Issue Season


Document Type

Case Study


This case describes a real family that has been running a labor-intensive business since 1992. The father, Phil Mason, runs the business with the help of his wife and two of his sons in southwestern Rhode Island. The business is a franchisee of ServiceMaster Clean. In 2006, the franchise employed 20 full-time employees and was the 50th largest ServiceMaster Clean franchise among the approximately 1,200 franchises located in the United States. Annual revenue is approximately $2.5 million. In late 2005, one of Phil’s sons began researching the biodiesel industry. As he was growing weary of the labor-intensive nature of his franchise business, Phil fully researched the industry himself. By the middle of 2006, Phil was convinced that he could profitably manufacture biodiesel in his spare warehouse space. In July 2006, he formed Mason Biodiesel, LLC and financed the $1.5 million start-up costs through a combination of personal savings and bank debt.



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