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FranNet Hosts Free Workshop on Franchise Ownership, Jan 30!

FranNet Southern California, specialists in helping people decide which franchise opportunity is the right fit for them, has today announced the hosting of a new, but free business workshop that focuses on starting a franchise.

The free franchise workshop will take place January 30, 2013 at 7545 Irvine Center Dr. #200 Irvine, CA 92618, and will last from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm PST.

According to Page Nicol, VP of FranNet Southern California, some of the topics that will be covered include:

  • How to decide if business ownership is right for you.
  • How to find the right business or franchise.
  • How to finance your business, and
  • What are the proven methods to make a smart safe choice when choosing a business

The workshop, which is aimed at an audience made up of out-placed professionals, individuals looking to make a change in their career, and semi-retired men and women, is designed to prevent them from making a mistake when choosing a business and potentially losing thousands of dollars.

“Would you buy a house without using a real estate agent?  Why would you buy a business without using a franchise specialist?  Now, you’ll learn from a 25-year franchise and business ownership veteran about how to avoid the mistakes many people make when choosing to start their own business,” says Page, who has an extensive franchise and business ownership background.

ABOUT Page Nicol:

Page Nicol, who has 25 years of experience in franchise development and commercial real estate and 23 years with Mail Boxes Etc (UPS Store), is a master developer and multi unit owner. He also has 10 years as a FranNet Associate in Southern California and the Pacific Northwest. He currently resides in Southern California, where he has his regional office.

Why the American Jobs Act Won’t Create Nearly Enough Jobs

from FranNet.com

Franchise industry needs Affordable Care Act repeal, banks to extend credit

The American Jobs Act made big news early this month when President Obama signed it into law. It was hailed as a rare instance of bipartisan cooperation in an age of intense distrust and cynicism between the two parties, and as a measure that could truly jumpstart entrepreneurship by removing regulatory barriers to investment in startups and by allowing “crowdfunding” — Web-based fundraising of small donations — up to $1 million.

It probably is a step in the right direction (the crowdfunding measure especially shows promise). But it’s only one step when the economy needs to run a mile. We think the Jobs Act is a meager substitute for real action, the kind of bold gesture to entrepreneurs we’ve been pushing hard for since 2008.

There’s more opportunity for job-creating franchise expansion than ever before, but prospective franchise owners yearning for a chance to go into business for themselves can’t even get started because of a lack of capital and fear that the government will make it too risky for them to operate at a profit.

Here’s what we think needs to happen:

  • Banks need to extend credit. The economy coupled with overregulation of the financial services industry led to a 20 percent lending shortfall in 2011. Thousands of potential franchise owners with good credit and a willingness to join the franchising revolution are barred from the starting gate because banks aren’t willing to loan them enough money to cover the initial investment. It’s not fair and not good for business.
  • Congress needs to repeal the Affordable Care Act. For small businesses, the “Affordable Care Act” would be anything but — especially the “employer mandate” that would require businesses with 50 or more employees to provide health benefits to their employees or face penalties from the government. We believe this would jeopardize tens of thousands of franchise businesses, which would be forced to choose between downsizing by converting full-time employees to part-time status or absorbing the cost of rising insurance premiums. Neither would help small businesses — or our economy.
  • Congress needs to nullify the NLRB’s “ambush election” rule. The so-called “ambush elections” rule, which the National Labor Relations Board adopted at the end of last year, allows union elections in as little as 15 days, depriving employers of the opportunity to inform employees about unions and address union claims about employers; and denying employees full information about employer-union issues. The rule will take effect April 30 unless a pending joint House and Senate resolution, which we strongly support, nullifies it.

Now is not the time for half-steps to dig our economy out of the hole. We need strong action to empower entrepreneurs and help them start businesses that can provide good, lasting jobs to the nation’s citizens. According to FRANdata, the nationwide franchise information service, each new franchise creates an average of 10 jobs.

We urge citizens, whether they’re in franchising or just concerned about the effects of government overreach and restriction on small businesses, to contact their area Congressional leaders in the House and Senate. Tell them you don’t approve of actions that stifle business growth and keep our economy from recovering the way it should. And as always, for more information about our network of franchise consultants, visit us today at www.frannet.com.

