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Resource Center > Article
Where Did Franchising Come From Anyway?
9 Dec 09 Posted by: Kevin James Culp
in General Information
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The word “franchise” is of French origin and I bet you didn’t know dates back to the 14th century. Pronounced: \ˈfran-ˌchīz\ and usually functions as a noun but can also function as a transitive verb. The Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from franchir to free, from franc free. The word “franchise” initially had meanings similar to "freedom" or "free." The term “franchise” was originally associated with the granting of a privilege by an individual or group or even a government.

After World War II, franchising became popular in the United States. Did you know that the Singer Sewing Machine Co. was the first business in the United States to use a franchising business model? In that same time period, a number of gasoline companies adopted the method of franchising as a way to expand and in turn, found that it was a very effective way of doing business.

Today, according to the International Franchise Association (IFA), almost 4% of all small businesses in the U.S. are franchises. It’s an astounding fact that a new franchise business opens every eight minutes of every business day! There are an estimated 1,500 different franchisors and are believed to be more than 750,000 franchise businesses in the U.S. As a whole, the franchising industry and related businesses employs over 18 million people in the U.S. and as of 2004, it is estimated that franchise businesses were responsible for over 1.5 trillion of our economic output! The franchise industry accounts for approximately 40% of all retail sales in the U.S. The average investment less real estate to buy into a franchise is $30,000 to $250,000. Mobile and home-based business franchises make up the most affordable buy-in category.

In my next blog, I will provide a list of great franchises where you can seek out information including which traps to avoid assisting you in your path to financial franchise freedom.

Carpe Diem My Friends!

References:
Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia
Small Business Administration (SBA)
International Franchise Association (IFA)

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