Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Work for the Best Boss in the World...You!

(ARA) - You've made a decision, 2008 is going to be the year that you strike out on your own. Good for you! There is no better way to get started than with a franchise, and today there are more opportunities out there than ever before. The challenge is in choosing the one that best fits your start-up budget, interests and marketplace. Online resources are making it easier than ever for entrepreneurs to find the franchise that's right for them.

"In pre-Internet days, finding and launching a franchise was labor-intensive and time-consuming," says Bill Bradley of, a Web site that provides information on hundreds of franchise opportunities. "Now it's as simple as going online, plugging in a few search parameters and requesting more detailed information on the opportunities that interest you."

"Successful franchise operators recognize that their role is more manager than actual operator," Bradley points out. That means you don't have to be an expert in child care to manage your franchised daycare enter. "Remember, you're working 'on' the business, not 'in' the business," he says.

Franchising is more popular today than ever before, with thousands of entrepreneurs opening new franchises every year. There are five franchise categories that are poised for very strong growth in 2008, Bradley says, They are:

1. Business Services - As the economy expands, companies that provide support services to other businesses are in high demand. These include staffing agencies, financial services, business signage, business consulting and business coaching services.

2. Child-Centric - From childcare centers and tutoring services to fitness facilities for kids, child-related services are booming. "In virtually every community in the country, you can find a child-related niche to fill with your franchise," Bradley says.

3. Food - The success of franchising in America really sprang from the food industry, but opportunities in this sector now far exceed a classic fast-food operation. From gourmet coffee to meal preparation kitchens, food and beverage franchises have developed to meet the changing tastes of consumers.

4. Spa - Med spas, health and wellness centers, day spas and massage services are a fast-growing segment in the franchise world. "These businesses are doing very well largely because they have made what was once considered an expensive luxury - spa services - accessible and affordable to a broader range of consumers," Bradley says.

5. Home Health Care - With demand for this type of service high and growing, it's not difficult to secure contracts or find business for a home health care service, Bradley says. Aging baby boomers will continue to drive demand for this type of service, and a new franchise can easily see its business grow to 100 caregivers and hundreds of clients in the first year of operation. As more entrepreneurs enter the field, however, franchise territories will become scarce, he predicts.

To find the franchise that's right for you, visit, where you can search by industry category or for franchises in an investment range that fits your budget. The site also offers features such as "A Day in the Life," in which successful franchise owners talk about their businesses; community message boards and even a question and answer section.

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