A growing number of Fortune 500 companies are thinking about starting franchise operations as a way to expand and diversify quickly. Through a subsidiary, Colgate-Palmolive has acquired a significant stake in a dry-cleaning chain, which it hopes to franchise, and Champion Spark Plug is launching a tune-up franchise chain in Mexico. 3M is also studying the franchise option. But can large companies start successful franchise operations from scratch? "In franchising, you cannot mandate something -- you have to coax," notes consultant Robert Kushell. "There are cases where it's just not going to work because of the clash of cultures."
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