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Starting a Small Business in Florissant: Opening a Franchise

"Florissant Patch" rounds up the facts on franchise ownership and shares advice from the city's director of economic development.

Have you ever thought of ? The city is home to nearly 4,000 businesses, according to data published the U.S. Census Bureau.

And according to the city’s website, Florissant has “a strong central focus to attract, retain and expand businesses that add vitality to the entire region,” and the city works to ensure a “healthy, profitable business climate that will attract new residents to the community,” as it continues to support existing neighborhoods and heritage.

Getting Started

The first step in building your business is to decide exactly what you want to do. Although this seems pretty obvious, many people know that they want to be entrepreneurs, but they don’t know exactly how they want to go about doing that.

The good news is that you’ve got plenty of options. This week, we’re discussing franchise opportunities. And in case you missed it, last week, we discussed , including advice from some current successful Florissant business owners.

Considering Buying a Franchise?

As a franchisee, your business plan will already be determined, for the most part, and companies that offer franchising opportunities have generally been very successful, so they’ve got proven business formulas.

“Before a franchisee opens their doors in any city, they’d have to have satisfied all the requirements of the franchisor,” said Bob Russell, the ’s Director of Economic Development.

One of the biggest benefits of buying a franchise or another existing business is name recognition, which can provide an instant customer base. For example, companies such as , , and even have franchise opportunities available.

Which franchise is right for you?

Not sure where to start when it comes to choosing a franchise? There are hundreds of franchise opportunities that might work for you. Consider some of the following ideas:

  • Cousins Subs, which has been in business since 1972, offers low investment and startup costs and a cash business with low recievables and little inventory. The company offers single and multi-unit development strategies (in case you want to open other locations in the area) and strong support systems for site selection, construction, training, marketing and opportunities, according to the Cousins Subs website. All you need to do to get started is to take a quick pre-qualification survey
  • If you want something that will make your heart smile as well as being profitable, the senior-care market might be for you. Consider franchising with companies such as Visiting Angels, which focuses on in-home healthcare for senior citizens, or Stay at Home, a company that does in-home non-medical care so that senior citizens can stay in their own homes instead of going to nursing facilities.
  • If you’re into luxury, you might want to franchise with companies such as CruiseOne, which is one of the nation’s largest travel retailers, or Apricot Lane Boutique, which bills itself as “a truly unique fashion retails store.”
  • If you’re more of a hands-on kind of person, you might want to try franchising with companies like FixRim, which does mobile wheel repair, or Fleet Services International, which would give you your own low-overhead, exclusive fleet services dealership and is associated with stock car racer Richard Petty.
  • If you want to bring a whole new element to town, consider franchising with companies such as Gourmet Streets, which is a gourmet food truck franchise, or Fresh! Healthy Vending, another food truck franchise that focuses on healthy foods—a relatively underserved market in the Florissant area.

These are just a few of the hundreds of franchise opportunities that exist. Check out Franchise.com’s Franchise and Business Opportunity Directory for more ideas.

How can the City of Florissant help?

 “Franchises go through the same process with the city as any business because we don’t distinguish between franchise and private businesses,” Russell said. “After you’ve been chosen as a franchisee, you identify the area to start looking for sites.”

He said that sometimes, the franchisor will already have a specific site in mind, and that they might be seeking a franchise owner who is willing to open a store there.

Russell said that the city’s economic development department is one of the last steps on the journey to opening your franchise, but that both his department and the city’s finance department can be helpful to would-be franchisees.

“If you walk into the city and you have a franchise in your hand but didn’t have a site, I’d help you find one,” Russell said. “If you already have a site, you’d bypass me and go to the finance department to find out if it’s properly zoned, and then we would guide you through the process that leads to getting the license.”

In upcoming editions, we’ll dive into the process of finding a location, getting licenses and permits and more. Stay tuned!

Have you always dreamed of starting your own business? Subscribe to our daily newsletter so you won’t miss a single part of this ongoing series! Next week, we'll discuss ideas for coming up with an original business concept.

Do you own your own business in Florissant? We want to share your story with the community! Contact Patch reporter Angela Atkinson at angela.atkinson@patch.com to arrange for an interview.

Franchise Ethics March 21, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Before you buy a franchise, make sure you check out all available information on their ethics and business practices, i.e. due diligence. Whilst most are good and some are excellent, there are a few to be avoided. For free franchise advice based on experience visit http://www.cdicorp.info
Angela Atkinson March 21, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Thanks for sharing your tips!

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