Expert Advice from Veteran Shine Franchise Owners

veteran shine owners on a conference panel

Key takeaways from franchise panels at the Shine 2023 Annual Conference


Shine had its annual conference at the Maranatha Conference and Retreat Center in Norton Shores, Michigan. This year’s theme was commitment. We saw this theme heavily tie into all the presentations and events hosted throughout the week-long retreat. Franchisees focused on ways they can implement commitment into their businesses and lives.


One of the most interesting panels of the week was a deep dive with four veteran Shine owners. 


  • Aaron Haarsma of Grand Rapids
  • Brett Jasch of Holland & Ann Arbor
  • Brennen Melvin of Fort Myers
  • Cami Wilson of Austin Four Points, Southlake, and Frisco Plano 


These owners had the opportunity to share some of their best lessons learned and how they made commitments that helped them get to where they are now. Let’s go through some of the valuable information that was covered during this panel.


Creating a Super Team and Best Hiring Practices

When Brett Jasch was asked how he created such an amazing team, he said to focus on people development. Your driving goal should be to help them be better inside and outside of the business.


A great starting point is to give your employees a clear vision of where the company is headed. Then, you pour your knowledge into them, invest in them, and watch them grow. When your business does better, so do they.


Aaron Haarsma was asked how he promotes his team members. He expressed that letting go is scary. He wanted his hands in everything for a long time until it was unsustainable. There eventually came a time when he had to take a leap of faith and let one of his trusted team members take the reins.


Aaron also added to avoid “energy vampires”, also known as employees that bring the overall morale down and don’t reflect the Shine values. His best advice was to help them move on quickly.


Brenden Melvin was asked what he looks for when hiring. The following are some of the key qualities he keeps an eye out for.


  1. Look for a great culture fit – do they align with the core values?
  2. When interviewing, get to know them as a person – Do they seem like someone you’d enjoy hanging out with outside of work?
  3. It’s not always just personality and performance – Brenden tries to discover if they have the drive to do the job.
  4. Are they looking toward the future – Do they want to move up and grow their career?


Set Your Goals and Make Them S.M.A.R.T

It’s important to have goals and more importantly to have daily, weekly, and monthly goals that point towards your goals for the year. It’s in your best interest to make these goals S.M.A.R.T – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.


When Aaron was asked about his goal-setting, he said “It can be scary, but you have your whole time behind you to support your plans. Never stop trying to impress or do your best. That is the Shine Show. We are always working to impress our clients and grow with their loyalty and referrals. If you are always putting these things first, then your goals will fall into place.”


Brenden started small with his goals and grew them alongside his business. He said, “When your business is a baby, minimize the damage. You’re going to make mistakes and learn from them. If you have no clue, lean on other owners and find a mentor to help develop systems and processes.”


As Brenden’s business has grown from 2-3 trucks to 7, the systems and processes really came into place. It’s now second nature to stay organized, keep trucks clean, and maintain equipment. An amazing opportunity to look forward to is the ability to give back as you grow. It’s incredibly rewarding to give back to the community you’re a part of.

Get to Know Your Fellow Shine Franchise Owners

Cami Wilson was asked how she’s made the most of the Shine community. She recounted times when she was having a bad week and made calls to fellow owners. Their support and advice gave her a shoulder to lean on so she could get back at it with renewed energy.


She even explained about a time she had a huge bid that she didn’t know how to handle. Cami made a call to a fellow owner and got the reinforcement that her bid was correct, and she was heading down the right path. She exclaimed, “It takes a village to raise a child and grow a business!”


It’s a common theme among all Shine owners that one of their favorite things about the franchise is the sense of community. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been in business for one year or ten, Shine has a huge team of owners ready to offer advice no matter what phase you’re in.


Brett Jasch’s best advice is to reach out to your Shine community via email, phone, or Slack and build those relationships. Shine has one of the most connected communities out there, so make the most of it.


Stay Committed by Caring for Your Mind and Body

Running a business is a lot of work and it’s easy to neglect a healthy mind and body. Shine’s veteran owners have had personal experiences with this struggle and have some tips on how to persevere.


Brenden Melvin’s approach to health is rest, water, and meditation to keep your mind clear. Taking time to get clarity can get you out of the weeds of the day-to-day. Work on the business, not in it.


Owning your own business can be emotionally draining. Cami Wilson wanted to be proactive about her mindset. Therefore, she made her word of the year “offensive”. Instead of being on defense all year and getting bogged down, Cami is now getting ahead of things with a can-do attitude. This mindset has made a hugely positive impact on her mental fortitude.


Depending on your location every Shine experiences some type of slow season. When asked about how to keep employees engaged and coming back, here’s what Aaron Haarsma had to say. Encourage your team to recharge and take a break. It’s demanding work, so letting your body and mind recover is very important. Also, encourage them to save their money during busy times to have some extra savings for vacations during the lull.

Celebrate Your Wins – Even the Small Ones!

A major part of being a business owner includes taking a step back to celebrate wins. Some of the little wins can get lost in the race to improve and grow.


As stated by Cami Wilson, “It is important to celebrate your wins and let go of the losses. God gave you this business and that is grounds to not worry all the time.


Brett Jasch reminded everyone while he was on the panel that we’re all in this together. Everyone at every level is investing time and energy to make the business succeed. Remember to celebrate the positive stuff and goals that are checked off the list. Even when your life, kiddos, and family have a win, celebrate it with your team. It’s the best way to build camaraderie and build a close-knit team.

Start Your Own Shine Location Today!

At Shine, our franchises serve their community by providing window cleaning, pressure washing, gutter cleaning, holiday lighting & design as well as outdoor & landscape lighting services. By providing regular maintenance to homes and businesses, we help prevent damage and keep the property’s exterior in outstanding condition.


Ready to take the first step towards a Shine franchise ownership in your community? Contact a Shine Franchise Development team member today!