Franchise opportunities addressed during seminarBy Emily Reed Published 3:20pm Wednesday, April 16, 2014
More than a dozen Chilton County residents showed up for a “Franchising and Chilton” seminar held Tuesday night at Clanton Conference and Performing Arts Center and Wednesday morning at Jemison City Hall.
“The seminar was good because the interest is there from several in the community who are looking into franchising,” said Chilton County Industrial Development Coordinator Fred Crawford.
Jerry Bird, the owner of FranNet, a nationwide network of business consultants, hosted the seminars that were free and open to the public.
Bird addressed three ways to get involved in franchising including starting a business from scratch, buying a franchise or purchasing an existing business.
Bird said failure rates for franchise businesses are often lower than independently run small businesses, but franchisees pay management fees to the parent companies to operate.
“We like to talk with those interested in franchising and find out what works best for them,” Bird said. “Some people don’t need to own a business, but we work to find the right fit for those interested.”
Crawford asked during the Wednesday morning seminar what sort of businesses Bird thought might be interested in an area like Chilton County.
“There are a lot of businesses out there who would want to come here,” Bird said. “You could have automotive, fitness, service and food industries.”
Bird provided a definition of franchising which included the “creation of a distribution channel to build a brand identity and attain market dominance quickly” and addressed several myths associated with franchising.
“A lot of people think franchising means fast food and retail or that franchises are expensive,” Bird said. “Some people think you have to invest a lot of money to make a lot of money, and that isn’t always the case.”
Bird also addressed the fact that veterans often are a “big player” in the franchise industry.
“Veterans have the ability to follow the rules,” Bird said. “One out of seven franchises are currently owned by a veteran.”
FranNet provides services to Alabama and East Tennessee with the home office located in Chattanooga.
Bird said he works closely with those living in Alabama for anyone interested in pursuing the franchise route.
“My goal is to help you figure out what it is you want to do,” Bird said. “There might be something you want to pursue, and I will work closely with you to find what works best for you.”
For more information about FranNet, visit www.frannet.com or call, (423)-591-4860.