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Want Franchise With That?

No discourse on entrepreneurship past, present or future is complete without mentioning one of the most successful growth strategies going.

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

Today, franchising's power is pretty hard to ignore. Filling strip malls and plazas, spreading over borders and oceans, franchising is making its way into every corner of the world and is servicing many needs in our lives. In the United States alone, nearly $1 trillion a year in sales are rung up at franchised outlets.

But only 25 years ago, franchising's place in the world was a lot less certain. While many of today's big players, like McDonald's and Holiday Inn, were enjoying franchising success back then, the franchising industry was still suffering from a bad reputation, dogged by lawsuits and horror stories about get-rich-quick schemes and fraudulent business opportunities.

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