HOLDREGE – It’s time to stop dreaming about owning a business and take the next step to learn more at an upcoming meeting sponsored by the Phelps County Development Corporation.
PCDC will host a retail and franchise workshop at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Sun Theater in Holdrege. It is free and open to the public and will include information on franchise opportunities in Phelps County and how to start owning one.
Speakers will be Kam South of Retail Strategies, a company PCDC hired to help identify and recruit retailers and restaurants; and Blake Martin of FranNet, a company that specializes in connecting potential business owners with franchises.
“FranNet and Retail Strategies have identified several franchise opportunities that fit Holdrege, and this program is designed to introduce people to the concept and help them better understand the benefits and how to connect to a franchise operation,” said the director. PCDC Executive, Ron Tillery.
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South, portfolio director for Retail Strategies, encourages local investors, real estate professionals and community leaders to attend.
“I’ll talk about a wide range of franchise-based retailers and those that might make sense in the market,” South said. “It’s also a learning opportunity for the whole community. I think everyone should be able to look out the window of the retail world and see the impact it has on the community. »
South said since the pandemic, retailers have changed their market strategies almost quarterly, and many are looking for a diverse portfolio of locations.
Martin of Omaha is the President and Franchise Specialist at FranNet of The Heartland. He has two decades of experience in franchising and small business ownership. Martin has built franchise systems from the ground up, helped hundreds of people become small business owners, and currently owns a local small business franchise.
He owns FranNet of The Heartland, a franchise brokerage and consulting firm that provides free coaching and advice to entrepreneurs interested in new or additional small business ownership opportunities. He said it was similar to Match.com but for local entrepreneurs.
His free podcast, Heartland Franchise Guy, is available on all major podcast platforms.
Martin said entrepreneurs looking to start their first or next business are encouraged to attend the Phelps County workshop. Others who should attend are:
— Corporate refugees who are fed up with threats of downsizing and veterans who are retiring and want to give orders rather than take orders.
— Anyone looking for a legitimate side business to create additional revenue streams.
— Those who don’t want to go through the expense and time of reinventing the wheel when starting a business.
— Anyone who wants to be in business for themselves but not by themselves.
— Anyone considering expanding their existing business and wondering if franchising might be the right model for expansion.
Martin said that despite what many people think, a franchise is a locally owned and operated small business.
“I’ve personally helped over 500 people start their own franchise business, and each of them owns 100% of their business,” he said. “They hire locally, they incorporate locally, they volunteer locally, and they can sell their business whenever they want.”
The advantages of a franchise over starting a business from scratch include name recognition, proven business systems, lower failure rate, lower costs, expanded financing options and disclosure mandatory research data, including actual costs and the ability to have candid discussions with existing franchise owners within the brand before buying.
People interested in owning a franchise do not need to be wealthy.
“If you have access to a nominal amount of liquid capital and good credit, you can qualify for more than 100 top-performing franchise opportunities,” he said.
Martin said the Holdrege workshop is not a business presentation on franchising.
“It’s an opportunity to learn about the industry and compare and contrast it with other forms of small business entry,” he said. “You will walk away with a better idea of how to make an informed decision on franchise opportunities and a framework for effectively researching franchise opportunities.”
Retail Strategies has identified several retail and restaurant franchises that are looking for owners in Holdrege.
“The workshop will look at anyone that the research finds a good fit, as well as companies that have specifically said they want to be in our market,” Tillery said.
PCDC offers a Business and Franchise Development Program that removes some of the barriers to starting a new business and helps entrepreneurs and franchisees through the initial stages.
The program provides the following:
— Up to $10,000 for facility construction, renovation or initial rent.
— Up to $1,000 for construction or landfill costs.
— Up to $1,000 for initial inventory.
— Up to $1,000 per year for employee recruitment, training, workshops or seminars for three years.
— Free site search and selection services.
— Low-interest spread financing not exceeding 50% of the total amount due.
For more information on the upcoming workshop or PCDC grants, contact Tillery at 308-995-4148 or [email protected].