Tired Of The Same Old Same Old? Try A Franchise!

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Are you cruising along in a job that you can do with your eyes closed, maybe even with your hands tied behind your back? Everything is humming, and your industry seems solid.  Then, bam! Something happens that shatters all your old assumptions and you start to wonder, what are my options? That’s what happened to Dennis Clouser, of Tampa, Fla., who, as a mechanical engineer, had spent 30 years in the electrical connector industry. His last job with the billion-dollar company ITT Corp. ended abruptly after his division’s largest customer, a military contractor, pulled its business once the federal government imposed massive across-the board cuts as part of “deficit reduction sequestration” in early 2013. At the age of 51, Clouser received a six-month severance package, and the company made classes available to him to help him figure out his next stage. One of those classes introduced him to the option of a franchise. Before long, Clouser lined up another job doing exactly what he had been doing for 30 years. But doubts soon started creeping into his mind. “I thought, is this it?” Clouser recounted. “The hell with it. I’ll take a chance on myself for once instead of doing what I’ve been doing until I die. Maybe I can do something different.” He had a couple of friends with franchises, and he thought, well, if they can do it, maybe he could, too. With the help of a franchise coach, he started doing his research. “101 Mobility really grabbed me,” he said, referring to the franchise that sells mobility equipment, such as stair lifts, auto lifts and ramps to help people with disabilities stay in their homes. “I could help people instead of making bombs to blow them up.” Clousen felt a personal connection to the mission of helping people deal with their mobility issues around the house since two members of his family had suffered amputations that resulted from complications from Diabetes. While Clausen was confident about his mechanical abilities — “I can put anything together” —when it came to the other aspects of running a business, from bookkeeping to managing payroll and benefits, he felt less sure of himself. That’s where the franchise company’s support really came in handy. “101 is fanatical about opening steps,” he said. “There are biweekly meetings with people in corporate” where they discuss everything from finding a location, negotiating a lease to paying taxes. “They manage you every step of the way,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been able to open without learning what I learned from them.” As part of the preparation process, he talked to franchisees, some of whom were more helpful than others, but he finds the idea of sharing one’s experiences one of the most compelling aspects of having a franchise. For example, he particularly likes the franchise’s new program, “Talk to a Franchise,” where he, now as an existing franchisee, talks to three or four potential franchisees on the phone, and they get the opportunity to ask him whatever questions come to mind. “I’m really blunt with them,” he said. For starters, he tells them starting up a franchise is a lot of work. After two years with his new business, while he acknowledged making some mistakes along the way, he would definitely do it again. The difference is now he’s got total control of his life. And while he knows he may be working until 9 p.m. doing an evaluation of someone’s home, if the water sparkles particularly bright one sunny day, and an empty parking space beckons from St. Pete’s beach, he knows he can take an hour for a swim if he feels like it. Not a bad living. Not bad at all.

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. 

Want A Business With A Proven System? Shop For A Good Franchise

The attraction of a good franchise is its proven system for making money. You plunk down your money, and the franchisor shares the secrets of the trade: follow these procedures and you, too, can have a successful business and earn a good living.

The tricky part is finding a franchise whose system is truly proven. This is why buying into a new franchise can be risky since they may still be working the kinks out of the system. After all, the franchise company learns more about the business model from the process of expansion. By the time, they’ve got a dozen or more franchises that have been operating successfully for at least a few years, the franchise has a proven track record. But not before then. And because we would never recommend buying a franchise where you didn’t have the opportunity to interview plenty of existing franchisees, this process tends to eliminate those systems that haven’t yet passed the test of time.

3 Simple Questions To Help You Separate The Winners From The Losers

How long has the franchisor been in business?

There are actually two parts of this question. First, when did the franchisor first start the business? They may have operated for years as a single unit operation. Or they may have originally started off with the idea of franchising. How long have they been franchising? What is their franchisee success rate?

How many outlets are there?

If the operation is mainly centered in the region around their headquarters, and you’re in a different part of the country, you may not want to jump into this without a lot more investigation. Learn about their process of expansion. If most of the expansion has occurred in the past year, their system may not be fully tested.

Are there regional differences in the system?

