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WOULD-BE BOSS CAN CHECK FRANCHISE ON-LINE : ADDRESS BOOK.

Byline: Kitty Williams

For some people, the urge to be out on their own is overwhelming. They don't like being a cog in someone else's machinery. They want a little bit more control over what they do and why they do it. They want to be the boss.

Or sometimes the engineer of a particular company - a CEO, CFO or director of human resources - decides the company's machine would run better without so many moving parts. So a handful of once-willing cogs gets tossed onto the spare parts pile. You know: layoffs, downsizing, right-sizing - whichever euphemism you like best.

What to do next? One option is to explore entrepreneurial opportunities. Either look around for something that needs doing and set up a new business to do it, or buy a business and run with it.

Franchises are an obvious choice for people who want to be on their own without entirely giving up corporate support and structure. If you don't want to start from scratch and reinvent the wheel, there is plenty of information about franchises on the Internet.

Perhaps running a McDonald's fast-food joint has always been your dream. By all means read the Entrepreneur Magazine Online article about the franchise that tops their 18th annual Franchise 500 list.

If you have another company in mind, or you want to see what's available, you can search the Franchise 500 database by product or service, name or ranking. Choose search by ranking for a pull-down menu. When you select a particular franchise and click the button mysteriously labeled ``show by ranking'' you get contact information, start-up costs, fees and other financial information, number of franchises for the past several years, and other basic information.

No Website addresses are listed except in a very few cases - possibly when sponsorship fees are paid. Don't give up if you want to find more information on-line. Before trying a search engine, see if you can use the following URL, substituting a company name for the three asterisks: http://www.(3 ASTERISKS).com.

It worked for the top-three companies on the list and may well for many others. The top franchise company on Entrepreneur's list is found at http://www.mcdonalds.com; the second at http://www.subway.com; and the third at http://www.yogenfruz.com.

The trick didn't work for the fourth listed franchise, 7-Eleven Convenience Stores, so I did an Altavista search on the whole name in quotation marks, and I found information on the company at Franchise Update Online.

Franchise Update Online is another useful site for those exploring franchise opportunities. Its Executives' Guide to Franchise Opportunities Online has detailed company profiles on franchise systems in the United States, listed alphabetically and by category. It doesn't have as many listings as the Entrepreneur site, but it is worth a visit for more extensive information on the companies that are there.

Both Franchise Update and Entrepreneur have articles for the first-time franchise buyer. Franchise Update Online also has a paid directory of franchise attorneys, a National Franchise Resale Network, a library of articles about franchising, and the opportunity to order print publications.

If these two sites don't answer your questions, or if they whet your appetite for more, try a search on the word Franchise, using Altavista. I got more that 40,000 hits, including FranInfo with a couple of thought-provoking self tests to help you determine if you're suited to franchising, and if so what type. They also have forms you can fill in to get more information. Hmm.

Be The Boss: The Ultimate Franchising Website had an ad on the page with the Altavista Search results, so I clicked the button, and found another interesting-looking Website, with searches, profiles, directories and links to resources for the would-be franchise owners and operators.

Get started if this sort of thing excites you. You need to do a lot of research before you take your first actual step.

Entrepreneur Online

http://www.entrepreneurmag.com/

Entrepreneur Online on McDonald's

http://www.entrepreneurmag.com/page.hts?N=744&Ad=S

Entrepreneur Franchise 500

http://www.entrepreneurmag.com/resource/franchise.hts

McDonald's

http://www.mcdonalds.com

Subway

http://www.subway.com

Yogen Fruz

http://www.yogenfruz.com

7-Eleven Franchise information

http://www.franchise-update.com/7-11.htm

Franchise Update Online

http://www.franchise-update.com/index.htm

FranInfo

http://www.frannet.com/

Be The Boss

http://www.monster.com/btb/

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BOX: ADDRESS BOOK
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 3, 1997
Words:738
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