Starting a Business Doesn’t Have to Be As Risky as You Think

Any challenging endeavor — like hiking the Pacific Coast Trail, rafting down the Colorado River or starting your own business — offers the thrill of success. And just like you wouldn’t start a 30-day hike without preparation, you shouldn’t start a business without first doing your research.

All you have to do is read Bill Bryson’s “Walk in the Woods,” a laugh-out-loud telling of his adventures on the Appalachian Trail that result from a wretched lack of preparation, to know the importance of planning ahead.

When it comes to your money and your livelihood, little failures along the way are not so funny.

Good preparation can turn the odds in your favor. You should know as much as you can before laying any of your money on the line, and one of the best ways to get the most information about your future business is to try a franchise.

With a franchise, you can break out of the gate with a head start.

All you have to do is take the time to do your research to select a franchise that has a great track record of success. The good news is the trail is well blazed ahead of you. Learn from those who came before you, and you can increase your odds of reaching your destination.

You have three main ways to learn all about your future business.

  • The Franchise Disclosure Document, which every franchise company is required by federal law to provide to prospective franchisees. The FDD contains 23 items that everyone interested in this business should read.
  • network of franchisees who can provide a font of information about their experiences with the business.
  • The franchisors executives and support staff, which every prospective franchisee has an opportunity to meet with and get to know before signing any documents.

Six things you should know before putting a penny down

Your costs

You will find a complete accounting of your upfront costs, as well as ongoing royalty fees in the FDD. See Items 5 through 7. This includes your franchise fee and all the costs associated with starting up your business, including marketing and advertising.

A franchisees obligations

Also in the FDD, you will find a description of what the contract will require of you. Obligations and restrictions can be found in Items 9 and 16. If you’re not prepared to live by rules associated with supplier choice or territory restrictions, cross the franchise off your list.

The franchisors history

In the FDD, you will find information about the franchisor’s business history, the backgrounds of its executives and whether it has been subject to any litigation or been through bankruptcy. Just as you wouldn’t hire an employee without checking into their background, don’t go into business with a franchisor that has a checkered past.

Exactly how the business should be run

Every franchise comes with a system, which means a particular way the business should be run. You can learn about the system from the franchisor’s representatives, as well as from the FDD. But your best source of information about how the system works in practice is to interview as many franchisees as possible. You should also interview former franchisees for insights into what can go wrong. A complete list of franchisees, current and former, can be found in the FDD.

The responsibility of the owner

Before your due diligence is complete, you should know exactly what the day-to-day life of the franchise owner is about. Is the job all about sales or marketing or managing employees? Is it a job you want?

How well the franchisors system works

From your interviews with franchisees, you will learn how well their business is functioning and if they’re making as much money as they expected. Find out how long it took them to get to profitability. Would they buy this franchise again?

You couldn’t hope to glean this level of detail about virtually any other type of business. And certainly if you’re starting a business from scratch and you have to invent your systems as you go, you won’t know how much capital you should have on hand, let alone the best ways of doing things from day one.

Still if you don’t want to follow someone else’s system and would prefer to invent your own, you may not want a franchise. A good way to get started is to contact a franchise coach to help you winnow down your list of potential franchises and check out franchises that are a good match to your interests and expertise.

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 2020

Top 5 Reasons To Start Your Own Business

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re sitting at your desk, wondering where your career is going, if you even like your job or if you may be one step away from losing your job to downsizing, outsourcing or offshoring. Perhaps you should start your own business. Maybe you have made lists of the types of jobs you’ve always dreamed of having, but bagged the plan after deciding your resume didn’t match the job description prerequisites. Even if your skills are up to the task, you can’t seem to move out of the doldrums. One of the best ways to see how far your skills can take you is to put them to work for yourself and start your own business. If the fear of striking out on your own presents too high a stumbling block, you might want to consider a franchise, which is the best way to control your risk while getting all the benefits of entrepreneurship. Whether you choose to start your own business from scratch or choose a franchise, which comes with a fully tested operating system, as well as training and ongoing support, with the right planning and preparation, business ownership can put your career trajectory on an upward path once again. Here are the top five reasons to start your own business:

1. Money

Generally speaking you have a far greater upside when it comes to earnings potential than you ever will working for someone else. When you work for corporate America you probably make a lot more money for your employer than you do for yourself. If you own your own business you have a way to keep both portions of the profit.

