Paul Davis Restoration, an insurance restoration franchising firm, counts among its largest frachisees its Lincoln, Neb., operation, owned and run by John Zoz. With a degree in construction management and a background in home building, Zoz says he was always drawn to the idea of owning a franchise. He looked at it "as a way of getting involved in business without the pitfalls."

Recently, Zoz expanded his operation by opening up Paul Davis Restoration of Grand Island, the state's fourth largest city, and by investing in a California Closets franchise. "

What we've really tried to do in the last few years is plan our business growth around our people," says Zoz, who spends almost half his time planning -- reading reports and otherwise managing his businesses. At the end of last year, Paul Davis Restoration of Lincoln had the second highest market penetration among the company's 200+ franchises.