Want to Start Your Own Business? Five Start-Up Tools to Help You Get Going

Do you spend most days at work stewing in frustration, thinking you could run the operation way better if only the higher-ups would listen. Why wait any longer to truly test your mettle? Especially since you can find a roadmap forward with a franchise.

Before you balk, there is as much variety in franchise operations as with any independent business. There’s so much more than fast food and automobiles. Some are better run than others and some would make a better match with your skills and experience.

This is why the most important step in the purchase of a franchise is all the work that comes before you ever sign any contracts. A franchise coach — whose services are free to you — can help guide you through a complete due diligence so that by the time you are ready to make a decision, you know exactly how much it will cost, what you can expect in the way of revenues and how exactly you will run this business.

You can find out all this information because franchises are required by federal law to disclose it in a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). While operating revenues are an optional item in the FDD, interviews with individual franchisees can give you a good idea of what you can expect.

What a good franchise offers you is an easy on-ramp since it comes with so many tools to help you get started. Read on to learn what you should expect from a good franchise company.

Five Startup Tools Offered by Franchises

Upfront training and ongoing support

Franchisors offer training because they want you to learn their systems. They have a brand and want you to be a great extension of that brand in the marketplace. You should make sure you get what you need to get you started. Some will offer as much as 50 hours of instruction upfront, plus more for you and your employees after you open your business. On top of that, you get ongoing support, someone to answer your questions as they arise in your new business.

Advertising/Marketing

A ready-made national advertising campaign should be available to you. Local marketing is also essential, and a good franchise should offer you plenty of assistance to help you get the word out about your new business — one of the most important steps to becoming successful.

 

Guidelines for setting up your shop

You will likely get a list of suppliers to help you get the equipment and inventory you need. The franchisor will have specifications on furniture, fixtures and supplies to purchase, as well as the number of employees you will need. If you don’t like these, you probably should find a different franchise.

 

Support on leasing

Many franchise companies will help you find a suitable location, as well as sign a lease, though you probably want to do your own research about your region and hire a real estate attorney of your own. A bad lease can be a significant burden on a new business.

 

A business of your own can help you rise to greater heights in your career. So take the first step 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.

 

With a quarter century of experience as an entrepreneur and coach, Dan began the latest stage of his career in 2010 when he bought a franchise — which he calls “the best decision I ever made.” To find out how to start your own business with a franchise or buy an existing business, call Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-4589.

 

© Dan Citrenbaum 2016

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 2015

Read Up On Your New Business Before Signing Any Contracts

When shopping for a new business, lots of first-timers choose a franchise for its many benefits, from a well-tested brand name and marketing program, as well as lots of back room support and training to help new business owners succeed.

But you have to do your due diligence to make sure you select the company that best matches your goals. When it comes to preparation, there are no short cuts. You have to read the fine print before signing any contracts.

The good news is that Federal Trade Commission requires franchise companies to disclose a great deal of information to help prospective franchisees learn everything they need to know to make a good choice.

You want to get a copy of the Franchise Disclosure Document for each franchise you’re seriously considering. Franchisors are required by law to provide you a copy at least 14 days before you’re asked to sign a contract or pay any money. You can ask for the document in any format convenient for you.

A franchise coach can help you through the nitty gritty of this process. As you begin your preliminary research, here’s what you should look for:

Franchisor’s Background

You want to know how long the franchisor has been in business. What’s the competition like? Pay close attention to the general business backgrounds of the company executives and how long they’ve been with the company.

Litigation history

Has the franchisor been involved in any litigation with their franchisees? Have any of its executives been convicted of fraud or other violations of franchise law? Have franchisees filed claims against the franchisor? You will also want to watch for any prior bankruptcies among the executives’ histories. These would all be red flags to further investigate.

Initial and Ongoing Costs

This is critical information since you never want to find yourself short on funds for matters that were clearly part of the cost of operating your business. Costs will include continuing royalty payments, advertising, business promotions, operating licenses, supply costs, cost to purchase discretionary equipment, cost of compliance with local municipal ordinances, and insurance, among others.

Only by estimating your costs can you realistically compare franchise operations to see if you might be able to earn more profit with another company.

Restrictions

Franchisors may restrict from whom you may order supplies, what you may offer for sale and where you can sell. Each franchisor will have different ways of determining a territory, which is meant to protect current franchisees but may not be satisfactory to you. For example, Dunkin’ Donuts has territorial restrictions limiting some franchisees from also offering 31 Flavors ice cream.

Training

While franchisors offer training, you need to know who is eligible for training and who pays. Are new employees eligible? Are support staff available for ongoing support? Again, make sure you know all the costs.

Advertising

Franchises often are asked to contribute a portion of their earnings for advertising. Get the details on what the franchisor requires. What percentage of the advertising budget is spent in your area? Will local advertising amount to extra out-of-pocket costs?

Current and Former Franchises

Plan on talking to as many current franchisees as possible. Ask them what you will need to do to succeed. Also talk to former franchisees to learn what went wrong for them. Make sure you also ask financial questions, such as their total investment, including unexpected costs and how long it took them to cover their initial investment and earn a reasonable income. What are their earnings? Franchisees’ income might vary quite a bit, depending on geographic area and other factors.

