WASHINGTON—The recession has made it tough for business owners to obtain new credit as banks and lending institutions continue to tightly hold the purse strings. But what about the budding entrepreneur? Put simply, it has been near impossible to get any type of financing.
This not only causes the go-getter to forego his dream of succeeding on his own, it makes it hard for an existing business, specifically a franchise, from recruiting new members.
James Bugg, chairman/owner of Decorating Den Interiors (DDI), the country’s largest shop-at-home interior decorating franchise, realized if the company was to ever achieve its goals of 10,000 franchises in the U.S. and Canada over the next 10 years it would have to take the bull by the horns. As such, DDI created a financing program to allow qualified people to purchase their own DDI franchise at a fraction of the cost.
“Today’s banking community is not stepping forward and lending candidates the money needed to start their new ventures,” he explained. “Even in our proven system, which is a shame.”
Mick Riddiough, DDI’s senior vice president of worldwide development, said since the company’s founding in 1969 it has had a “proven business system [plus] we believe in our system of qualifying candidates. [So], we decided to take charge and will be lending candidates up to 76% of the initial licensing fee required to buy our franchise. Now, a qualified person can own a full-service interior decorating franchise for as little as $7,400 down.”
The financing plan is just one part of “significant” changes DDI is making to accelerate its growth. Riddiough said this includes new marketing strategies as well as new print and social media-driven advertising campaigns. The investment to do this, he explained, is the result of 2010 sales topping those of 2009.
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