Franchise Players is Entrepreneur's Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
He already co-owned a telemarketing company and worked in commercial real estate, as well. But David DuCoin wanted another independent business -- with support -- and, what's more, he wanted pretzels. "I love the product! Philly Pretzel Factory really has an amazing product," DuCoin says, explaining his recent foray, just two months ago, into the pretzel franchise business, in New Jersey. Pretzels, pretzel dips, specialty items, party trays: Who can blame him?
Name: David DuCoin
Franchise owned: Philly Pretzel Factory, at the Lumberton, New Jersey, Walmart
How long have you owned a franchise?
I’m pretty new to the franchising world. I’ve been an owner for two months.
Franchising is a smart way to open up a business, because there is a proven formula. The beauty with franchising is that someone else has already figured it out. Someone else has made the mistakes, and they give you a path to follow. It’s great to have the support and guidance from a full corporate staff and the rest of the franchisees.
What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?
I own a teleservices company and am involved in commercial real estate. It’s been an interesting ride owning an independent business, and I’m excited that I now get support while being a part of something bigger, a system filled with expertise and experience.
Why did you choose this particular franchise?
I love the product! Philly Pretzel Factory really has an amazing product. Everyone loves it, and when you show up to a gathering with a party tray, you’re the favorite person at the event. The fan-following is huge in this area, and everyone truly loves the pretzels. Due to my passion for the product, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?
The opening ballpark figure has been roughly about $90,000, plus fees, or about $115,000..
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
I really performed the majority of my due diligence online. There is so much information that is handy, if you just dig a little. Philly Pretzel Factory has a franchise website that has all the pertinent information, a great consumer website, a lot of visible social media efforts and news articles all over the web.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
Luckily, so far, I haven’t seen many. When going into business, you never know what to expect and what will happen; however, I obviously have been in business for myself before, so I have some perspective about running a business. Now, I am in business for myself, but not "by myself," which feels great.
What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?
Do your homework and find something that you would enjoy doing.
What’s next for you and your business?
To open more stores!