Michael Miller, Co-Founder & Chairman, Brightway Insurance
Why do you think your franchisees rate your leadership team so high?
There are a couple of reasons our franchisees rate our leadership team so high. First, our business model is in complete alignment with our franchisees—we don’t make money unless our franchisees make money. We approach everything in our business using a win-win-win mandate.
Our leadership team all have backgrounds in either insurance or international franchising. They’ve led and grown national companies. They bring with them vast business experience that, when coupled with an aligned business model, makes it easy to do their jobs.
Very simply, our jobs are to do everything we can to support our franchisees and help them grow. As a franchisee, what better business partners could you ask for than people whose financial interests are directly aligned with yours, bring vast experience you can leverage and have fun doing their jobs?
What traits do you look for in a franchisee?
Our franchisees are looking to build an economic engine and scale their business, leveraging the support Brightway provides. They aren’t looking to buy a job, rather they want to build a great financial future for themselves, their families and their employees.
We look for people with great business experience, or who have led successful sales teams. We want go-getters who want to make a difference in their local communities by helping friends and family protect their financial futures.
How would you describe your brand’s culture?
Our brand is expert advice delivered locally through a family-based operation. The culture that permeates from that is empowerment. Each of our franchisees feels empowered to grow their business, and brings a different set of experiences to their Brightway store, each building his or her own brand in their community. Local consumers are buying from the local franchisee with whom they have a connection and who they trust. This is a key part of the Brightway brand.
What advice would you give to other franchise leaders?
Look at your business model—are your financial objectives completely aligned with your franchisees or are your financial objectives to profit from your franchisees vs. with your franchisees? There’s a big difference and it not only drives financial results, it drives your culture. When you’re in business to profit with your franchises (not from them), you can build an organization dedicated to the success of each and every franchisee. That’s what we’ve built at Brightway.
Who/what inspires you as a leader?
From the time my brother, David, and I started Brightway, we’ve treated it like our child. As a parent, you want your children to thrive—to outgrow you in every way and to be wildly successful. That’s what we’ve wanted for Brightway and our franchisees so that’s what we use to make business decisions every day. What inspires David and me, and our leadership team, is watching our franchisees grow and prosper and using that growth to provide greater and greater opportunities for our home office staff to grow and prosper. We say that our franchisees’ dreams are our goals. It’s true and that’s how we manage this business.