Franchise Owners Lighting Up Minneapolis
Franchise Owners Lighting Up Minneapolis

Friends since elementary school, the franchisees are growing their businesses under Outdoor Living Brands.

Russ Jundt and Tom Olson, co-owners of an Outdoor Lighting Perspectives franchise in Minneapolis, have known each other so long and work so well together, they sound alike on the phone.

They even each have a dog named Sadie.

“We’ve known each other since the fifth grade,” says Jundt. “I have photos of Tom in his white tuxedo at prom. I can send them to you.”

The business partners and longtime friends have been with Outdoor Living Brands for about 10 years through its Mosquito Squad franchise and now are finishing their first season with the lighting franchise.

“We have traction, so we can expand and diversify our offerings,” Olson says. “What’s really important in that upper demographic that we cater to is that we can’t just say, ‘While we’re here to spray for mosquitoes, we can fix your outdoor lighting.’ We can’t take anything for granted.”

Already having a great client base and the trust of those customers certainly helps, however, Jundt says. “People know we have a high-touch, high-care delivery of service.”

The approach of the holiday season means the franchisees soon will be busy with festive commercial and residential outdoor light displays.

“We intend it to be a big deal. We are beginning our marketing. We definitely should be able to hit the ground running,” Olson says.

What drew them to the lighting franchise is their great relationship with Outdoor Living Brands.

“There are so many franchise concepts out there — and lots of disillusioned franchisees,” Olson says. “But we know these people. Personally and professionally, they are great people. We trust them. We always felt like we got back way more than what we paid in franchisee fees. Adding brands to our local offerings, we wanted to go with someone we knew and trusted.”

Jundt says it’s been a “great partnership. We wanted to be part of something bigger. We have business knowledge, but we wanted the brand and the proof of concept of the brand. And we got that.”