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5 Reasons to Buy a Franchise in 2012

4. Franchisors are helping with initial and ongoing expenses.

These days, with credit so tight, franchisors are making it more affordable and offering more support to own a franchise.

Pet waste removal company DoodyCalls is offering new franchise owners partial reimbursement of their advertising expenses -- $12,500 in their first year, so long as the money was spent according to the company's approved marketing and promotion plans.

"It's just really important to advertise your business to grow," says DoodyCalls founder and CEO Jacob D'Aniello. "We wanted to put money where our mouth was in how much we truly believe in this."

DoodyCalls has three primary lines of business. The company removes pet waste from residential yards, has a kitty litter swap service and works with communities and homeowner's associations to service pet waste bags and receptacles.

The company also recently launched an e-commerce component to sell pet waste equipment, products and services to commercial properties, a major growth market for DoodyCalls. It plans to expand DoodyCalls Direct with additional pet products for homes.

D'Aniello says while the company has been around for 10 years, it's only recently that pet owners are realizing that this type of service is available. That's why DoodyCalls emphasizes local marketing when a franchisee takes over a territory.

"Pet waste is bad for the environment, and increasingly with the green movement people are more aware they need to be picking up after their pet on a regular basis," D'Aniello says. "Communities are becoming increasingly aware that they need to keep their communities clean and neat, and they are willing to pay for the service."

DoodyCalls has 55 locations and is aiming to reach 250 over the next 10 years.

"For our business specifically, the greatest hindrance is still that people don't know that they can call somebody to do this service," he says. "There is a huge opportunity to win people who are not currently in the market."

5. Plenty of talent to hire

Given the state of unemployment, it's a great time to hire talent. Franchisees can pick up some well-qualified workers who may not have been available otherwise.

Some franchisors also feel it's their responsibility to provide jobs. "Being an entrepreneur means you are creating jobs and helping to rebuild the economy. Simply put: it's the American thing to do," D'Aniello says.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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