Shopping for a Franchise? Stay Away from the Next New Craze!

Shopping for a Franchise? – Stay Away from the Next New Craze!

Cupcakes are all the rage these days in franchising, and while they make a pretty window, their long-term appeal may be fleeting. Frozen yogurt is also making a strong comeback after almost disappearing some years ago. But it doesn’t take much to saturate the market, and you know it’s a fad when it fizzles out fast.

What’s hot and what’s not may be a typical headline on a fashion spread, but you probably want to stay away from fads when it comes to franchises. Sort of like the flavor of the month, when folks get tired of it, they stop buying.

A better focus is to pinpoint what people need. After all, people are not likely to buy specialty cupcakes on a regular basis or continue buying frozen yogurt when the weather turns cold, which are just a couple of reasons why these businesses tend to come and go as often as the weather changes.

Some of the best opportunities are with franchises in well-established markets where the field may already be crowded. But there’s a lot to be said for the tried and true. After all, savvy buyers choose the economic sectors with consistent growth.

When starting a new business, your goal is to capitalize on long-term economic trends as opposed to the flashy fad. Case in point: the International Franchise Association projects business and commercial and residential services will be the fastest growing sector of the franchise business in 2014.

The specific areas we like include health care, temporary staffing and other service businesses.

Solid Trends for Franchises

Health Care

The health care industry has experienced good growth in recent years, and, as the baby boomers start to retire, the prospects for the future may even be better. You can find franchises that specialize in modifying homes for seniors, as well as supplying home health care aides.

Temporary Staffing

As many companies cut jobs as a result of the Great Recession and a slow growing economy, they now rely more on temporary or contract workers. So the demand for temporary staffing services is on the rise with no clear end in sight.

Service Businesses

A panoply of service businesses are thriving, particularly ones that tend to be recession resistant, not easily outsourced overseas or conducted over the internet. Examples include firms that conduct workplace drug and alcohol testing, mandated by the government for some industries, and companies specializing in the restoration of water damaged homes, since disasters, like floods or broken pipes, regularly occur without regard to our economic cycle.

While you don’t want to be seduced by the latest fad, you do want to anticipate future trends in the American economy. A strong business idea fulfills a deep-seated market need, which, as we know, some people may have not yet realized. Who would ever have guessed 20 years ago that Americans would now be so addicted to their espresso drinks!

 

 

Dan Citrenbaum is a franchise coach and consultant to entrepreneurs, who helps people achieve their dreams as small business owners. He has a proven track record helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. Contact Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484)278-4589 and view his company website at www.entrepreneuroption.com.

 

©Dan Citrenbaum 10/2014

 

Get the Edge and Consult a Franchise Coach!

Get the Edge and Consult a Franchise Coach!

When shopping for a franchise, knowing how to separate the wheat from the chaff takes expertise. Consulting a franchise coach can help you ask the right questions and zero in on key issues that can mean the difference between success and failure.

While you will find a seemingly endless supply of information about franchises in any internet search, you can save yourself a lot of time and aggravation by consulting an expert who has made his or her career studying the ins and outs of what makes a great franchise.

And since one of the attributes of successful business ownership is having the wisdom to know when you should rely on the expertise of others, your first test comes during your research phase.

To be sure, there are some clunker franchises out there. But to understand how the best franchise operations work, you need to have some idea about what they should offer, and what your expectations should be. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself with a franchise with subpar training and worthless support that ends up costing you your business.

The bottom line: You want value for your money, and the costs can be significant. With the best franchises, the value far exceeds the cost.

A good franchise can provide you all the knowledge you need to have a successful business, unlike an independent startup, where you have to guess the costs and estimate the potential revenue stream. A franchise operation already has a proven system, developed over time with a successful network of franchisees who came before you.

Without exception, franchisors will tell you they have excellent training and hands-on support to help you with every facet of your new business. And some surely do. But their job is to sell you their franchise, so they may leave out the part about a recent turnover in their training staff that has left the program in disarray.

Of course, the best way franchisors can maximize their income is to create the best environment for their franchisees to succeed – spectacularly so. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, which is why the research phase is so important.

A franchise coach can help steer you to specific franchisors, based on a thorough assessment of hundreds of franchise operations over the years. Another important goal is to match a franchise to your basic skills and personal profile — so that you can make a good living and enjoy your work.

