’s an excerpt from the company news release:

International Franchise Association Names Shelly Sun ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’

CHICAGO – BrightStar Co-Founder and CEO Shelly Sun received one of the franchising industry’s highest honors yesterday by the International Franchise Association as its Entrepreneur of the Year during its 50th Annual Convention in San Antonio, TX….

“It is a tremendous honor to receive this recognition from my peers,” said Sun, addressing the more than 2,000 attendees at the convention. “This award is a result of our franchisees relentless daily efforts in providing our clients quality of life, and providing peace of mind to families across the country.”


Working as a CPA in 2001, Sun, along with her husband and co-founder of BrightStar, JD, found themselves looking for quality care for JD’s grandmother who was suffering from cancer in Florida. The experience inspired Sun, a 13 year veteran of corporate America, to develop a healthcare staffing business that would provide reliable care to those in need and who wanted to remain in the comfort of their own home.

Founded in 2002, BrightStar is a full-service healthcare staffing agency that provides the full continuum of care, from homecare to supplemental staffing for corporate clients such as hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors offices. In August 2005, they launched BrightStar’s franchising efforts, becoming the first franchising company in the United States to specialize in both medical and non-medical care and healthcare staffing.

Today, BrightStar has grown from one company-owned store to over 160 locations in 31 states and will reach 400 franchise locations sold by the end of 2011.  Through Sun’s leadership, BrightStar opens 7-12 territories each month and has experienced 811% system-wide revenue growth between 2006 and 2008.

“I am truly humbled to be receiving it after just a few short years franchising,” Sun added. Sun thanked her mentors, peers and staff and went on to say, “We are blessed to be in the business of providing peace of mind to our clients by providing the highest quality, compassionate care and service; and we look forward to entering new cities and new markets where we’ll be able to bring that service to families giving them dependability and comfort knowing their family is well cared for.”

Sun is a member of the IFA Finance, Audit and Budget, Membership and FranPAC committees. She was selected as the Entrepreneur of the Year by the National Association of Women of Business Owners in 2006, was on the 50 fastest-growing woman-owned companies listed in Entrepreneur magazine in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and was honored as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2008 and 2009.

Join us in congratulating Shelly Sun and the BrightStar franchise team.

Baker Bros Grants 5 Unit Franchise Agreement for Iowa

Congratulations to Baker Bros, Baker Bros Director of Franchising Ralph Kinder and the newest Baker Bros franchise owners who will be developing the first Baker Bros franchise locations in Iowa.


The newest franchisees of Baker Bros have secured the exclusive rights to develop a minimum of 5 Baker Bros restaurants in the Quad Cities and Cedar Rapids & Dubuque, Iowa over the next 4 years.

Here’s the fresh, piping hot company news release:

BAKER BROS ANNOUNCES EXPANSION IN IOWA

New Franchisees to Develop 5 Baker Bros Restaurants

Dallas, Texas- January 22, 2010 – Baker Bros American Deli, a fast-casual concept headquartered in Dallas, has executed an exclusive Area Development Agreement with a new franchisee to open at least 5 Baker Bros American Deli restaurants combined in the Quad Cities and Cedar Rapids & Dubuque, Iowa.  The newest franchisees of Baker Bros have secured the exclusive rights to develop a minimum of 5 Baker Bros restaurants over 4 years.

This is the second Area Development Agreement in the Midwest that Baker Bros has signed.  A different Area Developer is also actively searching for 3 locations in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Current Baker Bros franchisees include multi-unit retailers and current or former multi-unit operators of McDonald’s, Popeye’s and Texas Roadhouse.

Founded in 1999 by Ken Reimer and Tom Dahl, two well-respected industry veterans, Baker Bros currently operates eight stores in Dallas, Texas with additional franchised locations open or in development in West Texas, East Texas, South Carolina, Kentucky and Indiana.  “We think Iowa will be a terrific market for Baker Bros.” said Ken Reimer, Baker Bros’ CEO.  “Baker Bros was created with the Midwest consumer in mind – hard-working Americans expect and deserve hearty portions, tremendous value and great flavor.”

Not to be confused with typical sandwich chains, Baker Bros American Deli (www.bakerbrosdeli.com) is an upscale, fast-casual deli featuring Specialty Sandwiches, Specialty Salads, Gourmet Pizzas and more.  All entrees are prepared fresh to order using the freshest available breads, ingredients and produce. The restaurants typically operate in high visibility strip centers and occupy 2500-3500 SF with seating for 120-160.
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Frank Corso Wins Martin Luther King Award

Please join us in congratulating Frank Mitchell Corso for being honored with the Economic Development Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Committee of of Nassau County.

Anyone who has had the privilege to work with Frank knows that he works tirelessly in a number of non-profit areas, including health issues, world hunger, business development and opportunities for minorities.

Feel free to share a word of congratulations or support for these causes below.

LONG ISLAND BUSINESSMAN FRANK MITCHELL CORSO, JR. RECEIVES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD IN CELEBRATION OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.


WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, January 18, Long Island business leader Frank Mitchell Corso, Jr. will receive the Economic Development Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Committee of Nassau County in recognition of his contributions to the areas of business development and minorities in business in Nassau County and beyond.

“I am honored to receive the Economic Development Award in memory of Dr. King’s crucial work towards equality for everyone,” said Corso. “As we continue to celebrate his life and legacy, we must also recognize that there is still much to be done to realize his dream of a brighter future.”

A principal of Frank Mitchell Corso, Jr., and Associates, Inc., Corso sits on the Board of Directors of Friends of the World Food Program (Friends of WFP), as well as the boards of trustees of the American Kidney Fund and Long Island Transportation Management, Inc. As an authority on economic and business development, lending and franchising, Corso assists many businesses throughout the United States by providing expertise on business matters such as financing, business development, marketing and franchising.

“Through his work on the Friends of WFP Board of Directors, Frank is supporting the United Nations World Food Program’s mission of providing life-saving food to the world’s most vulnerable people, bringing us one step closer to Dr. King’s vision of a peaceful, stable world,” said Randy Russell, Chairman of the Friends of WFP Board. “Food is not only a civil right, but a basic human right as well. The fight against hunger is even more important now that hunger plagues over 1 billion people worldwide. On behalf of the entire Board, I congratulate Frank on this much-deserved recognition.”

Other 2010 honorees include Mark Bonilla, Henry Holley and Douglas L. Mayers. Each year the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Committee of Nassau County honors people from the area that demonstrate the philosophy of Dr. King by displaying excellent leadership in the community and volunteering their time to improve the everyday quality of life.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration Committee’s 25th Annual Luncheon will take place on Monday, January 18 at the Long Island Marriott Hotel, 101 James Doolittle Boulevard, Uniondale, New York. For more information please contact Rodney McRae at 516-571-5977.

For more information, visit: http://www.mlknc.org/Home_Page.php.

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Friends of the World Food Program (Friends of WFP) is a U.S.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that focuses on building support in the United States for the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and other hunger relief operations. Friends of WFP unites organizations and individuals committed to solving world hunger. Our education, advocacy, and fundraising efforts in the United States support WFP’s life-saving global food assistance and development programs. To learn more visit www.friendsofwfp.org.

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