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Your New Job: Finding your franchise fit

Many are turning to franchises for their next jobs. Experts say the move can be risky and has a high initial investment, but the returns can be big.
Credit: Getty

OHIO, USA — Outsourcing: it's a word that strikes fear in any employee. 

More than 200,000 jobs have been shipped overseas since 2017, and Bryan Chaye's job was one of those. 

"February of 2018, a job that I'd been with for 18 years had decided to outsource my entire department," he said." I was involved with training my replacements over in Kosovo until October of 2018."

Chaye said his job search became the stuff of nightmares: 300 résumés, 30 in-person interviews — no results.

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"It was tough," Chaye said. "From the time I was in fifth grade, I always had at least one job. There were many times in my life where I had two. I supported and raised my family, and for a year and a half, I couldn't do that. And that was really tough on me and my family as a whole."

He'd been networking with every source possible. Then he connected with Therese McGroarty, a franchise business consultant with FranNet, a company that links Ohioans with franchises.

"I'm a matchmaker," McGroarty says. "I help people explore franchise business ownership, try to help them find out what are their values, their motives, their goals, their lifestyle, and find a franchise that fits that."

Bur franchises aren't for everyone, and it could seem like gambling all you have on black. Chaye tapped into his 401(k) to pay the initial license fee, which at FranNet starts at $40,000, with about 20 percent down.

Others take home equity loans, and experts say figure in a year's worth of living expenses while your business grows.

But the rewards can be big.

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"It's going to be pretty difficult to get out and maybe make that 200 that you were making before," McGroarty said, "but you could easily do that in many franchises."

She also adds that FranNet doesn't just take your cash and send you on your way. There's an extensive vetting process to find the best fit for you. McGroarty says they also give you opportunities to meet with other franchise owners, to ask them lots of questions. McGroarty says she's very much like a coach.

Chaye chose Assisting Hands, a company that provides in-home health care. He wanted something that played on his 24-year military service. And it didn't hurt that his wife is a nurse.

He's only four months in. The company's not yet turning a profit, but Chaye said he's not concerned. He did his homework. His only regret is not doing this sooner.

"I wasted 18 months that I could have been growing my own business," he said. "I don't want to say wasted, but it's a lot more rewarding than anything I've ever done."

No matter what your path, job seekers and experts both stress the need to utilize all the free resources and networking groups available. Because that's how most people find jobs.

Local Job Resources:

Local Networking Groups:

Information on franchises: