A League Of Your Own

Making money with: pool leagues, leak-busting.
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This story appears in the August 1998 issue of Startups. Subscribe »

Necessity can be the mother of franchising. At least that's how American Poolplayers Association (APA) founders Terry Bell and Larry Hubbart saw it when they began franchising in 1982. Both professional pool players at the time, Bell and Hubbart knew that pool's popularity could flourish through an established recreational league system.

Today, the Lake Saint Louis, Missouri-based APA has more than 165,000 members in 550 leagues throughout the country. Franchisees are responsible for organizing local league play and working with players and venues. The association provides $800,000 in cash and prizes for several national tournaments it hosts annually, including a handicapped amateur tournament and a league championship.

"It's a lot of fun, especially for those who love the game" says company president Reneé Poehlman, and no knowledge of pool is necessary to become a franchisee.

The $5,000 base franchise fee (with an extra $100 for each 20,000 population increment) includes a territory, training and ongoing support. A 20-percent royalty fee covers marketing support and materials.

For more information, call (800) 3-RACK-EM.

Signed, Sealed And Inspected

By Michelle Prather

Leak-busting in Washington, DC, may be too big a job for Dick Rennick, founder of American Leak Detection (ALD) in Palm Springs, California, but investigating leaks elsewhere with the company's copyrighted, trademarked equipment is no problem at all.

ALD is a franchise devoted to locating potentially costly or harmful leaks practically anywhere. The high-tech equipment developed by Rennick and electronic engineer Jim Ray sends inert gas into a closed piping system and "listens" for the telltale sounds of a leak. Franchisees can use this technology to find leaks under swimming pools, beneath streets, in walls, drains and sewer lines--even radiation leaks from microwave ovens and electromagnetic-field leaks from computers and other electronic devices.

The $49,950 start-up cost includes a $20,000 franchise fee, equipment, training and a franchise license fee of about $18,500. Royalties are determined on a descending scale, starting at 10 percent and decreasing to 8 percent (which includes public relations and advertising costs). Two people can be trained per franchise fee at a six- to 10-week training course, held in various locations across the country.

For more in-formation, call (800) 755-6697.

Let's Make A Deal

By Jessica Goins

Even in a booming economy, many displaced workers see few job prospects after being "downsized," "rightsized," "re-engineered" or otherwise told, "Your work here is done." Whether you're one of those workers or you want to cater to this market, you may be interested in what Sunbelt Business Brokers has to offer. The Charleston, South Carolina-based franchise acts as the middleman between business buyers and sellers.

At any given time, about 20 percent of the nation's more than 24 million privately held businesses are for sale, says Ed Pendarvis, Sunbelt's president. Sunbelt franchisees appraise small and midsized businesses, list sellers and buyers, and help with negotiations--usually earning a 10-percent commission on sales of $100,000 or more, or a minimum fee of $10,000 per sale.

The investment range is $5,200 to $50,000, including training and an initial franchise fee of $5,000 or $10,000, depending on the territory's population. There's no royalty fee; instead, franchisees pay a semiannual franchise fee of $1,500 or $3,000, depending on market size.

For more information, visit http://www.sunbeltnetwork.com

Contact Sources

American Leak Detection, http://www.leakbusters.com

American Poolplayers Association, http://www.poolplayers.com

Sunbelt Business Brokers, (800) 771-7866

Edition: December 2016

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