Reinventing Your Career? 5 Steps To Assess Your Transferable Skills

As we all know, most of us will reach a time in our work life when we have to reinvent our careers for an evolving economy. Some of us go back to school while others enter new businesses. The first thing you want to do is to stop thinking of yourself as just a job title, whether that be financial analyst, human resources specialist, manager, teacher, homemaker or whatever. No matter how you spend the first part of your career, whether it’s coaching soccer or fully entrenched in corporate America, we all end up developing a specific expertise. But if you start your own independent business from scratch, you will need to know something about every aspect of the business, from managing staff to selling your product or service. If you’re interested in a switching to a new industry, you might want to consider a franchise, which comes with a tried-and-true business model, a brand name and marketing expertise, as well as a training program and ongoing support. With a franchise, you get to operate your own business while having a team of experts behind you. To accurately gauge your preparedness for any new endeavor, you should consider all the skills you have accumulated that can be transferred to a new career.

Take a Personal Inventory

As you take an inventory of your skills, you want to dive deep into the details of your day to accurately assess your strengths and transferable skills.

1. List what you do in an average workday.

Make a list of all the activities you perform in any given day over a week, since not everything you do happens daily. And don’t skip anything you may consider “a no-brainer” or insignificant because these little things can add up to a very significant skill. So, if you sometimes have to field phone calls from disgruntled clients, and you’ve discovered you’re really good at calming people’s nerves, that’s a valuable skill. Even if your job title is financial analyst.

2. Realistically assess your personal strengths

You don’t need to be good at everything, but if cold-calling is an essential aspect of the business, you need to know you can do this day in and day out. Consider core skills such as communications, business acumen, managing people, marketing, and so on. Be honest with yourself and stay clear of businesses that rely on skills that are not among your strengths.

3. Are you detail-oriented or more the big-picture thinker?

If you’re a numbers person and love tabulating figures, you may want to find a business that can capitalize on this valuable skill. Or maybe you prefer creating strategies that can make the whole operation run more smoothly.

4. Do you have good follow-through?

Building a clientele involves not only making good connections but following through to convert these new contacts into lasting relationships. Follow-through can also be an essential attribute in managing staff. A good franchise program can help you learn this skill.

5. Are you a people person?

Do you love being around and meeting new people? Do you strike up conversations easily and enjoy learning about other people’s interests and goals? Many businesses require a whole range of people skills in hiring and managing staff and attracting and keeping customers, but there are lots of businesses where the role of the owner mainly involves working alone at your computer. Personal inventory in hand, you’re now ready to begin researching businesses that would best match your skills and interests.

Three Ways a Franchise Can Lower Your Risk

Tired of the 9-to-5 grind?

That has become a quaint expression in today’s economy since most people work far more than 40 hours, and some people are veritably chained to their employers seven days a week via email and text message.

No wonder so many people want to change jobs. More than half of all U.S. workers are not satisfied with their jobs, according to the most recent survey by The Conference Board. Moreover, upwards of 70 percent of them are thinking about changing jobs, according to

A better option might be to take complete charge of your career by going into business for yourself.

A great way to lower your risk is to buy a franchise, which offers a multitude of advantages for the new business owner.

Three Key Ways a Franchise Lowers Your Risk

First and Foremost is the Financial Disclosure Document

With no other type of new business do you get as much information upfront as with a franchise, thanks to the federally mandated Financial Disclosure Document. Most new businesses begin with a vision, but their operations must be invented every step of the way. By contrast, a franchise will teach you exactly how to run the business to maximize success. They have done it many times before, and they know what works.

And you can learn just how well all this has been working by reading the FDD, in which franchisors disclose a history of the business, including when it was established and any other names under which it has operated. You can also learn if its executives have faced any litigation or ever failed in a business.

You can ascertain exactly how much money you need for your initial investment, including fees, estimated wages and costs to purchase supplies, inventory, set up an office, as well as for insurance and rent.

And since being fully capitalized is one of the keys to ensuring your business makes it for the long run, this information can make the critical difference between success and failure.

The FDD also has a list of franchisees currently in business, as well as those no longer in operation. This list becomes one of your most important resources. We recommend you call as many franchisees as possible to learn how they’re doing, and whether they are happy with the franchise company.

Second, a franchise comes with a proven system

While not all franchises are created equal, the good franchises have developed an operating system meant to create the conditions necessary for success. They have a group of franchisees continually testing new ideas and improving the system. These folks, as well as support staff, can offer lots of helpful advice along the way.

Third is the training and support to help you learn the system

When you buy a franchise, you have a whole team of support behind you. A good franchisor is invested in your success. The franchise company has a built-in incentive to help you succeed since the more money you make, the more they make, too.

Before you even make a purchase, you will have lots of phone conversations, as well as in-person meetings about the franchisor’s system, their training and support and even what type of profits you might expect.

Still, a franchise is not for everyone. If for some reason you don’t like the franchise system or you don’t plan to follow the system as laid out by the franchisor, don’t buy the franchise. If you prefer to invent your own business model with ideas hatched in your own creative imagination, a franchise is not for you.