A good franchise is always experimenting. They may find some products or services are more popular in some places than others. For example, McDonald’s sells the McRib sandwich more often in the South than up North. Do you see evidence of creative flexibility? Once you have a solid assessment of how well the franchisor’s system actually works, you can move forward with your next set of questions. First and foremost: Can you follow this system? Assess yourself honestly. Even though it works for others there may be a multitude of reasons why it may not work for you. If this is the case, walk the other way. If, on the other hand, you like the system and it is a proven money-maker, you also need to know if you think you can you work well with the franchisor’s support team. Whatever you do, as you go through your due diligence, don’t let wishful thinking and romantic visions of a particular business bias your thinking. In other words, don’t fall in love with a franchise before you learn everything there is to know about it.

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.

4 Proven Sectors For Starting A New Business

Some businesses arrive and depart about as quickly as sunrise and sunset — think cookies or cupcakes or donuts. Sort of like a one-trick pony, catering to a fleeting taste is far riskier than seeking to serve a market niche with enduring demand.  Sure the new cupcake confectionery might be jammed for the few months after opening, but after a while, people may start to crave cookies, banana bread or brioches and they’ll likely end up at the full-service bakery that supplies a treat for every mood. On the other hand, some things, like certain services, just never go out of style. Think about what you need on a regular basis, related to household maintenance and upkeep, educating your children or taking care of aging parents. So when you’re contemplating starting up a new business, always consider long-term viability, larger market forces and filling an ongoing market need. You can find plenty of choices in the service sector. Among the options are:

1. Health Care

Senior care is one of the fastest growing needs as the Baby Boomers age. You can also find opportunities with businesses to modify homes for seniors.

2. Temporary Staffing

Many businesses need employees to work flexible schedules on an as-needed basis. This is especially true in this era of extra-lean corporate staffs.

3. Cleaning Services

You can find great options for house cleaning or business janitorial services. Other ideas include carpet and upholstery cleaning services. In an economy where many businesses have outsourced these jobs, opportunities abound.

4. Business Services

In one of the fastest growing segments of the franchise industry, options include printing services, business coaching services or companies that offer document shredding. So contact a franchise coach, who can help you locate a business that best matches your skills and experience. Then when you take the leap, you’re making an educated decision based on strong fundamentals and solid research.

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.  

How To Know If You Have What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur

Almost everyone at one time or another contemplates starting a business, whether to escape from the frustrations of corporate America or to finally find fulfillment for your creative self, long trapped in stifling jobs.  Of course, the failure rate for new businesses can seem a daunting barrier. The Small Business Administration puts the survival rate of businesses at only 50 percent over five years. The good news is that the odds for survival improve the longer you’re in business. The toughest part is getting through the uncertainties of the startup period. The truth is not everyone is suited to starting and running his or her own business. And those who succeed learn how to capitalize on their strengths and gather as much preparation as possible before startup. You do not want to learn as you go or, before you know it, your money will run out. Fortunately there are many ways within easy reach to improve your odds. First, you must answer the most basic questions about whether you’ve got entrepreneurial talent and the right experience and skills for running a business. A recent Gallup survey of entrepreneurs found that “entrepreneurial talent significantly increased one’s odds of business success.” What separated these business owners? According to the 2014 Gallup study, they were more likely to:

  • Clearly articulate their competitive advantage to their clients
  • Make decisions about pricing, product or service with their customers in mind, and
  • Spent much more time planning for growth and aligning employee responsibilities with goals

In short, they were strategic in their management. Successful entrepreneurs have confidence, independence and determination, think creatively, can delegate, seek knowledge, and build lasting relationships, according to the study. You might have the skills, knowledge and experience, accumulated after years in the workforce, to successfully manage a new business, especially if you have established backroom expertise to help you along the way. The best place to find added support is with a franchise, which comes with all the training and operating systems you need to get started in a new business. So if you feel you may come up short on some of the qualities shared by entrepreneurs, you can rely on the time-tested experts that have helped thousands succeed as new business owners.

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. 

Want To Buy A Franchise? Be Prepared To Follow The Model!

