Should I set up dealerships or franchises in order to expand my company?
<P>My advice would be to start first with an initial consultation with an experienced franchise and business opportunity attorney. You can get referrals easily from the International Franchise Association or other sources, but make sure the attorney has a practice specializing in these forms of legal entities. Initial consultations are usually free or low cost and you can find out what the legal requirements and projected costs are to get your business set up to franchise or have dealerships or other forms of business opportunities. </P>
<P>You can also discuss what the business pros and cons are for each option and get other thoughts and advice. On a final note, I'm pretty confident that any experienced franchise or dealership attorney or advisor is going to tell you that six months operating experience in a single independent operation is likely an insufficient foundation for forming a franchise or dealership company, unless you have extensive prior experience in forming such a company in some other business. As Ted Turner was quoted in his biography title a few years ago, "It ain't as easy as it looks." So proceed with caution and make sure you've got plenty of extra capital, regardless of what route you choose.</P>
Jeff Elgin has almost 20 years of experience franchising, both as a franchisee and a senior franchise company executive. He's currently the CEO of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides free consulting to consumers looking for a franchise that best meets their needs.