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Ever think there must be some secret trick to buying a franchise that you're not privy to? Luckily, our franchise expert is in the know . . . and he's ready to talk.

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

Steve, my neighbor and casual client, was agitated. "I want out of my contract," he said. But this time there was nothing I could tell him.

Just a few years earlier, Steve had been laid off from his sales job. At age 50, with a college degree and a proven track record, he was ready to be self-employed.

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