 

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FranNet Celebrates 25 Years with 25 Tips for Choosing a Great Franchise

Original Post from FranNet.com 

 

FranNet evaluates the top 25 things to look for when franchise shopping

 

Over the course of 25 years, FranNet has guided a lot of interested franchise owners towards the right fit. Our ability to match entrepreneurs with the right opportunities has helped create thousands of businesses, new careers and tens of thousands of jobs.

Our clients have had a lot of questions along the way.

“Buying a business is a life-changing decision, and you’ll want to know as much as you can about a franchise before you buy into it,” says Jania BaileyFranNet President and COO. “You’ll also want to take a critical look at yourself. Like any career, there are good and bad fits. What I try to do is make sure that the right person winds up buying the right business so that they’ll be happy and successful.”

FranNet has plenty of advice to offer potential franchisees. To start, here are 25 tips:

1. Franchising is more than French fries. A lot of people who think of franchises automatically think of restaurants — or maybe hotels. That was a fairly accurate portrait of the franchise industry 30 years ago, but there are many new kinds of opportunities today. We’ve found that professionals often find the most success and satisfaction working in a completely new field.

2. Franchising doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s true that many of the best-known franchises are bricks-and-mortar businesses with high investment costs, but many of the fastest-growing and highest-rated franchises are home-based businesses with just one or two employees, low overhead and higher profit margins.

3. Evaluate your skills. Not every person is a good fit for every franchise. Understanding your personality and skills and how they would fit with a franchise can help you guarantee success. The better the fit, the more fun the business will be to run.

4. Have working capital. Make sure you have a buffer. New businesses take a little time to start generating profits, and you’ll want to have cash on hand to cover expenses and pay for extra marketing. It’s great to avoid debt, but it can be worth taking out an SBA loan in order to preserve working capital.

5. Plan on more marketing. Whatever the franchise system requires for a marketing budget, you should increase that number. There is a direct correlation between how much you spend and how successful your business will be. Don’t stop at the franchise system’s minimum suggested budget — or even its average budget.

6. Talk to top performers. Nobody wants to be average or low-performing, talk to at least two of the top 10 franchisees in the system and find what makes them successful.

7. Evaluate systems. When you buy a franchise, you are buying business systems. Efficient systems are what often gives a franchise an advantage over a mom and pop operation. Look into how well documented the systems are and how tested and proven they are, including the point of sale system. The better the system, the better the franchise.

8. Look for franchises that have good resale value. Some types of businesses — particularly bricks-and-mortar businesses — can be resold for a higher price.

9. Research news items about a franchise. Growing systems often produce positive PR. Do online research. Look for press releases, news articles and blog posts.

10. Research competitors. Is the franchise that you are considering ahead of the curve in its industry?

11. Research customer reviews. One of the best ways to see how a business is doing is to see how happy its customers are. Upset customers tend to be more vocal, and can leave a nasty online trail. On the flip side, an abundance of happy customer comments is a really good sign that a business is successful.

12. Look at social media presence. How active is the company on Facebook and Twitter? Are they using Pinterest yet? Social media is an important area for companies and those who don’t use it are leaving themselves at a big disadvantage.

13. Talk to your spouse or partner. It’s surprising how far some people can get into the process of investigating a business before they let their spouse in on the plan. This is a big decision — often your spouse will wind up helping you run the business. They will want to play a role in the decision.

14. Think long term. Franchise agreements generally last for 10 to 20 years, so it’s a lot like getting married. Make sure this is a company you’ll still be happy to be a part of once the diamond anniversary rolls around.

15. Learn how to speak bank. Despite what you might read in the news, there are a lot of funding options for franchises. Loans are available, but make sure you do enough research or work with a consultant to learn about financing options so you can conserve your working capital.

16. Look for earnings claims. Profitable and successful franchise systems publish Item 19 earnings claims in their franchise disclosure document or FDD. Franchising is regulated by the FTC which is strict on the financial information franchise systems can release. Not all franchises can meet the FTC guidelines which may be a sign they are not profitable so steer towards franchise systems with published earnings claims.

