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Speed Bumps

Jack and Diane find a few surprises waiting for them as they move closer to realizing their goal.

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

Last month, Jack and Diane* stoically survived a bout with buyer's remorse- nagging feeling their recent franchise purchase might have been a mistake.

It's been a year since these first-time franchisees started their journey, yet they are still about 190 days from opening their quick oil-change location. Now that the land has been selected and leased, Jack is working fervently with his architect to create the construction drawings. However, a new issue has arisen. Jack's location is sandwiched between a coffee shop and a gas station, and the property is so tight that the oil-change customers will have to wait in the property owned by the coffee shop. Accordingly, the entrepreneur operating the coffee shop has decided to seize upon Jack and Diane's need and, in keeping with the axiom that there's no such thing as a free lunch, has demanded to be paid for this privilege. Jack says of the unexpected expense: "I'm going to have to pay the coffee shop a $2,500 one-time 'maintenance fee,' since my customers will be using his infrastructure more than his customers will be using mine."

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