Want to Earn a Million Bucks? You Ought to Consider Owning Your Own Business

 

Remember those carefree college days when you declared your major and thought that what you really wanted was a job that would make you a good living and, if all went well, you would one day earn a million dollars?

A million dollars doesn’t seem like so much money anymore with the number of billionaires proliferating about as fast as the middle class is shrinking. And you’ve realized that tying your future to someone else’s trajectory has its risks.

The fact is you’re far more likely to become a millionaire by owning your own business than any other method. But, as we all learn sooner or later, it’s not really about the money. It’s about finding fulfillment in your work, feeling appreciated for what you do and controlling your own destiny.

About two-thirds of American millionaires are self-employed, according to the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy” by Thomas Stanley and William Danko. Three quarters of them consider themselves entrepreneurs, and most of the rest are self-employed professionals, such as doctors and accountants.

Many of these millionaires write Stanley and Danko, got that way by focusing on the “delayed gratification” of building their business, rather than on simply getting a paycheck.

The same can be true of a creating a large, profitable business. Start slow and steady with a good idea, add hard work and realistic goals and build a flourishing business.

One way to make this happen, particularly for those who have no experience in the business they would like to get into, is to buy a franchise — which comes with all the backroom expertise, ready-made marketing and ongoing support and training. And you get to reap all the profits derived from your labor.

To fully explore your options, it’s a good idea to consult a franchise coach who can help connect you to a set of franchises that have a good track record, and you can start investigating.

In addition, you can find a whole lot of good information online, but there’s nothing like the information you can gain by working out some shoe leather. Go talk to franchisees, learn from people who are succeeding and find out what has worked for them or what mistakes they wish they hadn’t made.

In an age of consolidation and buyouts, act now to free yourself from dependence on a boss or a company that could change at any moment. There’s no point sitting on the sidelines a minute longer.

 

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

 

 

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.
  • A 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 downYour costs 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 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 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.  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.
  • Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?
  • How well the franchisors system works
  • 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?
  • Exactly how the business should be run
  • 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.
  • A franchisees obligations
  • 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.

 

© Dan Citrenbaum 2015

Experts Are Essential!

Ready to start your own business? Consult an Attorney and an Accountant

By Dan Citrenbaum

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

 

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.

Get your free evaluation today!

 

© Dan Citrenbaum 2015

Want to Go Green? You Can Find a Franchise for That, too!

Want to go Green? You can find a franchise for that, too!

10 Ways to Go Green with a Franchise

By Dan Citrenbaum

Recycle Reuse and Reduce. Since that iconic environmentalists’ 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 2015

Want to Start a Business? Don’t Worry About the Competition. Ask Yourself the Right Questions

When it comes to choosing a business to buy, what matters most is not a competition-free market but rather a demonstrated record of success.

Think about it. If there’s no competition, it may mean that demand for this type of service or product is insufficient. But if you see a slew of similar businesses thriving, you could conclude the market is strong for that service or product.

This is why you tend to see a bunch of fast food restaurants all in a row. We can presume lots of hungry people pass by this location on a regular basis.
What separates the wheat from the chaff will be the best operating system and business model. And the best way to get a good understanding of all of this right out of the box is with a franchise.

Instead of starting from scratch, if you choose a good franchise, you will get a time-tested operating system, as well as training and ongoing support to get you up and running in your new business. The Franchise Disclosure Document will provide you a full rundown of your upfront costs.

The hard part becomes making the selection, which is why the research phase of the process is so important. With 75 industries represented among 3,000 franchisors, you will have your work cut out for you, which is why we recommend a franchise coach who can help you narrow your choices.

When you reach out to a professional, the two of you can do a lot to pinpoint the types of businesses that would match your particular strengths and interests.

Determine What Works for You

Educational background

Create a list your strengths, based on book knowledge. No matter what career path you took in life, you still have these strengths borne out by your school experience. What did you study in school?

Are you strong in science, math, or did you excel in English class? Don’t worry if this list doesn’t include any business classes. The humanities offer great insights into human nature, which is a strength in running a business. More obviously, being strong in science and math prepares you well for businesses that require technical knowledge or numbers sense.

Career Experiences

Make a list of the different skills you’ve gained over the years in your career. Stick with the micro level — start with activities and then link the skills associated with them — so you don’t inadvertently dismiss certain skills you may not realize you’ve gained.

For example, if you worked in sales, you likely cold called, collected leads, networked though local organizations or trade groups, compiled marketing materials, cultivated regular customers, tailored your efforts to suit clients’ particular needs and established ongoing relationships along the way. These activities entail skills in communications, organization and marketing, among others.

Make the right business match

Review of the Local Economy

Do an informal audit of the types of business that are strong in your region. Possibly many of these require business services that can be provided by a franchise. Or you may discover other business types that offer room for growth. List all the businesses that meet these criteria, even if they may not seem suitable at first.

After you finish making your lists, you can see which businesses might be best suited to your portfolio of skills. Now you’re ready to start searching for an appropriate franchise.

Further research will give you a better handle on the role of the owner in operating the business as you learn the ins and outs of the franchise system.

Your preparation will help you make the right match for yourself and your local economy, so you can carve out your own place in a well-developed market and outshine the competition.

 

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