Know Your Limits

Aim High

By Natasha Emmons

Few things entail more risk than opening your own business, but Lake Forest, California-based Amailcenter Franchise Corp. has come up with a plan to soothe its would-be franchisees' jitters.

If AIM Mail Center franchisees don't ship, fax and notarize their way to the American dream within two years of buying a franchise, Amailcenter will hand them back their $21,500 franchise fee in cash. "We want to make sure people can get their money out," says company president and CEO Michael Sawitz.

There are 40 AIM Mail Centers operating in California, two of which were purchased since the offer was made, says Sawitz. "After 13 years, we know that everyone who has followed our program to the letter has been successful," Sawitz says. Stiff competition from more than a dozen national mail-service chains prompted Sawitz to put his money where his mouth is.

"It gives [franchisees] a comfort level," says Sawitz. "No one else is willing to say `Hey, I'm in it with you.' "

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This article was originally published in the February 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Know Your Limits.

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