Beano's Ice Cream Shop
By Todd A. Finkle
Adapted from an Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice Article
Terry Smith has spent the last six months preparing to purchase a Beano's Ice Cream franchise. Because his personal assets were limited, Smith needed a partner who could finance the purchase. After Smith found a prospective partner, Barney Harris, they negotiated a purchase price with Beano's. Then, Harris gave Smith a partnership proposal. As the case opens, Smith is evaluating the partnership proposal. His three choices are: to accept Harris's partnership proposal, to make a counter proposal, or to try to find a new partner.
Two months ago, Terry Smith had been so confident that he would soon own his own Beano's Ice Cream franchise, that he had put an "I LOVE BEANO'S ICE CREAM" bumper sticker on his Honda. As he looked at it now, he noticed how faded it had become in such a short time. He wondered if in fact it had been a short time—or a lifetime.
Until recently, Smith had rarely second-guessed himself. After carefully researching an issue, he would base his decision on the facts and then proceed—without looking back. Now, however, he knew he had to put all of the momentum from the past six months to one side. He had to forget about the months spent investigating franchises, selecting Beano's, writing his business plan, and looking for financing. He had to forget about the fact that he had found only one prospective partner who could finance the deal—Barney Harris—and that he and his partner had spent several more months negotiating to purchase the franchise. He had to push away his own emotional investment in the deal now and make one more critical decision: should he go into partnership with Harris? If he signed the partnership proposal that Barney Harris had given him, Smith would get his franchise. If he did not sign the agreement, he may or may not ever see his dream come to life. It depended on whether he decided to make a counter offer, to...