Franchise Fraternity

Franchisees will come to your business with a mix of backgrounds. Below, four franchiseesincluding one famous onetell why they decided to take the plunge
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Los Angeles24 Hour Fitness, Health Club"Magic Johnson Enterprises focuses on owning businesses that serve urban communities, and 24 Hour Fitness seemed like a natural fit. For example, the clubs have child care, and we get a lot of single mothers who need that. We were also able to tweak some things to better fit the urban customer. For example, you won't hear elevator music in any of our clubs. It has to be Motown or R&B."

Jimmie Thomas, Orange Park, Fla.Foot Solutions, Shoes and Orthotics"I'd broken my ankle about 30 years ago and became really interested in the biomechanics of feet. It was almost a hobby. So opening a Foot Solutions franchise, and helping people find shoes and orthotics that work for them, seemed like a really good fit."

Joe Tartaglia, New YorkPlay n Trade, Video Game Retailer"I was looking for a business that would benefit from the growth in gaming. I guess other people are thinking the same thing. Since I opened this store in Union Square in June 2008, at least a dozen people have come in to talk to me about the franchise."

Chris Gallagher, ChicagoCartridge World, Printer Cartridge Recycling"When my brother and I decided to buy a franchise together, we hired a franchise broker. [He] put us through a series of tests to pinpoint our strengths and core values. We started with 80 companies, spoke with 16 on the phone, and visited three before buying our first Cartridge World franchise in 2005. We now own three."

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