The Benefits of Tapping the Expertise of a Franchise Coach

A franchise coach can help you figure out:

  • What type of franchise you should research — based on your interests, skills and personality
  • How well the franchisees have been succeeding
  • How to evaluate the FDD
  • How to assess franchisees’ and franchisor operations
  • How well the franchisor prepares franchisees in the set-up phase
  • How good the franchisor’s training program is, which includes answering questions, such as: Do you connect well with the support staff? Do you like them? Are they hands-on? Do they know what they’re doing?

In addition, as you continue your research, a franchise coach can help you answer questions that arise along the way. And best of all their service is free to you since they are paid by the franchisor.

As in every endeavor, you want to capitalize on every advantage you have, so consult the experts and get the edge in your search for your perfect business opportunity.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?

Get your free evaluation today!

Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a franchise coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484)278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 07/2015

A Formula for Success? Find a Franchise to Fit Your Life

A formula for success? Find a franchise to fit your life.

Everyone wants it, admires it, strives for it, but what exactly defines success depends on who you ask. So when you want to start your own business, first you have to decide what you mean by success.

Not only are there different kinds of success — think Wall Street Banker with a seven-figure income or principal of a highly regarded high school — there are also different levels of success, such as entry into the college of your choice, achieving a happy marriage while having work you enjoy or completing a marathon. Each can be as satisfying and validating as the next.

The definition of success, like beauty, really is in the eye of the beholder.

When it comes to your career, some people care most about maximizing their income and enjoy working long hours in a job they love. Other folks prefer a niche that allows a healthy work-life balance: time for family, hobbies, play and work, in no particular order.

The hardest part of all may be deciding what works for you because if you start down a path but take no satisfaction from your promotions or fattening paycheck and only daydream about hobbies left unexplored, you won’t feel successful.

When you seize an opportunity to start your own business and take charge of your career, you have the ability to carve out the perfect future for yourself.

In the wide world of franchising, with some 1,000 different franchises across 75 industries, you can find a franchise for every lifestyle choice, from those that require only part-time work to others where you might aspire to one day own multiple units and build a mini empire.

So before you get into the nitty gritty of starting your own business, answer for yourself what you mean by success. Then consult a franchise coach who can help you choose a franchise to suit your life.

Consider the various ways people define success then rank them in order of importance for you.

Is success:

  • Getting rich?
  • Enough money to buy a house?
  • Having a job that you love?
  • Having a family?
  • The ability to send your children to college?
  • Having the time to give back to your community, whether that means volunteering at your local food pantry or serving on the PTA?
  • Having a spiritual life, full of exploration and learning?
  • Combining the goals of your life and your career, which may mean working in health care or education?
  • Making a contribution to a goal larger than yourself, such as making the world a better place?
  • Feeling self-worth?
  • Being happy?

The list represents a continuum, from goals most associated with money to those completely disconnected from income. Which end are you on?

So think about what you want from your life, then I can offer multiple ideas for franchises that allow you to have a career that gives you the life you desire.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?

Get your free evaluation today!

Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a franchise coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484)278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 10/2015

Shorten the Learning Curve: Start Your Own Business with a Franchise Tips from a Top Franchisee

Shorten the Learning Curve: Start Your Own Business with a Franchise Tips from a Top Franchisee

Bob Riesenbach happily left behind corporate America to forge his own path building a business of his own, even if that has meant working as many hours as he did in corporate America.

Is there a catch? Not when you love what you do and know it’s all for you!

Mirroring the desires of many MBA-ers of his generation, Riesenbach always dreamed of starting his own business, and so, after 23 years of working for big corporations, he left his marketing position at a large retail chain of convenience stores and ventured out on his own without a safety net.

“I was tired of bureaucracy and politics,” he said, so he started researching his options. While he started looking at businesses for sale, he didn’t find much in his area beyond pizza joints and bars.

Before long, he decided a franchise made the most sense because “I didn’t want to start from scratch, and I thought I could learn from other people’s experiences,” he said.

After meeting a franchise coach at a Philadelphia area networking meeting, Riesenbach started looking closely at several franchise possibilities, eventually choosing to buy a franchise that took the most advantage of the skills he had spent his career acquiring.

