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All in the Delivery

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

By Devlin Smith

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When Randy Newman, a director of human resources, learned hisemployer was going to be sold, he and his wife, Melody, beganworking on a business plan. They weren't sure what they wantedto do, but having previously run an independent fish-bait deliverybusiness up and down the California coast, the couple feltfranchising this time around was the right choice. The Newmanschose 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 youneed it," says Randy, 53.

Randy and Melody, 49, opened their Houston franchise in March2001. Franchisees with 1-800-DryClean pick up clothing fromclients, bring the orders to a dry cleaner, then deliver thefinished orders to the clients. The couple had operated thebusiness out of their home, but they won a bid to provide theirservices to a Fortune 50 company. The business is now housed inthat company's building. "We've got about 250customers that use our storefront operation, which our daughterruns, while I run the route," Randy says. "My wife helpsat the store once a week, and she helps with marketing aswell."

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