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Student Counsel

Franchisees make education their business, preparing college-bound students for what's ahead.
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This story appears in the November 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
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David Mabee, 53, couldn't have been more successful as an entrepreneur. He was making big bucks from his engineering and executive consulting firm and working with Fortune 500 clients nationwide. But he was also traveling 40 weeks a year and missing out on his son's life. In search of an opportunity that would offer more downtime, he set out with a short list of criteria but a tall order to fill: no employees, no storefront and no inventory.

College Assistance Plus, a college and financial aid franchise, fit the bill. By May 2006, Mabee had purchased the Rochester and Southern Tier regions of New York and was operating out of his spare bedroom. Mabee works with college-bound students and their families to find the right college, fill out financial aid forms and secure a maximum amount of grant and scholarship money.

Expecting six-figure sales by year-end, Mabee has grown his business by conducting seminars at local schools. He hopes to grow even more through strategic partnerships with financial firms and benefit brokers, which can include his service as part of their larger financial packages and introduce his franchise to an estimated 300 companies. Says Mabee "That's how I'm getting more feet on the street, so to speak, without having employees."

And he couldn't be more prepared for the time when his 14-year-old makes the crucial college decision. Says Mabee, "I've saved my franchise fee just on the knowledge that I've [gained] for when he goes to school."

Edition: May 2017

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