Almost four years down the road, Riesenbach is happily building his new business, CMIT Solutions of Cherry Hill, a provider of information technology services for small and mid-sized businesses, with the support of a strong network of fellow franchisees.

“The strength of the organization comes from our partnership with other owners,” Riesenbach explained. The franchisor sets up formal networking groups, and he talks to fellow owners at least once a week.

Advantages of a franchise include fully vetted resources, such as vendors, marketing services, and annual conventions. Franchisees have the ability to leverage the size of their network to attain for clients discounted prices on services from vendors, such as Dell, that would likely not be available to a small independent business.

Riesenbach’s company continues to grow. He has been honored by his franchisor as Rookie of the Year, and has also received honors from other local business organizations, including the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Riesenbach’s top tips for prospective franchisees:

  1. Look for a good match with your skill level and interests.
  2. Talk to a lot of existing franchise owners, whose contact information can be found in the Franchise Disclosure Document. Don’t only talk to those the franchisor may recommend.
  3. When people say “Why not just do it on your own, so you don’t have to pay royalties,” ignore those people… I feel I’m getting a lot more value than I’m paying for.
  4. Have realistic expectations – Know it takes a while to get a new business going.
  5. Be prepared to work hard.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?

Get your free evaluation today!

Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a franchise coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 08/2015

Franchisors Offer Incentives to Help Veterans Start Their Own Franchises

Franchisors offer incentives to help veterans start their own franchises.

Don’t know anything about starting a business but are determined to take control of your employment destiny?

If you’re a military veteran, the International Franchise Association (IFA) thinks you’re particularly well-equipped for a franchise. And they’ve got a program to help you take a leap into entrepreneurship and a career in which you can use the skills you’ve acquired in the military.

VetFran was founded as a special program within the IFA in 1991 to help veterans returning from the first Gulf War as a way to thank veterans for their service, according to the IFA.

Then in 2011, the IFA launched Operation Enduring Opportunity, a partnership with several organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, to help the large influx of veterans transitioning to civilian life get into franchise careers. The program has been a great success.

Through VetFran, many franchisors will waive 10 percent to 25 percent of the franchise fee, which can help veterans hire staff as they get their new businesses up and running.

In the last three years, more than 150,000 veterans have started careers in franchising, more than 5,000 as franchise owners. Now, one out of every seven franchise businesses is owned by a veteran of the U.S. military, according the IFA.

This is clearly a win-win partnership for both sides.

Franchising offers one of the very best paths to starting your own business for those with little or no experience in the business. With a proven system, training and ongoing support, novices get a franchise team to show them the way to success, helping them troubleshoot the rough spots along the way. As the IFA points out, the system is not dissimilar to the structure of military life.

While veterans can expect a little extra special treatment as thanks for their service to the country, franchise companies benefit from the particular strengths veterans bring to the franchise.

Before you or a veteran you know starts second-guessing all the ways he or she is not qualified for a career in franchising, consider the following list, compiled from articles written by Franchisors or IFA officials.

The Treasured Traits of Veterans Prized by Franchisors

Integrity and Honor

Ingrained through their military training, veterans learn firsthand the importance of executing orders with dedication to accomplish a common goal.

Respect for Rules of Operation

A military operation requires everyone to do his job. A franchise requires franchisees to follow the proven system of the franchise company to succeed. In both one person implements a plan prepared by others with proven experiences.

Leadership Training

Business ownership requires the type of leadership the military teaches. An owner is responsible for the business, its employees and, of course, accountable to its customers.

Discipline

When the buck stops with you, you need a disciplined work ethic, especially during the early days as you build your business to profitability.

Character

Overcoming obstacles, an everyday activity for soldiers in the military, builds the kind of character necessary for business ownership.

Teamwork

In the military, soldiers learn to put the success of the mission ahead of their own interests. This dedication to teamwork well suits the needs of franchisees to work with franchisors in a cooperative manner to maximize success.

To pursue the opportunity available through VetFran, veterans should check out the website and complete the toolkit at www.vetfran.com/toolkit-sign-up/. You’ll find a list of franchises that offer incentives to veterans, as well as greater detail on what it takes to purchase a franchise, such as investment of capital and time for research.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?

Get your free evaluation today!

Contact Dan Citrenbaum to help you create the career you’ve always wanted. As a franchise coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484)278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 09/2015