How to get your vomFASS training wheels

It would be difficult to put a finer point on the importance of training in the franchise world. This is certainly one of the most common concerns when you are considering a franchise. After all, when entering a franchise, customers have expectations that each store will reflect the characteristics of their past experiences. Now this doesn’t imply that stores must be “cookie-cutter” versions of one another, but there are standards that each store follows. The questions is – how does one adapt a store to these well designed and time tested standards? This is where the training expert excels.

franchisee training

Sue Stark, Training Manager

Meet Sue Stark, the latest member of the vomFASS staff and resident training expert. Ms. Stark will assume the daunting task of training new franchisees in all things vomFASS.

Toni Jakovec: Hi Sue, thanks for taking time to talk to us today, and welcome to the vomFASS family.

Sue Stark: I’m excited to be here.

TJ: What is your new position and what background do you bring?

SS: I will be the vomFASS Training Manager. I’ve been involved in training my whole life. I bring over 15 years of training curriculum design and facilitation in the financial and telecommunications industry in the areas of operations, sales and marketing. The last nine years I ran my own real estate business, but decided last fall to return to corporate training. I have paired retail experience with my real estate practice as the two go together well. Retail chains I have worked for in either a sales or management capacity are, Christian Dior Parfums, Gap Inc. (all brands), Ann Taylor and William Sonoma.

TJ: What will your training responsibilities entail at vomFASS?

SS: My role at VFUSA will be to develop and execute the company’s strategic training plan for retail operations, including new training and development programs. I will establish current training needs and determine training needs into the future.

TJ: Will you be involved in our Experience Days for those interested in a vomFASS franchise?

SS: I hope so. I actually took part in the latest Experience Day so I could see how they’re run. Right now I’m involved in many things at vomFASS while we are in the process of creating training programs. I will be writing a complete training manual for new franchisees which will include new procedures as well as incorporating successful current systems. In fact, one of the manuals I am working on right now is for stores as they hire new staff members. I will work on keeping operational manuals up to date.

TJ: Will you be traveling to our many stores?

SS: Absolutely. When I am not writing, I will be visiting stores with Dave (Eisner-Kleyle, VFUSA Operations Director) helping with installations for new franchise owners. So I would think Experience Day would be a good fit for my new position.

TJ: What about stores that have been up and running for a couple of years? Would you be visiting them for a “refresh” training session?

SS: That’s where the third member of our team would spring into action. Ben Meinen will visit the established vomFASS stores and give them any help they might need. For example, he might give them ideas for event planning or anything else that would help a store perform better. He’ll look at the numbers, make suggestions, and bring his experience to improve under-performance.

TJ: Sue, will you be involved in product training and knowledge?

SS: Probably not. Right now most of the product training is done by Dave during the initial training, so I am shadowing and mentoring with him. Eventually I will take over the product training.

TJ: What about the day-to-day running of a store….will you take on those training duties as well?
SS: Yes. The plan is to have accounting training, inventory training, essentially all of the components necessary to run a vomFASS store.

TJ: What about public relations, advertising, etc. training?

SS: Yes. As part of the training, there will be a module covering marketing and promotions, of course, coordinating with the corporate marketing department.

TJ: Have you lived in Madison most of your professional life?

SS: I went to the University here in late 70’s and early 80’s. I traveled as I worked my way up professionally and then in 1998 I moved myself and my children back to Madison.

TJ: You have children.

SS: Yes I do. I have two children, a daughter (30) who lives in Auckland New Zealand and is a marketing Manager for Tourism New Zealand and a son (20) who is at Madison College pursuing a business degree.

TJ: Will you have an office here?

SS: I will be based in Madison WI. I live in downtown Madison and enjoy being able to walk to everything. For the last nine years

TJ: What surprised you the most about vomFASS?

SS: I thought the Madison store was just a single boutique shop. I had no idea it was a booming US franchise and was amazed to learn it had an international beginning. Once I learned about vomFASS’ expansion and presence, I knew it would be a great fit. I love to travel, shop and of course, cook.

TJ: So, you love to cook. Are you a foodie?

SS: Oh definitely I’m a foodie. I love to create my own recipes, I love to cook. Baking is my passion. I take whatever cooking classes I can find. Like everyone else, I started out with the Food Network and then migrated out.

TJ: I know you’re fairly new to vomFASS, but have you found a favorite product yet?

SS: My favorite vinegar is Fig Balsam Star, my favorite Oil is Pistachio Oil, my favorite Liqueur is Limoncello. The one thing I did not know prior to this job was that vomFASS carried wellness oils. I quite love the coconut oil and the argon oil we carry.

TJ: Do you have a recipe?

SS: I do. Here’s my favorite salad.

TJ: Is there anything else you’d like everyone to know?

SS: The one message I would like to share with everyone is to stop by the store and sample the products. Not only does vomFASS offer pairing suggestions but also recipes. vomFASS is a great option for any gift giving event, as well as corporate giving opportunities and private parties.

TJ: Thanks Sue.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. Currently, the following states in the United States regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction.