Advantage of a Franchise 101: A Proven System!

When you’re sitting at your desk dreaming of starting your own business, the barriers may seem as daunting as a track of high hurdles. The good news is there’s an efficient way to help you raise your odds for success: a franchise system.

With a great franchise, you gain the collective experiences of many successful business owners who over the years have helped the franchisor perfect a system, the proven procedures that provide a roadmap to long-term success.

The beauty of the system is it’s all of a piece. You follow the franchisor’s guidelines for everything from how to set up your shop, to how to train employees to how much money you should have on hand to get you through the initial startup phase. As you struggle to learn the system, a good franchise will offer lots of training and ongoing support to get you across the finish line.

While, as with everything in life, there are no guarantees, if you do your research and select a franchise that matches your skills and interest, you have a far greater chance of success than with almost any other type of new business.

Much expertise has gone into developing this system, part of the strategic positioning of the brand, but it does no good if the franchisee decides to veer away from it. So while a franchise system is one of the best ways to lower the risk for starting a business, the one rule of thumb is you must be willing and eager to follow the system. Or don’t buy a franchise.

The Beauty of a Franchise System

Upfront training

This can mean more than 50 hours in classroom learning plus more instruction on the job for you and your employees.

Ongoing support

An answer to a question is a mere phone call away. A quality franchise company will have experts to support all of your most crucial needs, whether those are staffing and training, or advertising, or sourcing inventory.

Guidelines for setting up an office/store

The franchisor will have exact specifications for the type of furniture, fixtures and supplies to purchase — as well as the number of employees you will need.

Advertising/Marketing Program

Some franchisors have national ad campaigns for which you will have to contribute, and others will help you run a local marketing program. Either way, you can be sure the franchisor will have established, proven advertising programs for you to use.

Support on leasing

Many franchisors will help you not only choose a location but also negotiate a lease. The franchisor will know what demographics make a superior location. They will share that info with you because they want your business to be in a great location.,

If you think of the system as a set of wings that will enable to you to fly, rather than a set of constraints, you will be on your way to success. But if you’re the type of person who likes to make it up as you go along, you may want to consider an independent business instead. Only then, you’ll have to develop a system of your own.

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

Shorten the Learning Curve: Start Your Own Business with a Franchise Tips from a Top Franchisee

Bob Riesenbach happily left behind corporate America to forge his own path building a business of his own, even if that has meant working as many hours as he did in corporate America.

Is there a catch? Not when you love what you do and know it’s all for you!

Mirroring the desires of many MBA-ers of his generation, Riesenbach always dreamed of starting his own business, and so, after 23 years of working for big corporations, he left his marketing position at a large retail chain of convenience stores and ventured out on his own without a safety net.

“I was tired of bureaucracy and politics,” he said, so he started researching his options. While he started looking at businesses for sale, he didn’t find much in his area beyond pizza joints and bars.

Before long, he decided a franchise made the most sense because “I didn’t want to start from scratch, and I thought I could learn from other people’s experiences,” he said.

After meeting a franchise coach at a Philadelphia area networking meeting, Riesenbach started looking closely at several franchise possibilities, eventually choosing to buy a franchise that took the most advantage of the skills he had spent his career acquiring.

Almost four years down the road, Riesenbach is happily building his new business, CMIT Solutions of Cherry Hill, a provider of information technology services for small and mid-sized businesses, with the support of a strong network of fellow franchisees.

“The strength of the organization comes from our partnership with other owners,” Riesenbach explained. The franchisor sets up formal networking groups, and he talks to fellow owners at least once a week.

Advantages of a franchise include fully vetted resources, such as vendors, marketing services, and annual conventions. Franchisees have the ability to leverage the size of their network to attain for clients discounted prices on services from vendors, such as Dell, that would likely not be available to a small independent business.

Riesenbach’s company continues to grow. He has been honored by his franchisor as Rookie of the Year, and has also received honors from other local business organizations, including the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Riesenbachs top tips for prospective franchisees:

  1. Look for a good match with your skill level and interests.
  2. Talk to a lot of existing franchise owners, whose contact information can be found in the Franchise Disclosure Document. Don’t only talk to those the franchisor may recommend.
  3. When people say “Why not just do it on your own, so you don’t have to pay royalties,” ignore those people… I feel I’m getting a lot more value than I’m paying for.
  4. Have realistic expectations – Know it takes a while to get a new business going.
  5. Be prepared to work hard.
  6. 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

Lack Experience In Your Preferred Business? Try A Franchise

So, you want to start a business, but feel like you’re running into a brick wall at every turn. Don’t despair, a franchise operation may be just the ticket to help you fill a local market niche. While you pay a franchisor a start-up fee — which usually ranges from $35,000 to $60,000 — you get training, proven systems for profitability, expert marketing, plus ongoing support to help you overcome bumps in the road along the way. Most entrepreneurs who buy a franchise have no experience in that industry. But thanks to the support and training they receive from the franchisor, they can build successful businesses that outperform even established independent competitors.

