Open a Franchise

Owning a franchise isn't all about fast food—there are actually 75 different categories and more than 3,500 franchises to choose from. With a new franchise opening every eight minutes in the United States, there could be something out there waiting for you.

Karol Mercurio is a New Jersey–based consultant for MatchPoint Franchise Consulting Network and has made it her job to place people within the world of business ownership. Much like a real estate agent, Mercurio is constantly seeking the best opportunities and fits for her clients.

"About 2 percent of the population have a desire to be a business owner. Only 1 percent actually do it," Mercurio says.

She says record numbers of people have entered the franchise market since corporate loyalty is generally down during this recession. She says they feel the only way to create self-worth is by becoming your own boss.

Mercurio says it's best to consider your motivation before getting involved with a franchise—they take an enormous amount of commitment.

She also says to evaluate your skill set to find strengths, weaknesses, interests and overall goals.

"Most franchisers don't require their franchisees to possess industry experience, but managerial experience is extremely beneficial," Mercurio says.

Do your research, and don't settle until you find a comfortable match, she says. Karol recommends franchises that are both recession- and Internet-proof—those in the service industry and home-based businesses.

Mercurio says opening one of these franchises has half the operating cost of a opening retail franchise and has much lower entry and overhead costs.

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