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Tag Archive for starting a franchise

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.

Post via FranNet.com. See the original here.

Upcoming Events: Seattle & Portland Business and Franchise Expos

Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business or franchise?

Are you going through a career transition or want to leave the corporate rat race?

Are you looking for creative ways to finance your business?

Do you wonder if there is more to franchises than burgers and sub shops?

Are you just ready to take control of your future?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this Expo is for you!  Many of the top franchises companies will be present to help you learn more about what options are out there besides fast food and retail.  Hear from entrepreneur experts about how to minimize the risk in starting a business and how to find which business fits best for you.  Finance specialists will be on hand to answer your questions about ways to get financing to start a business.  Representatives from the Portland SCORE office will discuss how to write a good Business Plan and get counseling on starting a business.  Whether you are just curious about business ownership or have decided you are ready to be your own boss, this Expo is for you.

Registration is FREE for the first 25 to sign up ($29 value).  Seating is limited/parking is free.

$100 Amex Gift Card drawing at event

 

Seattle:

Date: March 22, 2012

Time: 1:00PM – 4:00PM

Location:
SeaTac Courtyard Marriot
16038 West Valley Hwy
Tukwila, WA 98188

 

Portland

Date: March 23, 2012

Time: 9:00AM – 12:00PM

Location:
Meadows Meeting Room
5300 SW Meadows Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

See Why Seattle is One of the 10 Best Cities to Start Your Own Business

Seattle may best be known as the birthplace of great coffee and as a city with exceptional amounts of rain. But, did you know that Seattle is also one of the 10 best cities for starting your own business?

Kiplinger took a look at cities across the U.S., ranking them by concentration of small businesses, track records of successful start-ups, number of patents issued and cost of living for entrepreneurs. Seattle stacks up well, with a metro population just under 3.5 Million the city is home to over 70,000 small businesses! Also in the city’s favor – living and business costs run 20% to 30% cheaper than other West Coast hubs, such as San Jose.

For Seattle residents thinking about starting their own business they can rest easier knowing they live in an entrepreneurial-friendly place. However, regardless of where you live or what type of business you want to start, going out on your own can be risky.

A franchised business puts you in control with growth options, greatly minimizes your risk and sets you up with the greatest chances for success. With over 3,000 franchise companies FranNet can help you find the one that is right for you and give you the help and advice you need to truly succeed.

Last Day to Sign Up: Free Workshop on Starting Your Own Business

Today is the last day to sign up for the free workshop on starting your own business. For a recap, you will learn proven strategies for starting your own business, while reducing the risks of going into business for yourself.

Event information:

  • Friday, January 27th from 1:00 to 3:00pm
  • Lake Oswego, Oregon

Here are some of the questions this workshop will answer:

•How do I assure my safety in a business and assure my chances of success?
•Are there good white collar, executive style franchises? It’s not just hamburgers, sandwiches and french fries any more.
•Can I stay in my job and get a business started?
•How do I find a business that I will really like and how do I get the facts before I buy!
•Is financing available?
•What types of franchises and businesses are available?

Questions? Contact Page Nicol at 503.534.3695 for more information, or check out our Facebook or Twitter. To sign up, click here.