Some entrepreneurs strive to do something that's never been done. Others, motivated by the freedom that comes with owning their own businesses, turn to franchises. But what if you could have the best of both worlds--do something not many others are doing and own your own business?
In 1992 in Australia, Cartridge World founder Bryan Stokes responded to a newspaper ad offering $75 for every 15 minutes of refilling laser printer ink cartridges. A few years later, he created a business out of the concept and decided to franchise the idea. Cartridge World now has more than 1,650 stores worldwide and, more important, no significant competitors.
"The value lies in the operation and support from the entire group," says Bob Moglia, vice president of real estate development for Cartridge World, whose operations for its 1,000 U.S. franchises are based in Emeryville, Calif. The company, Moglia says, has the most comprehensive training program in the United States, with an 8,000-square-foot training facility, a video library and an 800 number for immediate assistance. Marketing support is also directly available, with many advertising pieces on a shared website that's updated frequently.
Despite the technical nature of the business, Moglia says the real key to being successful as a Cartridge World franchisee is to be someone who's sales-oriented, has the ability to effectively network and feels comfortable talking with people. He says people with experience in inside or outside sales in the corporate world are good candidates, provided they bring a sense of community with them.
"The most successful franchisee is one who can engage the public--an individual who is known in the community, has ties locally and can work within the local chamber of commerce and other business groups." Moglia says.