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 or at (484) 278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 2020

Starting A Business? 4 Ways To Capitalize On Economic Trends

As any successful entrepreneur will tell you the best businesses are ones that anticipate the next great economic trend. Related: 6 Things To Ask Yourself Before Starting A Business Some fields may be on the upswing as other industries may be dying out. Figuring out the future might look difficult, but you can start by identifying ways in which the economy’s recent changes have already created opportunities. The evergreen nuggets of wisdom still apply in the 21st century:

  • Read the business press: newspapers and magazines and any trade journals that apply in your industry of choice (either in print or online).
  • Poke around your own region to notice who’s succeeding and why.
  • Pay attention to economic indicators that track growth in the U.S. economy, based on such areas as stock prices, payroll, sales and production, unemployment and inflation. Notice sectors that stand out.
  • Consult the experts.

Your most important decision is in choosing which fork in the road to take. While Robert Frost may have had a point about taking “the one less traveled by,” when it comes to business, you probably want to choose a path on which people have a demonstrated track record of success. The good news is we see some strong, lasting trends in our current economy that are less susceptible to short-term blips. In an age of down-sizing and out-sourcing, these are the support services that companies now require to accomplish many essential tasks.

Starting A Business? 4 Ways To Capitalize On Economic Trends

You will find many opportunities to start your own business with a franchise that has a strong history of success and offers good training and ongoing support. Here are four ways to capitalize on economic trends when starting a business:

1. Temp staffing

One of the fastest growing sectors of our economy is in temporary staffing. According to a report from the American Staffing Association, temporary and contract staffing services set a new annual record 2014, and growth is expected to continue into 2015 and beyond. There are many franchise companies in the temp staffing field. Your research needs to be very thorough to separate the strongest from the mediocre.

2. IT Support

While every large corporation has its own IT department, many small or medium-sized businesses cannot afford IT staff in-house. The solution is to contract out with an IT company that can handle security and maintenance to keep these essential computer systems humming. Franchise companies have made great inroads in filling this growing need.

3. Business Services

Firms that help other businesses improve efficiency have also shown strength in today’s economy. Since corporate America operates on a lean budget, they don’t have the resources to study their systems in-house and often rely on consulting companies. The investment can more than pay for itself.

4. Digital Advertising

Lots of established businesses whose long-time employees may not be savvy experts in social media hire out for this expertise, an integral component of 21st century marketing. One great advantage of franchises in the business services arena is they often require lower startup costs, and you can save overhead by working from home, at least initially. Wherever your interests lie, there’s no time like the present to recharge your career with a franchise.

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 or at (484) 278-5489.

Get the balance you crave in your life with a Franchise

Whether you’re ready to slow it down after a lifetime in the workforce, or to restart your career after primarily being home with your kids, franchising has multiple opportunities for you to work at home.

Locating your business at home allows you to set your work hours around the needs of your life. So you can watch your grand-daughter’s afternoon softball game or take your kids to school without spending valuable time commuting. Or have more time to pursue hobbies or volunteer activities.

Working at home, in fact, is a growing trend, having increased 46 percent between 1997 and 2010, for people who work at least one day per week at home, according to the U.S. Census.

Increasing numbers of full-time workers are setting up their businesses at home, thanks to new technology that allows us to easily connect via the Internet. In its most recent survey, the Census reported that more than half of all businesses that responded to its 2007 Survey of Business Owners operated out of someone’s home.

The other main benefit of setting up a new business at home is the ability to significantly lower your overhead costs.

The advantage of a franchise is you don’t need any experience in your business of choice. A good franchise comes with a tried-and-true system, training and ongoing support to help you gain the skills you need to make a good living.

Of course, your responsibility is to do the research necessary to help you make a good match with your interests and your experience. This includes reading Franchise Disclosure Documents and talking to franchisees to fully understand not only your complete costs, but potential snags, as well.

After all, you don’t want to choose a business that requires an outgoing personality when you prefer solitary work, such as research or perusing spreadsheets. The good news is opportunities abound to suit every area of interest.

Home-based franchises range across many industries, from various cleaning services, assisted living or home health care, business to business services, tutoring and fitness training.

Characteristics of a home-based franchise include:

  • Few or no employees
  • Interaction with clients mainly by telephone or by you bringing your business to them
  • Technology easily available at home
  • Lower space requirements

We recommend you start looking into various franchises online, starting with the International Franchise Association, and then consult a franchise coach to help you fine-tune your selection.

Spend the time upfront on a thorough due diligence and you greatly improve your chances for long-term success.

Choosing a new business can be among the most exciting moments in your life. So let your goal of creating a balanced life with a business you enjoy be your guide and get started 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 franchise coach, Dan brings years of experience helping people select and buy a franchise or existing business. You can reach Dan at or at (484)278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 2020

6 Easy Steps To Interviewing Your Way To Franchise Success

Deciding to start a new business is a heady time for every budding entrepreneur. As any experienced business owner will tell you, preparation is the key to success. That preparation becomes much easier when you decide to purchase a franchise. You gain a huge upside as a result of the amount of information available to you. Since franchises come with a system time-tested by dozens or even thousands of others, you get a veritable operating manual and can ascertain before you start whether you have the skills and experience to succeed with this business. So, the key question becomes whether this business is right for you. Your most invaluable resource to help you find the answers lies with the network of franchisees who once stood in your shoes. We recommend you interview as many franchisees as you can. You will find a complete list of franchisees in the Franchise Disclosure Document, which franchisors are required by federal law to provide to potential franchisees.