If you want to go into business for yourself, one of the best ways to get started is to buy a franchise, particularly if you have no experience in the business you choose. A franchise can lower the risk of starting a new business for two main reasons. First, you can learn everything you need to know to succeed before you pay out any money, and second, the business comes with a time-tested model that has been shown to work for dozens, if not hundreds, of people before you.  All you have to do is operate the system as designed. During your period of investigation, you learn everything the system entails. If you don’t think you can do any part of it, this is the time to opt out. Once you buy the business, you should be comfortable with the system and have confidence you can follow it. Don’t despair if the first franchise you investigate has a system that doesn’t work for you. There are franchise systems to suit every range of talents and experience. For example, if you don’t like to cold call potential customers, you shouldn’t buy a franchise that requires that kind of sales. There are plenty of franchises in which the customer finds you. If you don’t want to hire employees, don’t start a business that will require staffing to grow. There are plenty of choices where you can work on your own. A good franchise coach can help steer you toward businesses that suit you best. The one thing you want to avoid is hitching your star to a business you think you can remake to suit your skill set. We had a client who was once the fastest growing franchise in his region who for some reason didn’t want to hire the necessary staff to cope with customer demand. As a result, he ended up strangling his business. Instead of growing, he stagnated. Another reason people sometimes don’t want to hire necessary staff is because they don’t want to spend the money or they think they can do the work themselves. Then it gets to be too late. They’re so overwhelmed by their business; they don’t have time to hire someone to help. The lesson: If you liked the business model enough to buy it, use it! That is the way to maximize your earnings.

Ready to make your dream of becoming an entrepreneur come true? Get your free evaluation today! Contact Dan at dcitrenbaum@gmail.com or at (484) 278-4589 to help you create the career you’ve always wanted.

Want To Change Careers? First, Consider All You Have To Offer

A career shift is probably easier than you think, especially considering all the great options available to you for starting a business of your own. The one thing you want to be most wary of is underestimating yourself, which can be easy to do when feeling unsure about making a change.  Leaving your job to start a business of your own becomes a whole lot easier with a franchise since you get complete backroom expertise to help you learn what it takes to succeed. The trick is to find a good franchise that is a good match to your interests, experience and your personal style. A business that suits you best will allow you to spend your days doing what you love while enabling you to apply the skills and knowledge you’ve gained so far in your life and career. This is why you want to make sure you accurately appraise your skills and experience when you start investigating options, or you risk eliminating opportunities that might be a more perfect match. So while we always recommend you consult a franchise coach for assistance in making your selection, there’s a lot you can do to prepare. Start with a thorough appraisal of who you’ve become as a person and professional, so that you are equipped to make the best selection possible. You should understand which of your skills are strongest and which tasks you prefer to do.

6 Business Skills To Consider

Management

How well do you work with people and how well do you get them to do what you want? Consider all aspects of your life. Maybe you have one of those where everyone completes their tasks like clockwork, smiling all the way. Bravo! You are a great manager. If managing people is a great strain on your psyche, you may want to consider a system that includes hiring a manager.

Networking

Building a clientele often requires putting yourself out there, going to meetings, conferences, events and talking to people, giving them a chance to see up close and personal what a great person you are to work with. Hopefully, this prospect sounds like a lot of fun. Otherwise, you will want to consider a business where customers tend to find you.

Leadership

Are you comfortable inspiring others to work hard on behalf of a common goal, creating a sense of urgency and fun so people can enjoy coming to work for you? Do you have a tendency to draw people into your orbit? These are great qualities for running your own business — but hardly necessary to have upfront. A good franchise organization can show you how you can develop your leadership skills.

Selling

Some people have a real knack for selling. If you don’t have a lot of experience in this arena, remember a well designed product or service will practically sell itself, and, again, you can learn from the pros — a network of franchisees available for support and practical tips.

Marketing

Are you experienced at marketing a business and promoting a brand? Then you are a natural for handling the marketing of your own business. If marketing is not one of your strengths then a franchise is only right for you if it comes with a fully developed marketing campaign, as well as a national brand.

Communications

Feel comfortable articulating ideas? Have you written letters, newsletters, memos for work? Led or contributed to a meeting? You likely have good communication skills developed over a lifetime of interacting with people. You just have to be cognizant that with your own business, it’s up to you to explicitly communicate your ideas accurately to clients, employees, and so on. As you can see, not everyone will have complete expertise in all these areas. That’s why a franchise can be so helpful. Their expert support and training will help you fill in the gaps.

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.