Franchise Owner Sets Sights On Success, 'Not Reinventing The Wheel'

Monday, June 12, 2006

When Angela Buchanan was looking at franchise opportunities a few years ago, she was drawn to one that had customers she knew she could relate to in an intimate way. Franchise ownership appealed to her because it was a way of getting into business "without reinventing the wheel." Her husband had just been laid off at WorldCom Inc., and the pair wanted to control their future by getting into business for themselves. Today, Buchanan and her husband, Evan, own two ShapeXpress franchises at Arrowhead Ranch and in Paradise Valley Mall. The women-only fitness centers offer 30-minute circuit and cardiovascular workouts, along with exercise classes and personal training. "We liked the support and guidance of this particular franchisor," Buchanan says. "It can also be a much faster start to open a franchise as opposed to an independent business." Historically, franchising has been a male-dominated industry as women struggled with several barriers to entry, especially access to capital. But in recent years, franchisors and lenders have started to reach out to women and minorities, causing the ranks of nonmale-owned franchisees to grow, according to industry reports that also note franchises are five times more likely to survive than independently created companies. Harriet Moser, a consultant with Franchise Resource Co. in Scottsdale, a company that matches franchisors and franchisees, says nowadays, many franchisors are targeting parents or females, and women owners aren't having any problem finding opportunities. Franchises that are attractive to women include those in home decor, health and skin care, salons, tanning studios, cleaning-service firms, health-oriented restaurants, juice bars and retail accessory stores, to name just a few. Scottsdale resident Jessica Hunter found her way into franchising after trying to enroll her young son in art classes. A Google search brought her to the KidzArt Web site (www.kidzart.com). Based in Texas with franchises in several states, KidzArt offers art education classes at preschools and grade schools, as well as adult art programs.

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ShapeXpress Inc.
1850 SE 17th Street Causeway
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Phone: 954-449-4709
Toll Free: 1-800-988-4712

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