It’s been a good six months for Adam Barringer and Michael Kosmas. So good, the business partners are thinking about franchising their Florida-based SoNapa wine bar. Sure, they only have one location so far. And, yeah, they’ve only been in business for half a year. But, like we said, it’s been a really good six months. We certainly admire these guys for dreaming big, but don’t you need to prove the concept before you start franchising it? “This is our chance to grow nationally, with other people’s money,” Barringer recently told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. A SoNapa franchise is going for $200,000.
Never finished that degree from Harvard Business School? No problem. Planet Smoothie, home of “the best tasting smoothie on the planet,” has launched Franchise U. “Franchise U is really more about educating prospective franchisees about franchising, not just about Planet Smoothie,” said company spokesperson Tanya Mareno in a recent interview. The crash course covers everything from understanding franchising brands to building a winning team. Cities scheduled for Franchise U’s first tour include Atlanta, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Miami, Jacksonville and Fort Myers. One lucky student will also win a franchise discount worth $25,000, which would buy you about a week at Harvard.
Great moments in franchising. This is an industry chock full o’ brilliant marketing minds. For proof, look no further than the recently announced partnership between Chili’s and Curves. That’s right, the restaurant famous for its Smokehouse Bacon Triple-the-Cheese Big Mouth Burger is teaming up with the fitness center designed for women who prefer Whoppers to workouts. As a part of the groundbreaking partnership, Curves members receive valuable coupons to Chili’s. What better way to reward yourself for a hard day at the gym than a gut-busting bacon burger?
Look before you leap. One of the best things you can do before purchasing a franchise is to work for one. That way, you have a pretty good idea what you’re getting yourself into, before it’s too late. This article profiles several franchise owners who worked their way up from the kitchen, the serving floor, and even the IT department. They discovered that when you work for a franchise first, you get to see all the skeletons in the closet. If you’re not scared out of your wits, you’ve probably found a good investment.