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Is it a partnership made in heaven or...? Examining the profitable possibilities of becoming a franchise vendor.

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This story appears in the April 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Most often thought of as opportunities for new entrepreneurs to get into business, franchises are usually overlooked by seasoned business veterans. Established companies should think again, however, before they leave franchises solely to the newbies. Franchise companies are more than just start-up opportunities, they're also extensively networked buyers of products and services, and could be your ticket to a giant increase in sales as well as vast new markets you might not otherwise be able to tap.

That's the experience Dianne and Mike Dougherty had when they searched for--and found--a way to increase sales for their Atlanta business, Heavenly Cheesecakes Inc. Selling cheesecakes, key lime pies and other desserts to additional independent outlets wouldn't have boosted their revenues much beyond their 1992 level of $360,000. "To really grow, we needed a major account," says Dianne.

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