Own Your Own “Neighborhood Bank” – No MBA Required

One day while in Business school some classmates and I were having a discussion about careers. One classmate said he was hoping to land a job as a loan officer in a bank because bankers made a lot of money.

Another classmate scoffed at him and remarked, “The only way to get rich in banking is to own the bank.”

We all laughed at his remark, thinking to ourselves that none of us had the connections or wherewithal to even imagine owning a bank.

Little did we know that franchises would respond to our desires and to the needs of the marketplace.

It is estimated that 20% of Americans do not have a relationship with a regular bank. Instead they use check-cashing stores to cash checks and pay their utility bills using money orders. They go unserved in passbook savings and checking accounts. They usually have to pay high interest and high fees for other services such as tax planning, mortgages and car loans.

Enter the new breed of “neighborhood banks.” These financial services franchises offer a whole suite of services in buildings and kiosks that have the look and feel of a bank, right down to the teller stations. Their services include: check cashing, money orders, wire transfers, electronic bill payment, tax-preparation services, short-term loans, and low to middle income mortgage programs. They even offer savings programs (through third party banks) and private branded, pre-paid MasterCards and Visas. Their target customer is the working family with $20,000 to $70,000 median household incomes.

Concepts include stand-alone buildings, in-line stores in strip malls and kiosks inside grocery and retail stores, using less than 100 square feet. Special financing and programs can put you in business in as little as 60 days.

No MBA required for these franchises. Just strong people skills and a desire to grow a business that features high net cash flow on very modest sales and which offers an opportunity for significant income and strong return on investment.

By Suzana