Sub Zero Ice Cream & Yogurt held it’s first annual conference at Thanksgiving Point, UT from February 20th- 22nd. Sub Zero franchisees joined the executive team of sister company Five Star Franchising to review the company’s progress, growth, and changes from 2011 as well as look at the opportunities of 2012.


The theme? What better topic than the Flavor of Success?

Keynote speaker Michael Swenson discussed the principles covered in his book Boom Start: Principles of Entrepreneurial Marketing–principles that Sub Zero is excited to pursue. If you’re a small business owner, here are some of the notes we took. Hopefully they’ll be as helpful to you as they were for us!

Keynote speaker Michael Swenson

Swenson spoke about the need for small businesses to create what he calls “a love fest” by giving customers a chance to do marketing for you through events. According to him, it is better to find creative ways to market rather than spend as much money as large corporations.  Another vital step for small businesses to take is to sharpen their angle to make sure they offer something that isn’t a dime a dozen. In so doing, benefits need to be easy to demonstrate, not just describe. You must show the customer you can deliver on what you claim and blow away expectations. You will build both customer loyalty and clientele by delivering superior value, be it a product, a service, and/or an experience. Perhaps our favorite quote from his speech is, “Small businesses can’t afford to buy success, they must earn it through creative, low cost tactics.”

In addition to Michael Swenson’s much welcomed wisdom, Five Star Franchising’s executive team covered topics as varied as Fundraising, Social Media, and Employee Training.

That’s not to say the whole conference focused on the nuts and bolts of operating a franchise. In addition to catering the meals, Thanksgiving Point also orchestrated the entertainment, including a hands on cooking class, a GPS scavenger hunt, and a group dinner that made all the foodies swoon.