Small Business Development Seminar Teaches Individuals About Franchise Ownership

By Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat, Sherman, Texas.

To encourage business growth of all types in the region, local business leaders in Denison held a seminar on small business franchising on Thursday at the Grayson College Viticulture Center.
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The seminar, entitled “Career Security Through Franchise Ownership,” focused on teaching potential entrepreneurs about the realities of franchising while also dispelling the myths.

“Franchises aren’t just about burgers, shakes and fries,” said Certified Franchise Executive Jason Killough. When most people think of franchises, they think of companies like McDonald’s or other restaurant chains, said Killough.

The reality is that only 20 percent of franchises are in food service. The majority are instead service industry companies, which fill over 300 lines of business, said Killough.

Killough spoke on other myths about the industry as he tried to give attendees an idea of how franchises really work.

In his presentation, Killough described what he called the “dreamer” — someone who expects limited hours, a large return on a small investment of resources or energy.

“You are going to work harder than you ever had,” he said.

In describing his work, Killough compared himself to a Realtor matching franchisers with potential franchisees that are looking to open a location.

For some the decision is out of a desire to make a secondary income, but for others it’s a complete change in career path to become their own boss.

“More people go into this job for themselves for added job security,” said Tommi Homuth, job act coordinator with the Grayson College Small Business Development Center. GC partnered with the Denison Development Alliance and Denison Chamber of Commerce to hold the seminar.

“Our goal is to help new business get started, and those already in business to grow,” said Homuth.

The average employee in the U.S. stays with one company for about four years before leaving, compared to an average of 12 years in other parts of the world.

Through a franchise individuals can find the job security of owning a business, while also having the advantages of being a part of a developed, known company.

Bringing more than 10 years of experience as a franchise owner, Jon Langbert spoke about his personal experience. Langbert originally got into franchise ownership after looking to buy an existing business in the early 2000s.

“It was very much a seller’s market,” he said. “It is hard to get in when the seller knows everything, and I know nothing.”

In 2002, Langbert purchased his first franchise in the financing industry. Last year, Langbert expanded as he become a regional developer franchisee for a auto-care company that markets itself as eco-friendly and to female clients.

Langbert said he originally did not have an interest in automotive repair or maintenance.

“In a year, I have learned a ton about auto care,” he said. The thing he was most surprised to learn was that the industry can be fun.

Langbert said he made the decision on auto care because he was looking for an alternative to the food service industry that most people associate with franchises.

“I did not want to make a living $5 at a time,” he said.

Aide Perez, owner of the Girasoles restaurant in Denison, she has considered opening a franchise for about six months.
“It was just an idea — a dream,” she said.

Perez said she has worked with the restaurant for three years and her family has over two decades of experience in the restaurant industry.

In moving into a franchise, Perez said she was looking to move forward into something bigger. The seminar gave her ideas on where to begin the process of looking into the industry.

“Before, I had ideas, but now I actually know where to begin,” she said.

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