Business expo held at UNF

Organizers say franchising expo can benefit wide variety of people

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For anyone tired of working for other people and ready to take a business into their own hands, they can learn more at the University of North Florida on Tuesday.

A local franchise consulting group called Frannet is sponsoring a free business expo.

Organizers say a wide range of people will benefit from this expo. It's meant for people who are tired of working for someone else, people looking to start a business while keeping their current job or veterans looking for career options.

"We're kind of like the eHarmony of franchising is probably a good descriptor," Frannett Florida President Marshall Reddy said. "And we work with thousands of people all over the world every year."

On Tuesday, companies like Doctors Express and Supercuts are sending top executives to the business expo at UNF.

They're looking for people interested in opening up a franchise.

"It's an event that's really designed for people in Jacksonville or north Florida that are really dreaming of owning a business and are risk averse and thinking maybe the franchising model might fit them," Reddy said.

A lot of people dream of doing it, but Kevin Monahan, the special projects director for the small business development center at UNF, said very few ever actually make the move.

"Research it, analyze it, but then act," Monahan said. "And that's the issue. Some people don't act on it. Our economy is on the upswing. This is a great time to start a business. It's a great time to look into a franchise."

Monahan refers to himself as a social worker for the potentially rich, counseling entrepreneurs from idea inception all the way to ribbon cutting.

He said it's a good time to franchise and an even better time to come get information about it.

"There's the concept of buying a business that already exists. Starting a business for yourself or buying into a turn key franchise," Monahan said. "The advantage of that is everything has been worked out for you so it's a low risk way of entering in business."

Monahan points out most people think a franchise is only a large food chain, but it's many other concepts, too. There will be a buffet of them for people to explore Tuesday.

The expo is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Center at UNF. It's free and lunch is included.

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