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 or at (484) 278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 2023

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.


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 or at (484) 278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 2023

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. Related: Ready For A Franchise? Maximize Your Success By Making The Right Choice! 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.

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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 or at (484) 278-4589

Do Your Research BEFORE You Start A Business

If you want to start a business, you may have a few stars in your eyes — think Steve Jobs in a garage or Ray Kroc planning an unheard of chain of hamburger joints, but Apple and McDonald’s are more the exception than the rule. Blink away the stars and get down to work. There is a great deal you can do to improve your odds of success. At the top of that list is research. Know as much as you can before you sign any contracts or put any money on the line. An advantage of a franchise is you get access to a wealth of information, including training and ongoing support, to help you decide whether you can succeed with a particular business. The franchisor’s system, however, can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it shows you all you need to do to achieve profitability, but if you’re not willing to follow the franchisor’s system and you would prefer to do tweak things because “you know better,” a franchise is probably not for you. We like the franchise model because it allows you to minimize your risk while still reaping many of the rewards of owning your own business: you can take control of your career and increase your income. But not all franchises are worth your investment. The trick is to figure out which ones are. The good news is the Federal Trade Commission requires franchisors to disclose a great deal of helpful information in a franchise disclosure document (FDD). A good franchise coach can help you peruse this document, but the FTC requires it be written in standard English — no legalese — so you certainly can begin the process yourself.

8 Ways To Vet A Franchise

1. Check out the franchisor’s background.

How long has the franchisor been in business? What is the background of the company executives? How long have they been with the company? Answers can be found in Items 1 and 2 of the FDD.

2. Learn if the franchisor has a history of litigation.

If the franchise has faced a history of lawsuits with its franchisees, you need to read no further. Ideally, a franchisor should work with the potential franchisees well ahead of time, so both parties know what will be necessary to hold up their sides of the contract. Item 3 in the FDD.

3. Know your costs.

You will find the initial franchise fee, which typically ranges from $35,000 to $50,000. You will also find all of the costs to set up the business, from the lease, to outfitting a store, initial inventory, as well as marketing and advertising. You will also find royalty fees, usually a percentage of sales. Most of the franchises we work with have a total investment ranging from $50,000 to $150,000. FDD items 5-7.

4. Can you live with the franchisor’s system?

If you buy a franchise it will be because you have learned that their franchisees are successful. You will know that their method of doing things works. If you join the company you will want to implement the system the franchisor has already proven. Will you be able to follow their system? Do not invest in the franchise if you won’t.. Items 2 and 8 in the FDD.

5. Rate their training.

Item 11 of the FDD will describe the franchisor’s training program, from the topics covered during the training, how many hours it requires, the cost and who is covered by the training. You can find out a lot more about the training program by interviewing franchisees.

6. Know the costs and expertise of their advertising and marketing support.

Every new business requires a marketing program. Make sure you know what the franchisor will provide and what it will cost you. FDD items 6 and 11.

7. Interview current and former franchisees.

Probably your most important step in the process is reading through FDD item 20 to see the list of franchisees, which includes former franchisees, and their contact information. Plan to interview as many as possible to check into the franchise. Hear the unvarnished details from those who came before you. The most important question is whether the franchisee would make the purchase again knowing what they know now. Why or why not?

8. Assess the franchisor’s financial history.

You will find the franchisor’s financial statements in tem 21 of the FDD. You don’t want to invest in a franchise that is tottering on the edge of financial viability. For more information, check out the FTC’s website, which has published a consumer guide to buying a franchise. Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?

Get your free evaluation 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 or at (484) 278-4589. 

Ready For A Career Switch? Consider A Franchise

If you feel like you’ve spent too long in your job, are bored and losing hope of advancement, don’t despair. Take charge and consider starting a business of your own to fully realize your talents.

A great way to minimize your risk is to consider a franchise — which offers hundreds of ways to start anew as a business owner. You get to be the boss while taking advantage of the experience of other franchisees and an operating system that has been tested over time to help maximize your chance for success. All you have to do is be willing to follow the franchisor’s system. If you are, you can reap the rewards for yourself. Not only do you get to take charge of your day-to-day life — no more clearing days off with six layers of bureaucracy — you have the potential for far greater income than you ever would stagnating as a management executive. As a matter of fact, most millionaires in the United States made their money by operating their own businesses, according to a study by the authors of “The Millionaire Next Door,” Thomas Stanley and William Danko. Franchises offer a way to reduce your learning curve in a business you may have no experience in. With more than 3,000 franchisors in 75 industries to choose from, the hard part is making the right choice, which is why it’s so important to do your research and consult expert advice. Your reward for doing your due diligence is the potential payoff of operating a successful business.

5 Tangible Advantages Of Franchising

With a franchise, you get:

A Proven System

A franchise operation has over time developed a system, complete with specifications on how to set up the operation, hire employees and run an advertising program. In addition, you get advertising material and computer software. All of these elements help you succeed. Of course, some franchises are better than others, and your research should help you weed out the worst and find the right match for your talents and expertise.

Support And Training

The franchisor will teach you how to do it all, and the company offers ongoing support to get you through the learning phase. You will get to meet the support staff and become acquainted with the corporate culture before signing any contracts, so you can ensure a copacetic working environment for the long term.

Lots Of Available Information About The Business

The single most important source of information you have about this new business is the experience of franchisees. You will be encouraged to speak to many of the franchisees – as many as it takes for you to fully understand exactly what the business is like. They can tell you how the system has worked for them, if the numbers add up as promised, if the company has been good to work with and whether they are making the kind of money they expected. Remember to expect regional differences.

Franchise Disclosure Document

By federal law, every franchise must disclose a great deal of pertinent information in its FDD. Once you show yourself a serious potential buyer, they will provide you a document written in standard English, no legalize allowed, that has 23 items. The FDD covers everything from the franchisor’s business experience, litigation or bankruptcy history, a complete accounting of all costs you should expect, from startup fees to royalties, restrictions on the sale of the business and a complete list of current and former franchisees.

Higher Success Rate

Franchises generally have a higher success rate than independent businesses. From my experience, we feel we can confidently say our clients can achieve a 90 percent or better success rate, as a result of the research we walk them through. A recent study shows that 91 percent of franchises were still in business after two years, and 85 percent were still in business after five years. Even with all the above items available to reduce risk, you can still get in over your head if you don’t plan for enough capital to get you through the start-up phase to profitability. Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true?

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.

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 or at (484) 278-4589.

© Dan Citrenbaum 2022