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Chain Reaction Open a store . . . open a store . . .and so on . . . and so on . . . and so on . . .

By Dennis Rodkin

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Fortunately for most people, a big family usually doesn'tmaterialize overnight the way it did not so long ago for theMcCaugheys of Iowa who one day had just one child--and the next hadseven more. Big families generally develop over a period of years,with each new addition joining the bunch after the older ones arewell on their feet and somewhat self-sufficient.

While it's never easy to juggle the needs of severalchildren all at once, most parents eventually figure out how tomanage. Some even find advantages to having a larger brood:Siblings can be each other's playmates, role models and evenbaby-sitters, lightening their parents' load.

For the entrepreneur hoping to expand one or two locations intoa chain, there may be no better model to study than that of thelarge family. Indeed, entrepreneurs who have successfully gonethrough the process, as well as expert observers, all agree thatgrowing a company into a chain is strikingly similar to raising alarge family.

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