Financial History

You want to make sure the franchise company is financially stable since you certainly don’t want the company to go out of business just after you invested your money. You also want to ensure the franchisor has sufficient money to supporting its franchise system.

For more information, check out the FTC’s website, which has published a consumer guide to buying a franchise at http://www.business.ftc.gov/documents/inv05-buying-franchise-consumer-guide.

With a thorough due diligence, you can feel confident your new business will succeed for the long term.

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 2016

Match a Franchise to Your Personality

With thousands of franchises for an array of budgets available for purchase, you may wonder, “How do I narrow down my search?”

Start your research with yourself. You can eliminate certain sectors that probably are not a good match for your personality and start to focus on franchises where you can maximize your chances for success.

Maybe you’re the sort of person who is comfortable focusing on your work at a desk for hours at a time, pouring over Excel sheets, charts and graphs. Or possibly, you prefer interacting with people, a front-of-the-shop type personality, great at making people feel comfortable walking through your doors and coming back again and again.

Each of those strengths is fantastic!

A franchise coach is an important resource to help you locate franchise opportunities you may have not yet considered to match your personality and expertise.

We always suggest you play to your strengths. Consider these core areas:

Management Strength

Can you or have you ever managed people? If you have experience managing people, so much the better, but if you don’t and need to manage employees in a franchise you have your eye on, don’t panic. So long as the business isn’t management focused, the franchisor will have support services to help you learn to manage employees. If management is your strength, you might consider a maid service, catering or retail.

Business Development/Natural Salesperson

Growing your business involves selling, but these days, most franchises don’t require cold calling. Rather, you will likely spend more time networking to get your name out among people who could use your product or service in their businesses.

What’s great about franchises is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Franchises will have programs to help you get started. If you’re the type of person who is comfortable giving presentations, attending industry or Chamber of Commerce meetings, businesses like workplace drug testing or medical staffing might be for you. Other franchises, like a painting company, might rely on outside companies to do much of your marketing.

Detail-Oriented

If you like to keep your finger on the pulse of absolutely everything, from the number of hours your employees work to inventory control, you should use this talent to get into some of the businesses that reward a good head for detail, such as a hair salon or a home decorating business. Still, depending on the size of your business, even the most particular owner will need to learn to delegate.

Relationship Builder

Do you love establishing new relationships, building and strengthening ties between yourself, your vendors, your customers and then networking outward?  You might want to consider senior care, home modifications for seniors or water damage repair.

Any business, such as academic tutoring or alternative energy solutions, where word-of-mouth is critical favors relationship builders.

People Person

Just as you wouldn’t choose to spend your career working in a lab hunched over a microscope if you craved meeting new people all the time, likewise, you likely wouldn’t choose a business that required a lot of time in the back room. You want a business where you have an opportunity to meet lots of new people and capitalize on your talent for making people feel comfortable making a purchase. While the retail or restaurant businesses might be obvious choices, there are so many more franchise types in which a people person can flourish, such as selling IT services to other businesses or modifying homes for seniors or the disabled.

If you’re not sure about your greatest strengths, interview people you know. Sometimes, friends and family members might recognize talents you tend to take for granted. And talk to a franchise coach.

 

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 2014

Want To Own Your Own Business But Hate Sales? Fear No More!

Just because you don’t like sales doesn’t mean you can’t own a business.

That’s right. Contrary to popular belief, you can be a successful entrepreneur even if your strength doesn’t happen to be cold calling and glad-handing. If you visit a McDonalds the owner probably is not trying to close you on buying a burger. And the same holds true for many other types of businesses.

Opportunities abound with businesses whose customers are drawn in by an effective marketing campaign, a great location, or strong advertising.

And you don’t even have to be an expert in a particular business to get going. All you need is to connect with a good franchise operation that matches your interests and skills, and you can get all the marketing and advertising expertise to help you get going.

The trick is to capitalize on your strengths and let the franchisor fill in the gaps.

Some large franchise organizations rely on national advertising and marketing programs to generate business. In addition, customers often actively seek out a conveniently located operation, often without realizing it’s an independently owned franchise.

Just to give you a taste, here is a small sample of franchise types that fit these categories:

  • Electronics sales and repair
  • Fitness and Gyms
  • Sandwich shops
  • Hair Salons
  • Residential painting and maintenance
  • Pack and Ship businesses
  • Massage therapy studios
  • Academic tutoring

The trick is to make a good match with a franchise that has an established record of working to develop new franchisees into successful and profitable businesses. That’s where working with a franchise coach can help you use your time most efficiently.

Let a franchise coach direct you to operations that have the best time-tested systems and a solid track record. Best of all their services are free since they’re paid by the franchisor.

You would then be responsible for talking to as many franchisees as possible. Use their experiences and advice to help you determine if an operation is, in fact, a good match for you. The franchise coach can also help you with pointers on the essential due diligence you will need.

Related Posts

Think You’re Ready For A Franchise Discovery Day? Not So Fast
Worried About Starting Your Own Business? Try A Franchise
The Image Factor In Buying A Business


Dan Citrenbaum | Expert In Franchise Selection, Due Diligence, Operations, & Training

About the author

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.

 


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