About Me

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Fishers, Indiana, United States
Brenda gained career expertise as a human resources leader at a global company before becoming an HR consultant. Her functional experience includes a variety of sales roles in the health care industry achieving success for over 30 years. She is currently in Consulting & Analytics Business Development for a health care firm. Her passion is participating in, writing about and observing the evolving workforce. For the first time in history four generations work together. It keeps things interesting. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) are redefining retirement and what it means to age in the workforce. It is not just about money. Okay it plays a role! At 76.4 million members strong, Boomers are leveraging technology to continue their careers and the personal fulfillment working brings. Managing a late-stage career requires a strategy. There is no roadmap or one size fits all answer. This blog is about sharing, networking & finding your own right answer to working later, managing your career, redefining retirement, looking for work in your 50s & 60s and reinventing yourself.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Buying A Franchise: Is it Right For You?

This post is the first in an occasional series, “What Are U Doing After Work?” that explores options for reinventing yourself and beginning second and third careers when your “legacy career” ends.

I was just reading about all of the professional athletes moving into franchising. Former NBA player, Jamal Mashburn along with a group of investors that includes Rick Pitino, his former UK coach, operates 37 Papa John’s, 34 Outback Steakhouses, 3 Dunkin’ Donuts and the largest Toyota dealership in Kentucky. Venus Williams and her business partners are opening five Jamba Juice stores in the D.C. area. NFL star, Reggie Bush and a group of athletes have franchised Panera Bread stores throughout Coastal California.

If it is right for all of the sport stars, could franchising be the answer for the former stars of corporate America? I decided to interview an expert. Jim Gleason, General Manager, FranNet of Mid-America, a franchise business consulting company. Jim shares his perspective on franchising.

Even though the economy remains uncertain, Jim says over the last several years interest in franchising has increased. In his role, Jim’s company acts as a matchmaker between the potential franchisee and the over 100 franchises his company represents. “We have a one-to-two hour interview with the person and try to understand their goals,” says Gleason. FranNet offers an assessment that includes the person’s psychological aspects, how much money they have to invest and their skills sets to help find the franchise each person will have the best chance of success in operating. The process is free to the potential franchisee because FranNet is paid by the franchisor that is happy to have a high quality candidate with a higher potential of success.

Jim says a common misconception people have is that “franchising is either food or retail.”  There are many types of franchises including lodging, home services, Business-to-Business, Children’s Related, “Green” Energy Related, Senior/Home Care and Health and Fitness among others. According to Entrepreneur Magazine there are over 3,000 franchise opportunities in the U.S. and Canada. Gleason says, “People can make a good income in a franchise that is outside of food or retail.”

A second misconception Gleason cautions prospective franchisees about is the hard work that comes with operating a franchise. He says, “You still have to realize this is a start-up business and just because there is a system in place, it is not plug and play.” He advises potential franchise business owners that there are long hours and ‘sweat equity’ that have to be invested to be successful.

What are some of the knowledge, skills and attributes of successful franchise owner/operators?  Gleason says, “You have to be willing to follow someone else’s system and you have to be self-motivated.” Other than that, Gleason advises that leadership skills, customer service skills and having the legal, moral and ethical mindset of becoming a business owner are important.

After you leave your corporate job will you become the next Junior Bridgewater? After his twelve-year career with the Milwaukee Bucks he now has annual revenues of more the $500 million owning 162 Wendy’s units and 121 Chili’s restaurants. Even if your goals are more modest—remember these three tips, (1) always read (and understand) the company’s legal documents; (2) consult with an attorney and an accountant; (3) talk with current and former franchisees. I also recommend reading, Become a Franchise Owner by Joel Libava (aka The Franchise King) 2012.

Jim Gleason also recommends this link:


  1. Brenda,

    Thank you so much for mentioning my new book, "Become A Franchise Owner!'

    I'd be happy to make one available for one of your readers, if you'd like to have a little contest :)

    The Franchise King®

  2. Thank you for the great offer! If you sign the book, it would mean that much more. Consider the contest "on"!
    Okay, readers---
    Between now and July 13,2012---readers are invited to share their comments, interests and questions about franchising. One comment will be chosen and that person will be able to receive a copy of the book.I'll be sharing thiscontest via Twitter--@workingover40 & via Facebook as well.

  3. Very good insight. I've also shared with a good friend who is involved in a similar franchise matchmaking business.

  4. Great food for thought and very timely information for me! I am looking forward to reading the book. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Buying a franchise is a great option to start a new business at less risk if it is done in a proper manner. One should have enough knowledge about franchise business and managing and organizational skills for running a successful franchise business. Thanks for sharing such amazing information.

  6. More and more people are getting involved in franchising today with the hopes of pursuing their dream of business ownership. The public has been so accepting of franchising that financial experts actually say it would be a significant trend in the future. However, the question, “Is it Right For You?” should never go neglected, even with your strong desire for a business. Consider things like affordability, your sense of responsibility, and enjoyment.

    Lonnie Lisa

  7. Jamal is living proof of why having your own franchise is the start of something better for you, career-wise. It's an advantage for athletes to realize the importance of saving for the future because one serious injury can end their careers. It's just great to say that, "Jamal was already thinking about his exit when he entered the league." :)

    1. Purchasing a franchise can be an excellent way to get into business for yourself. Choosing the right franchise brand is very essential for earning more profit.
      buying a franchise

  8. “…you have to be self-motivated.” – Very useful advice. Being personally motivated will definitely help everyone in the business become much more dedicated and enthusiastic to achieve success. Without this, then there’s this sad possibility of being stagnant in the industry.

    Clint Shaff

  9. Hello!
    This article is very informative. If someone is looking for investing in an education franchise.