From the December 1999 issue of Entrepreneur

Watching sports. Helping young people. Making money. If those are three of your favorite things, opening a Collegiate Sports of America (CSA) franchise may be right up your alley. Started in 1982 by Jeff Duva, CSA is a college recruiting service where franchisees work as liaisons between college recruiters and high school and junior college students, scouting young players in their territories and marketing them to college programs all over the country.

But CSA's bread and butter isn't the superstar athlete. It's the other 98 percent of kids who need the promotion and exposure that CSA offers through its recruiting Web site (http://www.csasports.com) and partnerships with CBS-Sportsline and the Associated Press. PrepStar Magazine, CSA's football and basketball recruiting publication, has also helped make CSA a recognizable name in the sports biz.

Franchisees jump into the game quickly after two days of intensive training, in which they're taught NCAA recruiting rules and take on real appointments with athletes and parents. Start-up costs range from about $16,000 to $40,000. Currently, 11 franchises operate in eight states.

The greatest reward? According to CSA director of sales and marketing Roy Reeves, "You have a personal incentive to get these kids scholarships and opportunities to play at the next level. When a kid calls you and says 'I got a scholarship to this school,' it's very nice to hear."

Perfect Prospects

Making franchise-buying easier for minority entrepreneurs

We may not all be able to stand up to the lions of injustice, but Maid to Perfection is taking a small step in that direction--its new Minority Ownership Initiative is designed to encourage minority entrepreneurs to open their own cleaning-service businesses. "I feel strongly about giving [minorities] a leg up," says franchise director Ben Cohen. "We need to offer a little something extra to get people started."

That "little something" translates to 10 percent off the franchise fee for the initial territory purchase, plus 1.25 percent lower interest rates on additional territory loans. For some prospective entrepreneurs, paying an 8 percent interest rate rather than the current 9.25 percent may be just the advantage they need.

At press time, however, minority entrepreneurs had yet to take advantage of the franchise's new incentive program.

Total start-up costs range from $35,000 to $45,000, which includes everything from the franchise fee to working capital. Franchisees also receive week-long training at the 167-unit franchise's Baltimore, Maryland, headquarters and a visit from corporate officials to help with marketing, advertising and networking with commercial clients.

The program is vital because, according to Cohen, "The 'level playing field' is a rationalization." Maid to Perfection's goal is to even it out one step at a time.

Contact Source

Maid to Perfection Corp., (800) 648-MAID, http://www.maidtoperfectioncorp.com