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(Tuesday – June 10, 2014)

Never a Dull Moment or Axidental Entrepreneur?

This Axidental Retiree thing seems to be turning into something completely different than what I would have expected (that’s a good thing!). In fact, I may need to change the name of this blog to Axidental Entrepreneur!

Since the job search had been slowing, painfully (today appears to be an aberration – more on that later), work on “Plan B” has been moving forward. As I have been looking to find or create gigs / special projects, the new word in my vocabulary is: FRANCHISE. I have been having conversations with a few franchisors about their offerings; those that resonate with me, trying to assess whether their programs are the best fit for both of us. Retail franchises are definitely out!

franchiseThey seem to have the same model for evaluation and getting started. This is the short version. First, you dance around with each other on telephone calls and webinars and lots of reading material. Then you fill out an application to see “if you qualify” – supply much information about yourself (the financial disclosure is essential). Basically, if you have the money, you’re in. If, at this point, mutual interest still exists and both want to get to the next base, it’s off to HQ for a “meet n greet” the team and the really hard sell – I haven’t done one of these trips yet. And then, IF, you are still in – its sign up, pay your fee and come back soon for a 5-7 day intensive training. When you are finished with the indoctrination, presto, you are now a franchisee / owner of your own business!

The franchises I have found interesting are:
• Adult non medical health care (companion and personal care for seniors; no meds). I decided over the weekend to forego moving any further with this one – too many possible headaches.
• Digital marketing consulting – got two different ones, but am about ready to walk away from these, too.
• B2B savings consultant – helping companies save money with the franchisor’s “revolutionary, proven, can’t lose techniques.” On the fence with this one; not having a good feeling with all the pestering phone calls!
• Services for seniors (downsizing, re-locations, estate sales) – just came across this one…

Make no mistake about franchises, it’s all about the money – if you have the funds for the fee and working capital, they want you! And there are probably more available than there are potential franchisees; so the sales men and women are relentless to move you through the pipeline. Franchising has become the strategy for companies to grow their revenues, market share and profits without the costs that come with full time employees.

As the process of evaluating possible franchises drags on, two job ads surface that really fit – I drop everything and reply with fresh cover letters and resumes. And while this is going on, a friend calls with an immediate need at his firm – the IT staff just walked off the job – I definitely want to work there! And if this all is not enough, there are two consulting gigs I am working on (one I am already committed to; to create a back-end web project and one pending for a business planning project for a start-up).

I’m not complaining. Just saying though, in my twisted way, how strange it is. You drift along for days and weeks with little happening and then find yourself “busier than a one armed paper hanger.” I’ll take it any day – especially when the cash register is ringing!