In the weeks leading up to the opening of her BounceU franchise, Kim Heinz spent several sleepless nights.
”I left a job I had for 20 years to do this,” she said.

As an account manager at an information technology firm, Heinz had a boss and a private office in a comfortable corporate-beige building.

But the slumping economy meant less business for the firm. Heinz and her husband increasingly worried about job security.

”In this economy, the only way we felt we could secure our future was to become our own business owners,” Heinz said.

She and her husband began to research different options, focusing on businesses that were kid-related. They finally decided on BounceU, an inflatable indoor play arena for kids’ birthday parties and other events.

After some ”heavy soul searching,” Heinz made the leap and quit her job last September; mostly funding the franchise with the couple’s personal savings.

”We kept saying, ‘Are we doing the right thing?”’ she said. “But we decided in the long run, we’d have control of our destiny.”

Heinz is not alone in deciding to open a franchise in a down economy.

Bucking The Trend… read on.