Did you know that tech giant Amazon started in a garage?
Jeff Bezos graduated from Princeton University in 1986 with degrees in computer science and electrical engineering. He was soon sought out by Wall Street and joined a new hedge fund D.E. Shaw in 1990, where he became their youngest senior vice president in 1994 at age 30.
Then in 1994 Bezos, still at age 30, decided to leave the Wall Street dream, get into his car with his girlfriend, and drive across the country to Seattle. He saw another dream. The Internet had started to become big, and Bezos recognized the opportunity to sell products via it. He recognized this new opportunity and he jumped at it.
Bezos chose Seattle for its tech talent. There, he rented a house in nearby Bellevue, Washington and started a tiny company in his garage that would be the first company to ever online sell books… its name was Amazon.
Today, Amazon is a household name and, as of September 30, 2019, has a market cap of more than $858 billion, making it the third-largest company in the world at that time.
That’s the dream of every entrepreneur! But what was the key to that? What did Bezos do that was so special?
Simply put, it was the goal of every entrepreneur: ideas, implementation and expansion!
People often ask how to grow their business. Here’s a quick look at some of the trends being used to do so!
Step 1: How Do You Start the Expansion of Your New Entrepreneurial Dream, Your Own Business?
To head the route of the next Amazon, it’s important to understand how to grow your business in its current location and expand locally!
To do this, first perfect your product or service, advertise in your local market to build brand awareness, keep your current customers happy, set up a website, market your company online through social media and SEO and partner with other local businesses and community organizations.
Consider these the building blocks for success before your business starts to eye multiple locations!
Step 2: How to Grow Your Business from One Location to Numerous Locations
Okay, so you’ve been able to expand locally and grow in your local market. That’s great news! But how should you expand your business into multiple locations and other markets?
If you want to open multiple locations, you’re faced with the decision to expand on your own or become a franchise business. Several factors often considered are: how much control you want to give up over your brand and business operations, how quickly you want to scale, what your expansion budget is, what your procedure to hire and train staff is, what your expansion timeline looks like.
Rather then stake it out on their own, in many cases entrepreneurs opt to go the franchise route.
Often entrepreneurs will decide to franchise rather start from scratch. Buying a franchise can be a very viable alternative to starting a business from scratch, particularly if it is an industry the entrepreneur is less experienced in.
Franchises offer the independence of small business ownership with the benefits of a more robust business network. In addition, you don’t necessarily need business experience to run a franchise. Franchisors provide the necessary to generate their food and products and operate their business model.
You may also find it easier to secure finance for a franchise, and it may cost less to buy a franchise rather than to start a business from scratch of the same type. Plus, franchises often have an established reputation and image, proven management and work practices, access to national advertising and ongoing corporate support.
Listed below are six popular franchises that entrepreneurs have sought:
Founded in 1959, Midas is an automotive service chain headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and has more than 2,300 locations as of May 2011.
Startup Costs: $181,650 and $459,587
A recognizable hardware retailer, Ace Hardware was founded in Chicago in 1924 and today is the world’s largest hardware retail cooperative.
Initial Franchise Fee: $5,000
Startup Costs: $272,000 – $1,600,000
Founded in 2004, Retro Fitness has roughly 150 locations across the U.S. as of 2019.
Initial Franchise Fee: $69,000
Startup Costs: $944,000 – $1,592,250
Firehouse Subs was founded in 1995 and features firehouse-themed restaurants nationwide.
Initial Franchise Fee: $20,000
Startup Costs: $160,583 to $843,390
GNC Live Well, established in 1936, grew from its humble roots in Pittsburgh to about 4,000 locations.
Startup Costs: $149,722 – $388,630
Planet Smoothie, founded back in 1995, serves smoothies, juices and other healthy items nationwide.
Initial Franchise Fee: $25,000
Startup Costs: $122,150 – $327,550
So, bottom line: what leads to growth? Take the chance, factor in the risk and follow the Jeff Bezos route!
By Steve Longo and Jim Notaris