17. Educate yourself about franchising. It’s a very structured business model, and some of the language and the contractual relationships can seem strange. Make sure to learn what is and isn’t normal in the industry.

18. Mystery shop. If you’re considering investing in a bricks-and-mortar franchise, drop in as a customer. What is the experience like? Are the bathrooms clean? How well run is it? If you’re considering a carpet-cleaning business, hire them for a small job. Do they do quality work? Did they send someone that you felt comfortable letting into your house?

19. Evaluate the training and ongoing support. Every franchise offers initial training, but ongoing support is what separates a weak system from one that is outstanding.

20. Evaluate expansion possibilities. Assuming your first franchise is a big success, you’ll probably want to open a second or third location. Is there room to expand in your market?

21. Get professional advice on site selection. Many retail businesses require a high level of nearby car or foot traffic in order to succeed, but some business owners will set themselves up for failure by going for a location with cheaper rent and less visibility. Other businesses don’t rely as much on foot traffic, and locating one of these in a pricey high-traffic area just means that you’re paying too much for your lease.

22. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question — not when you are considering a life-altering decision. Franchisors owe you solid answers before you invest in their concept.

23. Visit as many locations as you can in person. What does a successful franchise look like? What does a typical franchise look like? Get a feel for how professional different franchisees are. How they treat the brand will affect the value of your business.

24. Get to know the leadership. Research the history and experience of the franchise system’s officers. What were they doing before they got involved with the company? Do they have a background that will allow them to guide franchisees to success?

25. Pay attention to passion. How passionate are the executives, the franchise owners and the customers? A system that is full of passion is a system with positive momentum.

We hope that gives you a good start as you begin to explore. FranNet consultants can guide you through these steps and many more.

For more information about FranNet, visit www.frannet.com.

 

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Why You Should Quit Your Job

It’s a dead end, the pay is dismal, you’re subject to someone else’s whims — and franchising offers a better path

(from FranNet.com)

 

You should quit your job. Seriously.

You probably won’t. But you should.

Most of us hate our jobs. Well, OK, maybe we don’t hate them. But a lot of us find our jobs dull and dissatisfying, like a relationship that ran its course months or years ago but keeps hanging on from sheer force of habit.

Don’t we all deserve better? So why do we hang onto our crummy jobs?

A tech entrepreneur named Daniel Gulati recently wrote about this on the Harvard Business Review blog, and his conclusions were pretty interesting. It’s not so much that people unhappy in their jobs are afraid of unemployment, he writes; it’s more a complex mix of conditioning, fear of ridicule in a new venture (amplified by social media) and “premature optimization,” the tendency to be satisfied with small, accessible gains instead of throwing caution to the wind and going for the big payoff. (In other words, they’re afraid of unemployment.)

There’s another way, though, one that thousands of American workers are taking toward fulfilling and lucrative careers: franchise ownership.

Franchising is growing steadily, even in a lousy economy. The recent Franchise Business Economic Outlook for 2012, prepared for the International Franchise Association by IHS Global Insight, projects the number of U.S. franchise establishments to increase by 13,928 and for the number of jobs to grow by about 168,000. Franchising’s economic output is expected to grow by five percent, from $745 billion to $782 billion. That’s astonishing growth.

Entrepreneurs are discovering how diverse franchising is, too; it goes way beyond food and hotels! The IFA report predicts strong increases from personal services (6.2 percent increase) and retail products and services (6.1 percent), and business services the highest in projected job growth at 3.6 percent. Driven professionals with a wide range of skills can thrive in franchising instead of stagnating in a dead-end corporate job.

For 25 years, FranNet has helped people realize their entrepreneurial dreams by matching them with the right franchise opportunities. FranNet, an international network of franchise consultants, plays franchise matchmaker by carefully evaluating our clients’ interests and goals and connecting them to top-rated franchises we’ve worked with for years.

Interested in learning more about how you can broaden your career options through franchise ownership? Visit us at www.frannet.com.

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