FREE PCDC Workshop Offers Information on Franchise Ownership

FREE PCDC Workshop Offers  Information on Franchise Ownership Main Photo

17 Oct 2022

Entrepreneur, Business

It’s time to stop dreaming of owning a business and take the next step to learn more at an upcoming meeting sponsored by PCDC.

The Phelps County Development Corporation will host a Retail and Franchise Workshop at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Holdrege’s Sun Theater. It is free and open to the public and will include information about franchise opportunities in Phelps County and how to get started in owning one.

Speakers will be Kam South of Retail Strategies, a company that PCDC has hired to help identify and recruit retail and restaurants; and Blake Martin of FranNet, a company that specializes in connecting potential business owners with franchises.

“FranNet and Retail Strategies have identified several franchise opportunities that fit Holdrege, and this program is designed to introduce people to the concept and help them better understand the advantages and how to connect with a franchise operation,” PCDC Executive Director Ron Tillery said.

Kam South, Portfolio Director for Retail Strategies encourages local investors, real estate professionals and community leaders to attend.

“I will share about a broad spectrum of retailers that are franchise based and those who could make sense in the market,” South said. “This is also a learning opportunity for the entire community. I believe everyone should be able to look through the window of the retail world and grasp the impact that it serves the community.”

South said since the pandemic, retailers have changed their market strategies almost quarterly, and many are seeking a diverse portfolio of locations.

Blake Martin of Omaha is the President and Franchise Specialist with FranNet of The Heartland.  Blake has two decades of franchising, and small business ownership experience. He has built franchise systems from the ground up, helped hundreds become small business owners, and he currently owns a local small business franchise.

He is the owner of FranNet of The Heartland, a franchise brokerage and consulting firm that provides free coaching and consulting to entrepreneurs who are interested in new, or additional, small business ownership opportunities. He said it is similar to but for local entrepreneurs.

His free podcast, Heartland Franchise Guy, can be found on all major podcast platforms.  

Martin said entrepreneurs looking to start their first, or their next, business are encouraged to attend the Phelps County workshop. Others who should attend are:

  • Corporate refugees who are tired of the threats of downsizing, and retiring military veterans who want to give orders rather than take orders.
  • Anyone looking for a legitimate side-hustle business to create additional streams of income
  • Those who do not want to go through the expense and time of reinventing the wheel when starting a business.
  • Anyone who wants to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves.
  • Anyone considering expansion of their existing business and wondering whether franchising may be the right expansion model.

Martin said that despite what many people think, a franchise is a locally owned and operated small business

“I have personally helped more than 500 people start their own franchise business, and every single one of them owns 100 percent of their business,” he said.  “They hire locally, they incorporate locally, they volunteer locally, and they can sell their business whenever they want.”

Advantages of a franchise over starting a business from scratch include name recognition, proven business systems, lower failure rate, lower costs, expanding financing options and mandated disclosures of research data, including actual costs and the opportunity to have candid discussions with existing franchise owners within the brand before buying.

Those interested in owning a franchise do not need to be wealthy.

“If you have access to a nominal amount of liquid capital and good credit, you may qualify for more than 100 top-performing franchise opportunities,” he said.

Martin said the Holdrege workshop is not a sales presentation on franchising.

“It's an opportunity to learn what the industry is all about and compare and contrast it with other forms of small business entry,” he said. “You will leave with a greater sense of how to make an informed decision about franchise opportunities, and a framework for how to effectively research franchise opportunities.”

Retail Strategies has identified several retail and restaurant franchises that are seeking owners in Holdrege.

“The workshop will dive into all the ones that research shows are a good fit plus the companies that have specifically said they want to be in our market,” Tillery said.

PCDC offers a Business & Franchise Development Program that removes some of the roadblocks to starting a new business and helps entrepreneurs and franchisees through the initial stages.

The program provides the following:

  • Up to $10,000 for facility build-out, remodeling or initial rent.
  • Up to $1,000 for construction or landfill fees.
  • Up to $1,000 for initial inventory.
  • Up to $1,000 per year for employee recruitment, training, workshops or seminars for three years.
  • Research and site selection services at no cost.
  • Low-interest gap financing not to exceed 50 percent of the total amount owed.

For more information about the upcoming workshop or PCDC grants, contact Tillery at (308) 995-4148 or