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Funny Money

OK, there's nothing funny about money--but when standard franchise financing doesn't happen, it's time to start using your entrepreneurial wits.

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This story appears in the January 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Franchise Fee: $8,300

Initial Inventory: $20,000

Uniforms: $300

The Satisfaction Of Being Your Own Boss: priceless

For everything else, there's MasterCard. Not to mention American Express, Discover, Visa and a slew of other credit cards. Take it from Bernie Mexicotte, former vice president of what is now Bank One. En route to buying a Luxury Bath Systems franchise in Flint, Michigan, Mexicotte slammed right into a financing roadblock. His money was tied up in two other businesses, and despite his excellent credit, lenders were unwilling to grant him a loan to invest in a then-unknown franchise concept. He was even rejected by the bank he'd worked at for 21 years.

Drawing on the power of plastic, Mexicotte racked up $75,000 in cash advances and charges. In all, he used 27 credit cards to cover start-up costs and eight months of operating expenses.

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