Franchise Owners Call Their Own Shots

NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK | Sunday, February 01, 2004

Would you like to open your own business—either as a full-time venture or as a way to supplement your income— but are hesitant to take on the risk? Well relax, because more people are discovering a better alternative: buying a fran­chise. In most cases you can do the operational work yourself or subcontract it out to qualified individuals as your franchise busi­ness grows.

- "I wanted to be my own boss," says Kari Denton, a former elementary school teacher who co-founded the Fords-based Fun Bus franchise with her mother, Dawn McGarry. "We saw the need for a reliable, safe and enjoyable fitness center on wheels designed for 2-to 7-year-old children in school, day-care centers or other facilities during the week, and for children's parties and other events on weekends." The company currently operates in the New Jersey and New York regions, and Denton says she's selling franchises at a steady pace.

"For an initial $25,000 fee, franchisees get the Fun Bus name in a secure territory, training, manuals, after-sale support and a list of existing customers," she notes. "A customized bus and equipment runs another $25,000." They should also budget for a monthly royalty fee, and for Fun Bus-labeled T-shirts and other merchandise. "Franchisees get the benefit of our proven model, and gain economies of scale and other valuable benefits," she says. "It's a lot less risky than trying to launch a company from scratch, and there's no limit to their profits." Commercial cleaning is another fast-growing franchise segment. Just ask Mike Tahiry, the former owner of an import-export business who holds the CleanNet master franchise for the state of New Jersey. CleanNet provides professional cleaning services to businesses in categories such as commercial, retail, industrial fi­nancial, hospitality and medical. "My franchisees get name recog­nition, training and backup support, and they benefit from CleanNet's national advertising campaigns," Tahiry says from his Cranford office "Initial licensing costs and equipment range from $1,150 to $30,000, and since October 1989, more than 650 people have signed up for CleanNet franchises in New Jersey. It's a great investment. I'm very satisfied and so are my franchisees." New Jersey is a very desirable market for franchisees, says Nathan Zimring, director of operations for Jani-King International Inc. He says the global commercial cleaning franchiser, which has a local office in Fairfield, has the potential to build a large cus­tomer base from the high volume of corporations that operate in New Jersey. "For a start-up fee that averages $8,000, plus supplies and other equipment, franchisees get a .turnkey operation, and training and administrative support that includes accounting, bill­ing and collection functions," he notes. "Jani-King offers a proven experience and structure that can help everyone—from doctors to janitors—make a success out of their cleaning venture. On a part-time or full-time basis, there are no boundaries to their success." Based on these and other experiences, it seems obvious that for entrepreneurs in general, and those in New Jersey in particular, franchising can offer some great opportunities

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Fun Bus
32 Timothy Ln.
Tinton Falls, NJ

Phone: (732)578-1287
Fax: (732)389-7824

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