Getting on the Franchise FAST TRACK - Page 2 of 4
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Getting on the Franchise FAST TRACK

$3 per serving.

Customers then take their entrées home, where they can cook them at their leisure.
The Martins were so sold on the concept that in a matter of months they decided to own a franchise. To date, six of 64 My Girlfriend’s Kitchen units are black-owned (The Martins were the first blacks to purchase a franchise).

Their initial startup cost for the 2,000-square-foot store in Jessup, Maryland, was $35,000 to begin the process, a part of the total investment costs that range from $245,000 to $450,000, depending on the region and facility size. These fees go toward designating a territory, build-out expenses, equipment package, work supplies, and architectural plans and design.

But through serendipity, the couple was able to buy an existing store in Gambrills, Maryland–the No. 1 My Girlfriend’s Kitchen franchise in the country–as they were trying to get their first location off the ground. Their attorney and accountant Paul Wright handled the purchase and became the couple’s business partner, owning 15% of the outlet. “The first day I was there by myself and finally stepped back, I was like ‘Oh my gosh! We’re about to be entrepreneurs,'” says King-Martin. “I’m turning a passion into a profit and just loving what I do.”

With average monthly traffic of 300 customers, the Gambrills operation grossed $460,000 from April 2006 to December 2006. And during the first six months of 2007, the location generated another $308,000 in gross revenues. The Martins anticipate revenues of about $50,000 per month or roughly $600,000 in sales for the year. The Jessup store is scheduled to open this month.

“Their energy, enthusiasm, confidence, positive spirit, and ability to network in their community are what they bring to the company,” says Jennifer Jackenthal, co-founder and CEO of My Girlfriend’s Kitchen. “Our job is to help them make money doing something they love.”

According to the IFA, franchises to watch in this category include Juice It Up! (www.juiceitup.com), My Girlfriend’s Kitchen (www.mygirlfriendskitchen. com), and Rita’s Water Ice (www.ritasice.com).

In-Home Healthcare (Health and Fitness)
Providing for the needs of senior citizens and those with debilitating illnesses is expected to be a booming industry for years to come. With a variety of franchising models to choose from, in-home healthcare furnishes clients with supplemental care (transportation, running errands, light housekeeping, etc.) within the comforts of their own home on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis.

Experts say one of the reasons franchising has grown so quickly within this sector is that it generates solid, consistent cash flow. “The Medicare system has been very stable and favorable to home health operators for basically the last four or five years,” says Derrick Dagnan, a senior research analyst with Avondale Partners L.L.C., a Nashville, Tennessee-based investment banking firm. “And the cost [of in-home care] to the government is a lot less than if that patient were to be in a higher acuity setting of care like a nursing home or a rehab hospital.”

Another reason is the rapid growth in the number of senior citizens. The U.S Census Bureau projects a


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