Perspective owners go for chains

Franchise trends see retirement funds tapped; semi-absent owners

— The demographics of people looking towards opening a franchise are also changing from the budding entrepreneurs to individuals looking towards a new career. Sometimes this change comes after being laid off and not being able to find a job, Dunne said.

“There was time when the majority of people who sat in our workshops were aspiring entrepreneurs … but the majority of the people we see now are in career transitions,” he said. “The job market is not what it used to be, and there are really a great many of people that don’t have the same opportunities that were available to them a few years ago.”

About one third of franchises require a $100,000 investment, Dunne said, either through a loan or personal capital. According to Dunne, there is a way to craft a “funding cocktail” through using retirement funds, Small Business Association loans and private funding.

Using retirement funds to open a franchise business without accruing any penalties can be done, Dunne said, but it is “quite technical” in nature. He said the company works with “firms that have a pretty good defense record.”

Dunne is moderating a franchise ownership forum the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Albany Chamber of Commerce. The forum is being hosted by the state Small Business Development Center.

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