6 Steps To Interviewing Your Way To Franchise Success

If you’ve never conducted an interview, don’t worry. Every good interview follows the same basic steps. Commit these to memory, perhaps ask a friend to help you practice, and begin to explore possible business options for your future.

1. Be Cordial And Gracious

Inquiring minds cannot just ask any question that pops to mind. Remember you are imposing on the franchisee’s time, so when you call, get right to the point, that you are interested in the franchise and are hoping he or she might have a few minutes to talk about his or her experiences. Ask if this is a good time, or when might be a good time to call back.

2. Plan Your Interview

You might want to plan a couple of layers to your interview. Use your initial research of written documents to help plan good questions. First, prepare a few questions that would take no more than 15 minutes of the franchisee’s time. Then, write additional questions you might get to if the franchisee has the time. Ask questions that only this person can answer. Be specific about what this person knows that you cannot get in any prepared written material. For example: How have their experiences been with the franchisor? Did actions live up to promises? Were training and support sufficient? Would they buy the franchise aga

3. Show Respect

You may not like everything the franchisees tell you, but you are after their perspective. So don’t argue, play devil’s advocate or in any way imply their problems are due to their own inadequacies.

4. Listen

The most important time during your interview is when you’re not talking. Try to draw out as much information from the franchisee by asking succinct questions, and then stop talking. Sometimes people need a few moments to clarify their thoughts before responding.

5. Clarify

Even with the best listening skills, you may miss some of what is said. Don’t be shy about asking your source to repeat something or clarify an answer you may not have understood. As most journalism professors will tell you, there’s no such thing as a stupid question. The question you wish you had asked is another thing.

6. Follow Up

As you go through your notes, and something important pops out that you fear you may have misunderstood or gotten wrong in your notes, call back. Most people appreciate conscientious attempts to get it right. Just remember to be respectful of the franchisees’ time. And it never hurts to drop a thank you email after the interview. You might want to keep these lines of communication open for the future.

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 or at (484) 278-4589.  

Everything You Need To Know To Succeed In Business

From time to time, you may wonder what it might be like to run your own business. You would be in charge of your own time. You could pocket all the profit that results from your labor. You could tap your natural ingenuity and try out your great ideas. Best of all, you would be master of your own destiny. While you get all the upside, you also bear all the responsibility when trouble hits. Knowing this causes potential owners to feel fear and trepidation – so that often they abandom their dream of ownership and continue in their stultifying day job. But what if there was a way to minimize your risk and get all the benefits of owning your own business? The answer is actually within easy reach. With a franchise, before you even invest a dime, you know everything you need to know to succeed. You get a proven system, upfront and continuing training, support for everything from setting up your office to buying equipment and supplies, and you know from the get-go exactly how much your startup costs will be.

10 Questions To Answer Before Purchasing A Franchise

The most important issue becomes your research, how well you make a match with your interest, skills, and expertise to a franchise whose system and support stands up to scrutiny.

First About Yourself

1. How much money do I want to invest?

A good rule of thumb: You will need enough to pay startup costs as well as your living expenses until the business becomes profitable.

2. Do I have the ability to put in long hours during the startup phase?

If you have significant responsibility caring for a sick relative, you might want to review your timing.

3. What types of skills do I bring to my new business?

Perhaps you’re great at sales, managing people or accounting. Whatever your strengths, you want to choose a franchise that capitalizes on them.

4. Do you enjoy working with people or prefer working alone?

You can find a franchise that matches your preference. For example, you could choose a business support service or a retail store.

5. Will your business be your primary source of income or a secondary career?

Called semi-absentee, there is a whole category of franchises for those who wish to work part-time.

About The Franchisor

6. How much are the initial startup costs?

You can find everything you need to know in the Franchise Disclosure Document, which every franchisor is required to disclose to potential franchisees. Look at Items 5-7.

7. How long has the franchisor been in business? Any glaring litigation history?

You’re looking for proof this is a company in good standing. Check Items 1-4 in the FDD. You will also want to learn how many franchisees have gone out of business.

8. Do I have a good rapport with the franchisor’s executives?

Through multiple interviews and meetings, you will need to determine if you want to work closely with these people. Do you trust them? Are they likable?

9. What obligations does the franchisor place on franchisees?

All franchisors will be highly specific on how the business is run. After all, they have a brand to protect. Check for restrictions on territory, resale, and royalties. Decide if any of these are too onerous for you. It’s always a good idea to consult a franchise attorney.

10. Is the support and training everything the franchisor advertises? Would a large number of franchisees buy this franchise again?

As the most important question in the bunch, you should plan to invest a significant amount of time calling and interviewing franchisees — whose phone numbers you can find in the FDD.

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 or at (484) 278-5489