Best of the Best

Business Success With Used Sports Equipment

And the Franchise Played On

Play It Again Sports, a division of Grow Biz International Inc., has proved that viable market niches can be drilled in a business segment that is saturated with heavyweights. You don't have to go far in major metropolitan areas to find a sporting goods superstore, yet Play It Again franchisees, on average, do pretty well by offering used and new sporting goods in a small-store environment.

Although Play It Again has actually had more stores close than open over the past few years, a number of young operators have stepped into weaker stores and accomplished remarkable turnarounds. This typically occurs when the new franchisee hits the front door with fire in his belly and maintains the desire to work hard. This is a fun franchise if you love sports, but the franchisor estimates that it will cost up to $261,000 to open a store (quite steep in comparison to others profiled here). Remember, however, that Play It Again is based in a retail store, and your customers can start trading with you the day you open for business.

A good attitude and a desire to work can accomplish a great deal in franchising, as long as you make the jump into a franchise you can afford. If you're thinking of becoming a franchisee, you can build your resume with the smaller and newer concepts, and as you build your wealth, your growing experience will permit you to align with other companies. As long as the noncompetition provisions of your agreement don't prevent you from getting involved with subsequent franchises, your budding resume can open a lot of doors.

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This article was originally published in the June 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Best of the Best.

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