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March 8, 2008

March 8, 2008

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Finding My First Store

February 27, 2008

Finding My First Store

Today I set about searching for my first store. I intended to buy a store that was already running, because I liked the idea of having revenue from day 1. Furthermore, I realized how risky it was to do a build-out, because there would be no past performance to base my decisions on. My suspicions about the risks of starting a store from scratch were confirmed when I looked into purchasing a Quizno’s location, and realized that the owner was selling it after only six months of operation. He had started the business from the ground up and wanted out very quickly.

I looked into other Quizno’s locations, but moved on for many reasons. First off, all the locations I investigated were unprofitable. I wanted to purchase a business that was turning a profit right at the start, especially for my first one. This would make the transition phase much easier. Secondly, I had heard many horror stories about owning a food service business. My friend Will Hansen’s father was 51% owner in a restaurant at the time, and his words were, “Owning a restaurant means being married to it.” I didn’t want to have to spend all my time and focus on this venture (nor could I, as a full-time college student), so I quickly shied away from the food service industry.

At the advice of Steve Spinelli, I began investigating Hollywood Tans locations. I had been tanning a few times and myself, and realized both the appeal, and the profit potential of a tanning salon. I searched for tanning salons in the area, and realized that several of them were near large universities. I suspect that tanning salons do a large amount of business with the college age crowd, so I put a few of these at the top of the list. Many of these stores were very profitable, which meant that as soon as I purchased one, I’d be making money!

I’ll have to do a lot of financial analysis to determine which store to purchase. I want to make sure I get one with good revenue, but also with room in the market to grow. In talking with one or two of the owners, it seems that most of them aren’t advertising to the college crowd. With this in mind, I suspect I’ll be able to significantly increase revenues in the store I purchase simply by reaching out to a nearby university or two.

The Beginning

February 25, 2008

The Beginning

I decided to write this blog to chronicle my journey through the process of starting, growing, and managing a franchise business. It is my hope that my personal account of this process will aid others who are planning on starting a similar venture, or guide those who are in the middle of a crisis. As a student of Babson College, one of the most well-known entrepreneurial business schools, I feel I have been groomed for just this sort of endeavor.

There are many reasons why I decided to become a franchisee. I interned at a yacht management company in Miami, FL that was looking to open up franchises, and I helped them create some processes and procedures in this regard. I also worked with Steve Spinelli, the provost for entrepreneurship at Babson, doing a case study to discuss the experiences I had during my time with the yacht management company. Also, I realized that franchises were successful simply from personal experience growing up in Idaho. Everywhere I turned in my hometown was another strip mall full of franchises, and more were being built constantly. This clearly seemed like a money-making opportunity.

7-Eleven

February 21, 2008

UPS Stores

February 21, 2008

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Taco Bell

February 21, 2008

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Super 8 Motels

February 21, 2008

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Subway

February 21, 2008

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Sonic Drive-in

February 21, 2008

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