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Is it a partnership made in heaven or...? Examining the profitable possibilities of becoming a franchise vendor.

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This story appears in the April 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Most often thought of as opportunities for new entrepreneurs toget into , franchises are usually overlooked by seasonedbusiness veterans. Established companies should think again,however, before they leave franchises solely to the newbies. companies are more than just start-up opportunities,they're also extensively networked buyers of products andservices, and could be your ticket to a giant increase in sales aswell as vast new markets you might not otherwise be able totap.

That's the experience Dianne and Mike Dougherty had whenthey searched for--and found--a way to increase sales for theirAtlanta business, Heavenly Cheesecakes Inc. Selling cheesecakes,key lime pies and other desserts to additional independent outletswouldn't have boosted their revenues much beyond their 1992level of $360,000. "To really grow, we needed a majoraccount," says Dianne.

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