Do You Want To Know A Secret?

Planting an Idea

Name and age: Andrea Brinkman, 34

Franchise name and description: Children's Orchard is a resale retail franchise that specializes in quality children's products, including clothing, toys and equipment.

Franchise location: Jacksonville, Florida

Opened: 1996

1999 sales projections: $425,000

Growing the business: Burned out on the world of giant, indifferent health-care corporations, Brinkman, a critical-care nurse for seven years, opened her own business hoping to relate to customers on a more personal level.

Planting an idea: Brinkman warns potential franchisees to be wary of shady franchisors. "If you want to buy a franchise, make sure you're not just another number for them to make their franchise grow," she warns. "If it's too easy to get in, then there's something [fishy] going on."

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This article was originally published in the January 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Do You Want To Know A Secret?.

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