10 Hottest Deals In Franchising

From food services to hospitality, we identify the best opportunities for African Americans

hotels in the United States. Sykes’ new Hampton Inn & Suites in Boston is now the nation’s 24th such property with 51% or more of the ownership in the hands of African American investors.

A Franchising Reality Check
Despite the popularity of franchising and the opportunity for success, not everyone is suited to become a franchisee. First take some personal inventory and decide what you enjoy doing. Consider your strengths, weaknesses, and goals. Ask yourself if you can and are willing to work in an environment that sees little change. Because franchises are structured systems with uniform procedures, there’s little room for creativity. Once that’s done, here are some of the steps you should take:

  • Investigate opportunities thoroughly. Interview franchisees and visit existing franchises. Also, assess overhead, capital, and man power.
  • Cater to your strengths. Determine if what you want can translate into a successful business venture.
  • Expect an unchanging environment. Franchises are structured systems with uniform procedures. There is very little room for creativity and flare.
  • Franchises can fail if they are not properly run. After you choose which brand to build and operate you must:
  • Assess how much money you have to spend and how much you can afford to lose. To determine financial commitments you must be realistic about your resources. As with any business venture, expect risk.
  • Prioritize customer service. Build loyalty by hiring and retaining good employees and provide them with regular training. Slaughter says of Ford Motor Co., “Every associate here has to go to training at least once a year, plus we do a lot of internal training.”
  • Be realistic about return on investment (ROI). Franchising is not a get-rich-quick scam. Wells Allen warns, “You have to give yourself at least three to five years of total commitment before the business starts to make money.”

BE’s Top 10 FRANCHISES FOR 2004

FRANCHISE TYPE

BLACK-OWNED UNITS

DOMESTIC-FRANCHISE UNITS

STARTUP COSTS

Hilton Hotels Corp. 310-205-4245 www.hiltonfranchise.com Lodging

13

1,899

$7 million

Choice Hotels International 800-547-0007 www.choicehotelsfranchise.com Lodging

3

4,060

$2 million-$10 million

Williams Chicken 214-371-1430, ext. 340 www.williamsfriedchicken.com Food

33

48

$150,000-$500,000

AFC Enterprises (Cinnabon, Popeye’s, Church’s Chicken) 770-391-9500
www.AFCE.com
Food

283

3,106

$157,300-$343,000

Geeks on Call www.geeksoncall.com
888-667-4577
Computer Services

11

174

$50,000

Express Personnel Services
877-652-6400
www.expresspersonnel.com
Staffing Services

11

407

$130,000-$170,000

Comfort Keepers 937-264-1933 or 800-387-2415 www.comfortkeepers.com Home Care Services

26

419

$41,000-$65,000

Liberty Tax Service 800-790-3863 www.libertytax.com Tax Preparation

57

1,409

$38,100-$49,100

Harley-Davidson 414-343-7990 www.harley-davidson.com Recreational Vehicles

6

651

$600,000 liquid-$1 million net worth

Meineke Car Care 704-377-8855

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