March 31, 2009 // Franchising.com // Eden Prairie, Minnesota - Whether you're chatting with friends at a party or just exchanging pleasantries with an acquaintance at the local garden store, there's one painful subject that keeps coming up: unemployment. Every time we utter: "How ya doin'?" we brace to see if an awkward conversation follows. Are they unemployed? Is their spouse facing a layoff? While no one wants to admit to the shame of unemployment, the awareness that networking is all-important forces people into these awkward conversations.
If we're fortunate enough to be employed, the first thing we want to do is offer hope and help. But with the unemployment rate over 8%, neither is in ready supply. That's why FranChoice, the nation's leading provider of free franchise buying advice, has launched a campaign to provide an additional resource to those seeking to replace an executive-level job.
"When unemployment rates rise, we typically see an up tick in the number of people interested in franchise ownership," said FranChoice CEO Jeff Elgin. "In this area we can offer help because we are specialists in matching people interested in business ownership to strong franchise opportunities. At any given time, we work with 50 to 100 of the best franchise opportunities we can find. These are only added to our inventory after we carefully prescreen the opportunity by reading the FDD (Federal Disclosure Document), talking to the franchise development staff and making a number of calls to existing franchisees to determine if they are both happy and successful in the business.
"If a business passes our rigorous screening process, we train our consultants about the business so they can do the best job possible in matching that business to the franchisee candidates that are the closest match to those franchisees that are successful," added Elgin.
Although FranChoice has been matching people to franchise opportunities since 2000 and has helped over 5,000 people to become franchise owners, the company may not be on everyone's radar. "The typical automotive industry executive who has lost a job may be thinking it's time he owned his own business," said Elgin. "But the distance from point A (wanting to own a business) to point B (finding the right business) can be a long and confusing journey. That's where we come in and that's why we've launched 'The Most Awkward Conversation in America' campaign to let people know about our free service."
To start the campaign, FranChoice is reaching out to those people who are most familiar with the service - those people who have already purchased franchise businesses through FranChoice. The initial mailing will provide a letter from Elgin and several brochures about FranChoice. These are intended as an option that can be offered to displaced business executives who would appreciate an additional resource in their search for a job.
"Our consultants will work with someone from initially deciding if franchising is right for them all the way through to the actual signing of the contract," said Elgin. "Our service can save someone an enormous amount of time and effort."
FranChoice will expand the campaign to larger audiences over the next several months. "Our goal," said Elgin, "is that now when someone mentions being unemployed, there will be a more positive response, such as, 'You have wonderful skills and a high level of business acumen. Have you ever considered business ownership?'"
With a brochure in hand, the unemployed person can read about franchise ownership and then learn about the services offered by FranChoice. If interested, they can go online to register for a free consultation.
"Although the economy is down," concluded Elgin, "there continues to be growth in the franchising industry. Sometimes it takes a major push for someone to look into business ownership but if they are interested, FranChoice is here to help."
FranChoice is a national network of consultants dedicated to helping consumers find their ideal match in a franchise business. Since 2000, FranChoice consultants have helped over 40,000 people identify and investigate the perfect franchise for them through their free service.