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Having It Nailed

A zest for woodworking helped this entrepreneur get out of a rut.

This story appears in the March 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

More than 20 years as an accountant and CFO left Jim Ford feeling dissatisfied and at a crossroad in his life. "[Accounting] was fun for a while; then it wasn't as much fun, and then it wasn't fun at all," he says. "I was looking for something else."

The answer arrived in the mail, printed on the back of a postcard. Woodcraft Supply Corp., a Parkersburg, West Virginia, company specializing in woodworking tools, supplies, books and classes, was seeking franchisees. Ford was a longtime shopper at Woodcraft and wasn't discouraged by the hefty price tag to become a franchisee. Investing $500,000 to $600,000, he opened a Woodcraft franchise in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in November 1998.

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