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Smooth Moves

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

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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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