Monday, August 26, 2013

Lao Americans and Franchising?

Back in November, 2012 Black Enterprise presented a list of 25 best bets for African Americans interested in owning their own business through the franchise model. The costs for picking up a franchise ranged from $495 to $200,000 to get started, with most falling under $100,000.

In alphabetical order, the candidates selected were:
  1. Abrakadoodle 
  2. Always Best Care Senior Services 
  3. Anago Cleaning Systems 
  4. Anytime Fitness 
  5. Auntie Anne's Pretzels 
  6. BightStar Care 
  7. Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System 
  8. CruiseOne 
  9. Cruise Planners-American Express 
  10. Doc Popcorn 
  11. FastSigns 
  12. Heaven's Best Carpet Cleaning
  13.  i9 Sports 
  14. JAN-PRO Cleaning Systems
  15.  Kiddie Academy 
  16. Little Ceasars 
  17. Mosquito Squad 
  18. Padgett Business Services 
  19. Pop-A-Lock 
  20. PostNet 
  21. Proforma 
  22. Right at Home Senior Care 
  23. ServiceMaster 
  24. Tutor Doctor 
  25. We Simplify the Internet 
The criteria for the assessment included "minority participation, veteran incentives, franchisee satstfaction, growth industries, low-to-medium cost of entry, and store success rates," with data pulled from Back Enterprise, International Franchise Association, Franchise Business Review and the National Minority Franchising Initiative.

At the moment there's no data within the Lao community to see if any of our community members have taken any steps to own any of these or other franchises. But as we rebuild in the United States, it would be interesting to assess and evaluate which franchises our community members HAVE been drawn to. Which of the Black Enterprise franchise recommendations are also a good fit for Lao Americans?

While there are many Lao Americans with the drive to establish their own businesses, the franchise model may also be a valid route for many. But what are some of the key infrastructure elements we need in place to make these a success for our community, and how do we create risk-resilience to encourage more Lao to take a chance on opportunities like this?

 There are many substantive benefits to Lao-owned businesses, from having more institutions that can absorb Lao employees to increasing the philanthropic capacity of the community and reducing strain on government services. But what do you see as the historic and contemporary barriers, and what might be effective ways to resolve these challenges?

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