Posted November 06, 2008 by

Want to Be an Entry Level Entrepreneur? Open a Franchise.

College tuitions increase a little more every year. As a result, some students have been looking for ways to offset the expense by working while going to school. Traditionally, college students work during the summers – including paid summer internships – and/or work part time during the fall and spring semesters – again including paid internships. But a new trend has developed recently that is very beneficial to business students looking for experience as well as income.
Franchising is becoming increasingly popular among college students and recent graduates as a way to earn money, get practical work experience and enjoy a little independence. Opening a franchise isn’t solely for recent college graduates looking for an alternative to the traditional entry level job hunt, and it’s not only for business majors. Anyone with the drive and dedication to be a small business owner can give it a try.
People like Faisal Ansari, who runs a College Hunks Hauling Junk franchise knows that there’s a lot of hard work that goes into running a franchise and a willingness to compromise, too. Because a franchisee is actually buying into an already established business – like McDonald’s or Dominos – the business plan has already been set up and a system of operation already established. For some, Faisal says “staying within the confines of a proven system” can be challenging. “Some people are better off being on their own and not owning a franchise, if they think they can do everything their way,” he suggests.
Of course, the whole reason for purchasing a franchise instead of going it alone is because it’s easier to get funding. The fact that a business plan is already successfully in effect is a major selling point with lenders who are confronted by someone with little or no experience in the world of business.


Franchisees usually have to come up with at least $10,000 to start their own franchise. That doesn’t sound like a lot of money but to a college student or recent graduate, it might as well be $1,000 000. That’s where lenders come in. According to Entrepreneur.com, “the most common source of start-up capital is friends and family.” But if that’s not an option, some other sources to try, says the International Franchise Association are commercial banks and independent financing specialists, the U.S. Small Business Administration, or direct financing from the franchisor.
As with any entry level job interview, the franchisors want to be sure that potential franchisees “fit the system.” According to Diana Middleton, in her article “Dreaming of opening a franchise? Personality a big plus,” qualities like competitive drive, intuition and an engaging personality actually trump liquidity, net worth and “other traditional monetary metrics” with some franchisors.
There are a lot of things to consider before deciding whether to purchase a franchise or not. Sites like International Franchise Association (IFA), Franchise Gator, ChristiaNet and Entrepreneur.com are great places to go for information about how to get started, where to get funding and the best franchises for busy college students to purchase.
Finally, patience is essential to the success of any venture, but it’s especially true for new franchise owners. “Too often,” said Faisal Ansari, “new franchise owners expect the business to be an overnight success, but it requires time and perseverance … in order to prevail.”

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