Opening one franchise and making money is a tall feat.

What about opening more than 13?

Now that’s legit!

how to start a franchise

Jesse Keyser is a franchise owner based in Southern Illinois.

What I love about Jesse’s story is that it’s a perfect reminder of what Operation: #investNOW is all about.

There are so many different ways you can invest and, for Jesse, his investments have been in building his franchise empire.

Listen to the podcast and learn how he built up his business and expanded his franchise empire in less than ten years.

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  • Worked for a technology company in the .com era, wanted to own a pizza place with his brother.
  • Was given advice to purchase a pizza franchise instead, because they didn’t really know what they were doing.
  • March 2005 – opened Little Caesar’s™ in Marion, Illinois.

Starting the Franchise Empire

  • When applying to become a franchisee, don’t get crazy; the corporations have a proven system for success, and if you stick to the system, a) you will be approved, and b) you will succeed.
  • A franchise is an investment, but it’s labor-intensive. Jesse’s brother had to go to Michigan for 8 weeks to train with Little Caesar’s™ before they could open their first store, and they had to manage the store for several months before they could train someone else to manage.
  • As soon as the first store opened, Jesse was ready for another store, but their profit/loss statements were messy. Little Caesar’s™ corporate helped them by teaching sound business practices so they would continue to have success.
  • Opened the second store in September 2006 in Carbondale, Illinois
  • This store was so successful that it paid for itself in its first 13 weeks.

Ongoing Success

  • Carbondale is a college town, so the market for pizza is pretty saturated. Jesse’s business is successful where others aren’t because of consistent product and consistent customer service.
  • While working on another venture, Valpak, Jesse came up with an idea to serve an under-utilized market.
  • Cold-calling beauty/health professionals for Valpak, Jesse found that many people he spoke with were unfriendly or unwilling to disclose information.
  • Began exploring another franchise in hair care, spent the 8 hour discovery day with them in Chicago, then met with Sports Clips for about ten minutes afterward and was sold on the free neck trims.
  • Liked that they were more about a service than a commodity.
  • Has since focused on growing by purchasing exclusivity in certain areas and developing leadership in his employees.
  • Now owns 13+ franchises, and every store is making money.

Final Thoughts:

  • It’s a hobby unless you do it full-time. Save up for the liquidity needs plus a year’s income.
  • Franchises are great because they give you brand + logo recognition, plus an apples-to-apples comparison of business with other franchisees. There’s a broad support network.
  • Coaching programs can be very valuable – look into a program like Strategic Coach, etc.

Jesse can be reached at

Find out more about Operation: #investNOW where I’m encouraging 1 million people to invest in themselves. Learn more here.


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Comments | 1 Response

  1. Dave Lalonde says

    Wow this is great! I never thought having a franchise could be so beneficial! I always figured that starting your own business would be more better because you get to manage everything from the beginning. But I agree about the brand recognition. That definitely helps!

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