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Don Swedo & Don Herborn

Franchisees of EagleRider Motorcycle Rental

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This story appears in the January 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Don Swedo, 42, calls it his secret squirrel mission. Posing as a customer at EagleRider Motorcycle Rental, which specializes in Harley Davidson rentals and guided tours, Swedo was able to rate their customer service, appearance and flow of the company before buying his own franchise location. What he saw he liked, but Swedo's covert operation was just the first step he took to making sure EagleRider was the right franchise for him.

"[The franchisor] had done all the hard work," he says. "Their European connections [alone] would take years to establish."

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