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All in the Delivery

It was perfect timing for this couple to take on a dry cleaning delivery franchise.

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This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When Randy Newman, a director of human resources, learned his employer was going to be sold, he and his wife, Melody, began working on a business plan. They weren't sure what they wanted to do, but having previously run an independent fish-bait delivery business up and down the California coast, the couple felt franchising this time around was the right choice. The Newmans chose 1-800-DryClean, a dry cleaning pickup and delivery service, and used some of Randy's severance to finance the business. "I liked the idea of franchising [and] having support if you need it," says Randy, 53.

Randy and Melody, 49, opened their Houston franchise in March 2001. Franchisees with 1-800-DryClean pick up clothing from clients, bring the orders to a dry cleaner, then deliver the finished orders to the clients. The couple had operated the business out of their home, but they won a bid to provide their services to a Fortune 50 company. The business is now housed in that company's building. "We've got about 250 customers that use our storefront operation, which our daughter runs, while I run the route," Randy says. "My wife helps at the store once a week, and she helps with marketing as well."

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