3rd Annual Million-Dollar Ideas

"One of the most important tasks of the franchisor is to eliminate the franchisee's excuse for failure, [which] is accomplished through constant testing and refinement of the products and services to know exactly what succeeds and what does not," notes Jerry Wilkerson, president of Crete, Illinois-based consulting firm Franchise Recruiters Inc. And that's really the beauty of franchising: Someone else does your dirty work.

That wasn't immediately evident to Steven Wise when he and his college buddies decided to start a business two years ago. "We didn't necessarily look into franchising; what we were looking for was to get into our own business," says Steven Wise, vice president and co-founder of eCo3 Ventures Corp., an Orlando, Florida, company he founded with Benjamin Staat, 31, and Keith Tanner, 33, to operate their Hangers Cleaners franchises.

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But Wise, whose company has yet to open for business (the company plans to have four units in operation by spring 2002), has already seen the advantages of franchising. "The biggest benefit is the ability to share your knowledge with a group of people who are doing very similar things in terms of creating a business and following the same guidelines [you are]," says Wise, 30. "You have the ability to tap in to a number of people throughout the country and ask them what their experiences are, what their knowledge is, and we have the ability to share that with them as well."

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This article was originally published in the January 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 3rd Annual Million-Dollar Ideas.

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