Joel Goldstein

Joel Goldstein

By Joel Goldstein, group marketing director at MFV Expositions

Although times are tough for Americans across the country, many don’t realize that there are still viable business opportunities available. Think outside-the-box and consider all of your options. Franchised companies are responsible for 18 million jobs throughout the country. And the dip in the economy is actually working in the franchising world’s favor. From favorable lease terms to in-house financing, the discounts and deals available today are beyond compare.

Since California lost a higher number of jobs than the rest of the nation in the recession, the state is still lagging behind in recovery. Yet with franchises like Meineke Car Care Centers, Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting, Express Employment Professionals and Chick-fil-A targeting the West for expansion, this translates to countless career opportunities on a national level—even California. In previous economic downturns, franchising has rebounded faster than many other sectors. After the recession of 2001, franchise companies added 1.2 million jobs over a five-year period, and grew at an average of 9 percent a year, according to the International Franchise Association (IFA). And 2010 looks to be just as promising.

A new franchise opens every eight minutes per business day and each one generates 8-14 new jobs. For those who don’t have deep pockets, initial investment and royalty fees vary. Attending a franchise exposition allows you to view and compare a variety of franchise possibilities. Sponsored by the IFA and taking place November 5-7 at Los Angeles Convention Center, the West Coast Franchise Expo (WCFE) will feature hundreds of exhibitors. There will also be more than 30 information-packed seminars and workshops available—and most of the sessions are free. Stop by the KidzArt/Art Innovators (booth #720), an international children’s art education franchise company, at the WCFE to register to win a free franchise. Of the five winners, KidzArt will announce three at the expo on Nov. 7 at 1 p.m.

Not only are more franchise companies providing in-house financing for startup investment due to tightening lending practices, but SBA guaranteed loans are a good way to fund a franchise unit. The SBA also has a resource called the Franchise Registry , which is a preapproved listing of franchises—allowing for a more streamlined loan process for potential franchisees. Starting a business in a slow economy means less competition and more leeway to learn the ins and outs of the job. A slow and steady beginning is a great way to grow a strong rapport in your local community. And as the economy continues to pick up, you’ll be ready for the surge in business that comes your way.

It’s important to consider businesses that won’t consume all of your net worth. You want to evaluate your savings to make sure you have enough to get you through the first sixth months of start-up. Many people in today’s environment are using 401(k) or retirement funds to get their businesses off the ground, because there are fewer penalties and tax distribution costs. Franchising has an extremely high success rate but each business is different. If you’re patient, work hard and follow the proven system, success will ultimately follow. To register free for WCFE, compliments of the Examiner – click here, or visit and use Promo Code: GPEXA.


About Joel Goldstein

Joel Goldstein is the group marketing director at MFV Expositions, the producer of leading franchise events worldwide. The 2010 West Coast Franchise Expo will take place November 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. For more information on the WCFE, International Franchise Expo, IFA or other MFV Expositions shows, visit or