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 WASHINGTON, March 31 /PRNewswsire/ -- John P. Hayes, Ph.D.,

author of "Franchising: The Inside Story," issued the following:
 Less than 10 percent of all small businesses in the U.S. are franchises, but these establishments account for more than one-third of all retail sales in the U.S. -- more than $757 billion. While the rest of the economy has been shrinking, franchises have been expanding at a phenomenal rate. In fact, by the end of this decade franchises will account for half of all retail sales. Last year -- in the middle of the recession -- franchise companies created more than 18,000 new businesses and added more than 100,000 new jobs to the economy.
 Franchise chains such as A&W Restaurants, Tastee Freez, McDonald's, Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, and Kentucky Fried Chicken got their early star in the 1950s, but were quickly joined by many different types of businesses, such as hotels and motels, automotive repair shops and tax preparation services. These franchisors, such as Holiday Inns, Midas Mufflers and H&R Block, expanded the concept of franchising to include not only the rights to operate under a well-known trademark, but to provide their franchisees with a complete system of doing business. Today, franchisees receive a wide range of training programs and marketing support to help insure their success, and in turn, the success of the entire franchise chain.
 While franchising may be transparent to millions of consumers, nonetheless these finely tuned businesses provide a vast array of high-quality products and services. ... Homes are bought and sold through franchised real estate firms. These same homes are cleaned, painted and carpeted through franchises. Cars can be purchased, tuned and washed through franchises. Americans have their hair cut, clothes cleaned, pets cared for -- and dine out on the average of 2.5 times per week in a franchise restaurant. We can travel from one end of the globe to another through franchised travel agencies, staying in franchised hotels and motels, and shopping in malls filled with franchised retail stores.
 In the middle of the recession, the Gallup organization surveyed franchise owners across the U.S. and an astounding 94 percent reported that their businesses were successful. Nearly half (47 percent) of those surveyed reported that their businesses were "very successful."
 What is the secret formula of franchising? There really isn't one, but some of the ingredients of this success are a good business concept, a systematic method of operation, quality standards enforced throughout the franchise chain, highly motivated and adequately capitalized franchisees, a well-recognized trademark, and lots of marketing support and training provided by the franchisor.
 How does one find such successful business? The International Franchise Association sponsors "World of Franchising" expos in major cities throughout the U.S. On April 10-12, the IFA will host the first-ever "International Franchise Expo," bringing together nearly 400 franchise companies under one roof at the Washington, D.C., Convention Center. The expo is expected to draw 50,000 visitors from across the U.S. and from many foreign countries. This event will culminate a week-long series of activities during National Franchising Week April 5-12.
 What are the steps to take before investing in any franchise? No. 1 -- Prepare a business plan for yourself. No. 2 -- Investigate a number of different franchises and get all the information available to you from the franchisor. Franchisors are required by law to provide prospective investors with a disclosure document providing a great deal of information about the franchise offering before any agreement or contract can be signed. No. 3 -- Review this information with an attorney. Obtain the services of an attorney specializing in franchise law and regulations. No. 4 -- Contact the franchisees. You will get a list of all franchisees in the disclosure information from the franchisor. Determine if these franchisees are successful and satisfied with the support they are getting from the franchisor. No. 5 -- Discuss your decision with family members. Most franchises require long hours and hard work and will need the commitment and support of all family members.
 Owning and operating a franchise is not for everyone. But for many Americans it has provided the road to economic independence and the way to be in business for yourself but not by yourself.
 NOTE: For information about the International Franchise Expo, call 800-393-1333.
 -0- 3/31/92
 /NOTE: Permission granted to use with or without author byline./
 /CONTACT: John Reynolds of the International Franchise Association, 202-628-8000/ CO: International Franchise Association ST: IN: SU:

TW-DC -- DCFNS3 -- 3193 03/31/92 07:31 EST
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Date:Mar 31, 1992

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