2. Flexibility

While the ramp-up phase may have you working more hours than you did at your job, all your labor is going to your own bottom line. Once your operation is up and running, you will be able to have all the flexibility you dreamed of. You can set your own vacation schedule and take off the morning if you need to without having to work around your boss’s whims and arbitrary controls.

3. Work-Life Balance

Instead of your family always having to take second place to the demands of your job, you can create a balance. Set your own schedule so you can have it all.

4. Control over Your Career

You get to control your job security. And when you choose the type of business to buy or start, you get to choose the type of work you do. With control, you also get responsibility for the whole show. For some, this is an exciting proposition, but for others this may be a deal breaker.

5. Independence

When you own your own business, you can run it how you like. Freedom from your 9-to-5 can feel like a shot of adrenaline to your career. So if you’re thinking, “yeah, that’s me,” consult a business or franchise coach at once to learn all the ways you can get started, whether that means developing a plan to prepare yourself for a better future or looking around for the right opportunity today.

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 business 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.  

Experts are essential! Ready to start your own business? Consult an Attorney and an Accountant

In an increasingly complex economy, you should take heart that no one knows it all. In fact, the trend is for people to specialize in ever more specific niches. But that’s no reason to shy away from starting your own business.

There’s an expert for everything you need to know to succeed.

You should consult them before you sign your name on any contracts. And yes, you will have to pony up for their fees, but count this as insurance against making rookie mistakes that can cost you a whole lot more down the line.

The two people most important to saving you a world of regret later are your accountant and lawyer. But not just any one will do. You need to find one who is an expert in the area about which you need advice.

Consult an Attorney

Just as you wouldn’t hire a civil attorney to defend you in criminal court, if you want assistance on buying a business, consult attorneys who make this their specialty.

If you’re buying a franchise, we highly recommend you consult a franchise attorney who has read hundreds of standard franchise contracts and can help you recognize potential pitfalls and help you figure out ways to protect your investment.

The most important task for the franchise attorney will be to review the Franchise Agreement and the Franchise Disclosure Document. Do not entrust this to an attorney who does not specialize in franchising. These documents can easily total 200 pages or more. You want your advocate to be someone who knows exactly where to focus their review.

An attorney can also help you:

  • Check trademark registration – Does your franchise use a name eerily similar to another local business?
  • Set up a legal entity – To protect yourself from third-party claims.
  • Negotiate a lease – A bad one can lock you into a costly expense for years to come.
  • For franchises, ensure you have a protected territory – Some franchisees discover only too late that the contract may allow another franchisee to operate within a block of their location, which fractures their market share.

Just as you would never attempt to read up on the law so you can avoid hiring an attorney, you should not try to fast-track an accounting course to help you make smart financial decisions for your business.

Consult an Accountant

Two main accounting issues exist for the entrepreneur, but, of course, they are the essence of your business. You need to be smart about:

  1. How to finance your business and
  2. How you manage operations. Good mechanisms for measuring key indices of your business can help you correct errors early and capitalize on strengths.

Accountants bring essential expertise drawn from experience working with hundreds or thousands of other businesses before you.

As you have likely heard, most new businesses fail due to insufficient capitalization.

Managing cash flow may be your most important responsibility even if it has nothing to do with your core ideas, talents or skills. And that’s the point. Hire an accountant. How else are you going to know if you actually have the next big thing if you can’t make it through the start-up phase.

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 2020

Want to go Green? You can find a franchise for that, too! 10 Ways to Go Green with a Franchise

Recycle, Reuse and Reduce. Since that iconic environmentalist maxim was coined decades ago, increasing numbers of people have developed an interest in going green and recycling has become big business — which is why so many franchises have popped up to capitalize on this trend.

