Wall Street Journal:

If you’re a middle manager who suddenly gets laid off, what do you do?

Franchisers contend that franchises are a natural alternative. They argue that their time-tested, how-to business model offers people a greater likelihood of success than striking out on their own—assuming that the franchisee is willing to play by the company’s rules.

But does a recession change those odds? And are there special challenges and considerations in becoming a franchisee during an economic slump?

The Wall Street Journal spoke with franchising consultant Britt Schroeter about those concerns. For the past eight years, Ms. Schroeter has operated Baltimore-based Dream Maker & Associates LLC, one of several dozen independent contractors for FranChoice Inc., an Eden Prairie, Minn., firm that tries to match franchisees with appropriate franchisers.

Ms. Schroeter’s background includes executive stints at several franchises, such as Kiddie Academy International Inc., Decorating Den Systems Inc. and Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. Her husband is a franchisee for a chain that cleans, repairs and replaces laundry-dryer vents, so Ms. Schroeter is familiar with that side of the franchising equation as well.

Here are excerpts from the interview…

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