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Franchising may be a great way to get into business, but like starting any business, it has its risks. There's the dreaded "what if" factor: What if, after all the sacrifice it takes to get the franchise up and running, you discover the business isn't for you?
David Heddleson, president and owner of Mister Mobile, may have found the solution to such misgivings. The St. Petersburg, Florida-based on-site oil-change franchise now offers a trial lease program to ease potential franchisees into the business.
For an initial investment of $8,000, plus $1,000 per month for a trial run of six months, lessees receive a Mister Mobile service truck and the equipment necessary to perform on-site oil changes. If lessees wish to end the relationship after the trial period, they keep the money they made during the six months and move on. If they decide to stay with Mister Mobile, they pay another $8,000 to satisfy the franchise fee, as well as 4 percent ongoing royalties (which aren't paid the first six months), and with the company's help, they must arrange financing for the truck.
Says Heddleson, "It's a win-win situation."
- New World Coffee & Bagels Inc., based in New York City, will acquire Eatontown, New Jersey-based Manhattan Bagel Co. Inc.'s 310-plus stores if the transaction is approved by bankruptcy court and creditors.
- Century Business Services Inc., parent company of Mission Viejo, California-based Comprehensive Business Services Inc., has purchased General Business Services and Edwin K. Williams & Co., both based in Waco, Texas. The three accounting and business services companies joined under the new name of Century Small Business Solutions Inc. and now comprise more than 650 units.
- Kitchen Solvers Inc. in La Crosse, Wisconsin, recently acquired Waco, Texas-based Kitchen Wizards. The purchase brings Kitchen Solvers' total units to 95, operating in 27 states.
- Atlanta-based AFC Enterprises Inc. signed a purchase agreement in August to acquire Seattle-based Cinnabon International Inc. AFC's acquisition of Paradise Bakery & CafÃ©, which we reported on in October, fell through.
Mister Mobile, http://home1.gte.net/mrmobile