You can find everything from shops that help people insulate their homes to those that sell alternative energy systems. There are franchises that recycle and refurbish computer equipment as well as those that repair old furniture.

So if you have always wanted to combine your interest in preservation and sustainability with making a good living, start researching green franchises today.

Not only will you get a business that aims to tread lightly on the planet, but you will get a full how-to system for running your business, everything from training to ongoing support.

10 Ways to Go Green with a Franchise

Green Cleaning Services

Everything from maid services to carpet-cleaning services that use only earth-friendly products.

Energy Auditing

These services will check a house’s energy efficiency, whether the walls are well insulated and air is leaking out cracks around windows and doors. You can help homeowners learn how to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

Alternative Energy and Air Filtration

There are franchises that sell alternative energy options that help people reduce their energy costs as well as their ecological footprint.

Green Restaurants/Organic Food

A growing category, you can find companies that deliver organic food and restaurants that specialize in healthy food and green practices.

Recycle and Refurbish Computer Equipment

There are franchises that help large and small companies recycle their computer equipment. You can also find refurbishing centers that sell used equipment, which keeps perfectly usable computers out of landfills.

Repair Services

Really any repair business that helps us reuse existing products helps us go green. Lots of opportunities exist in this sector.

Restoration

In this era of big weather disasters, such as floods and tornadoes, restoration firms are flourishing to help people salvage their possessions, if not save their homes.

Green Car Washes

Like cleaning services, car washes that use eco-friendly products have been popping up in the franchise sector.

Clothing Resale

Used clothing is big business. There seems no end of people who need to get rid of perfectly good clothes and those that will snap them up just as fast. And franchises have grown to meet this need.

Lawn Services

Lots have been written about the damage done to the environment by pesticides used in lawn care. Find a franchise that specializes in green methods for maintaining a beautiful garden.

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 2020

Is A Franchise Right For You? Take The Quickie Questionnaire

A franchise can offer a perfect second stage for a stagnating career. If you’re ready to take control over your career destiny, you ought to ask yourself if a franchise might be right for you. Not only do you get to be the boss, but a franchise comes with a lot of information that can help you achieve success. This includes a complete set of guidelines to get the business up and running, training and ongoing support, as well as a full breakdown of your upfront costs. If we’ve piqued your interest and you want to learn more, take our quickie questionnaire, which boils down some of the prerequisites of business ownership into bite size digestible nuggets.

Quickie Questionnaire: Should you buy a franchise?

Thinking of buying a franchise? Take this quickie questionnaire first!

Can you follow someone else’s system?

A franchise comes with an operating system, the time-tested method the franchisor has formulated to help its franchisees achieve success. If you have a yearning to invent your own unique operation, don’t buy a franchise.

Can you tolerate risk?

Sometimes the most obvious questions get overlooked. But starting your own business entails risk. So the question becomes do you believe in yourself. Do you think you have the ability to run a profitable business, like the others in that franchise company? This one has to be a yes.

Do you like managing employees or do you prefer to work alone?

Franchises come in all forms, and you can find one where you primarily work alone or one in which you will have to manage employees.

Would your family support your decision to give up your current salary?

When you begin a new business, you probably won’t be drawing a salary for a period, possibly for six months. If this presents a problem for your family, the timing may not be right.

Can you handle more than one type of responsibility?

While you won’t need to do all these things at the same moment, you will have to juggle multiple aspects of running a business, from hiring and firing and managing employees, working with suppliers, securing and maintaining a clientele, advertising, marketing and so on. If this sounds daunting, the writing may be on the wall. Ideally, this sounds exciting as all heck! And if you’re not sure, interviewing franchisees will give you a better handle on their day-to-day activities. As you consider your options for a second stage, you may end up sitting on the fence for a while. While pondering, we recommend you do more research. Look at intriguing possibilities and talk to as many franchisees as possible.

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 business 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) 278-5489.