Conference to offer tips on franchising

By: Gloria Young,
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Auburn Foothills Franchise Conference
When: 7:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, May 3
Where: Holiday Inn, Auburn
Cost: $25 general admission and $10 for students before April 26, $35 after April 26
Registration and more information: info@auburn or (530)  885-5616 ext. 223

Residents considering starting a business will have an opportunity to look at the world of franchising during a conference May 3 in Auburn.
Placer County Office of Economic Development, the city of Auburn and the Auburn Chamber of Commerce are part of the planning team for the Auburn Foothills Franchise Conference, which mirrors the one held last year in Lincoln.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity the conference is going to bring to this community and this region,” chamber CEO Bruce Cosgrove said. “What I’m intrigued with most is the fact that these franchisors who are coming have already determined that the demographics and market exist in the community (for their types of businesses).”
The gathering will be a one-stop resource about the world of franchising.
 “… (Attendees) will be talking to franchisors who have completed the market research and have, themselves, invested in this thing,” Cosgrove said. “… They are underwriting this program — paying the expenses of putting it together. … These are the types of businesses that a small entrepreneur can go into if they have a desire to run their own company. … The company will train you for the (the business) and give you all the tools you need to be successful. It doesn’t serve them to put someone into business in one of their franchises who would fail. They want success, too.”
Conference coordinator Cari Vinci, president of FranNet West, said she has lined up nine franchisors so far, representing a variety of fields. Two of them — Hoodz and Meineke/Econolube — are repeats from last year.  Hoodz cleans hoods in restaurants and other commercial sites. Meineke services vehicles.
Other franchisors attending are Menchie’s frozen yogurt, TeamLogic IT, Money Mailer, Floor Coverings International, Araya Clean and CertaPro Painters.
Bringing a franchise conference to Auburn just made good sense, said Vinci, who is working closely with Cosgrove, Placer County Economic Development Director Dave Snyder and Wil Wong, City of Auburn community development director. Other team members are Karin Koons, director of sales and catering at the Auburn Holiday Inn and MJ Heltsley, Gold Country Media advertising manager.
“Auburn was a natural place to go because it is still in South Placer but a little bit of a different market than Lincoln, Roseville and Rocklin,” she said.
Last year’s franchise conference drew approximately 100 participants and Vinci is expecting the same number this year.
The morning’s program begins with a continental breakfast. After a welcome talk, motivational speaker Carleen MacKay will take the stage to discuss succeeding in the changing workplace of the 21st century. Then Vinci will talk about finding a franchise to replace or create a six-figure income.  Steve Stovall of Benetrends’ “Show me the money” presentation will describe financing options including using retirement funds.
During the subsequent panel discussion, franchisors will talk about their businesses.
“I got great feedback on that last year,” Vinci said. “I have all of the franchisors on the stage at the same time and I’ll ask them three questions — first, to describe their business and what kind of person they’re looking for to be a franchisee. The next question is to describe a day in the life of (the business). It gives audience members a chance to hear what they’d be doing on a daily or weekly basis. The last question is to discuss the financial side of what it costs to invest and the financial options internally.”
Vinci said that a lot of questions she gets are on the cost of starting a franchise.
“Franchises that will be (discussed) at this conference are all under $200,000 and some are under $100,000,” she said. “Even though that sounds like a lot of money, our clients only need one-third of that as long as they have good credit and assets. We can help them figure out how to finance the balance.”
After the presentations, attendees will have an hour of networking with the franchisors, sponsors and exhibitors.
A goal of the conference is to give attendees what they need to know to make an informed decision on franchising.
“I think you will come away with enough information about these franchises to then be able to judge other franchises and what they cost and be better prepared when you decide to purchase any franchise,” Cosgrove said.
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