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Smooth Moves

This franchisee got his big break when an opportunity showed up on his doorstep.

This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Start Up.

Mike Moran wasn't looking to start his own business when opportunity came knocking on his front door-literally. Moran had been working in the freight industry for 12 years and was wondering how he could break into a new field, when his former college roommate, Andy Hoiland, showed up on his doorstep offering the perfect solution: an existing Jet-Black franchise for sale in Moran's hometown of St. Paul, Minneapolis. Nine years earlier, in 1988, Hoiland and his brother, Doug, had co-founded Jet-Black, a niche business specializing in driveway sealcoating and repair.

"When Andy came to my door, I really wasn't in a position to [invest in a business], but I did it anyway. It was a no-brainer," says Moran. After witnessing Jet-Black's nine years of growth, Moran couldn't let the opportunity pass him by. "I already saw the success Andy and Doug had. I knew that if I just followed their system, I would have great success with it as well."

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