Advantages Of A Franchise

In our current economic environment, little mom and pops often find it tough to compete, and a proven system can offer great benefits. You can start your own business with a franchise and still have lots of the same perks as an independent business owner — plus many advantages they don’t have.

A Proven System

A franchise company has used years of experience to figure out what works and what doesn’t. They know how many employees you need and what type of advertising works best. And a franchise company wants you to succeed — to bolster their own bottom line.

Support And Training

Most franchise companies have employees whose sole task is to support their franchisees in such areas as IT, sales, advertising, accounting and human resources. Independent businesses have to hire individual experts for support, and those costs can add up.

A Strong Record Of Success

A study on profitability by the U.S. Small Business Administration found that the average franchise had five times the first-year revenue as the average independent business. At our firm, new franchisees have a 94% success rate, but the key to success is research, research, research, figuring out which franchise is right for you and which franchises offer the best chance of success.

A Well-Documented Track Record

Since so many others will have walked the path on which you’re setting forth, you have all the information you need to help you succeed. Much of it is provided in the Franchise Disclosure Document. And unlike independent businesses, which have to make educated guesses, you have a network of other franchisees to help guide the way.

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. 

Buying A Business: How Much Research Is Too Much?

When looking to buy a new business, one of the most important steps is doing a thorough due diligence. The big question for many: How do you know you’ve done enough? Related: Ready For A New Adventure? Explore New Career Opportunities One thing’s almost certain, if you think you’re done, you’ve probably only just begun. As a franchise coach, we always give our clients a great deal of assistance in this area, suggesting what to read, who to talk to and questions to ask. Ease of research and availability of information is precisely why we often steer folks to a franchise. With a franchise, you can get all the information you need in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), which federal law requires all franchise companies make available to prospective new franchisees. With a little digging, you can learn if you’ve got what it takes — from the money, experience and skills — to succeed with this particular purchase. By far the most important part of the process is talking to franchisees to learn how the system works. You can find their contact information in the FDD. You want to find out: Are they making any money? Would they make the purchase again, knowing what they know now? This critical step separates the truly serious would-be entrepreneurs from those only dabbling — because if you can place calls to strangers to learn the ins and outs of a business, you pass the first hurdle toward succeeding with your own business. Using myself as an example, when I was researching the franchise I eventually bought, I called every one of the 42 franchisees then part of the system. Of course, not all of them called me right back — but that’s because they’re a busy bunch.

Patience And Perseverance

When reaching out to franchise owners you don’t know, a little patience goes a long way. Since you want as many perspectives on the business as you can get, it’s certainly worth your while to try a couple of times to connect. Don’t take it personally if a business owner fails to call you back in a timely manner. The call likely slipped to the bottom of their to-do list. But even the most successful, intimidating franchisees once stood in your shoes, and many will happily set an appointment to speak to you about their experiences, either on the phone or in person. The franchise business that I spent months researching, eventually interviewing 20 franchisees, now provides the lion’s share of my income. And it got there faster than I had projected. Putting the time and energy in upfront is like money in the bank. Its value accrues with time as you gain greater knowledge and intelligence to help your business thrive 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 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.

When it comes time to start your own business – Beware the know-it-all Let your due diligence guide you

You know the type. You tell them your great new idea, and they tell you they know all about that type of business. They will tell you “I heard a friend of a friend say they knew someone, who had a terrible experience…” You get the picture.

The best advice of all is to tune them out, because odds are they don’t know the whole picture. They may have heard one story, but you will want more than a single data point before you make your decision.

One of the great reasons to go into business with a franchise is you can find plenty of evidence to help you decide whether a business is worthy of your time and effort or not.

The beauty of the franchise concept is hundreds of people have trod those steps before you and they’re there to tell you how it’s all gone and how it works. Franchisors are also required by federal law to disclose a great deal of information in the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) that can tell you everything from upfront costs to details about its operating systems.

In addition, experts can help you further hone your final selection, whether the business matches your financial wherewithal, as well as whether the numbers add up. So plan on spending several months on research, then when you’ve made your selection, consult an accountant and a franchise lawyer.

The process of narrowing down your choices from around 3,000 possible franchises across some 75 industries can seem daunting. So here’s what you need to know before making a decision.

How much does it cost?

And that means everything, including the franchise fee, any marketing fees, costs to set up your business, including equipment and supplies, plus working capital to keep the lights on until you start earning a profit. Most of the answers will be found in Items 5-8 in the FDD, but it’s always good to talk with franchisees to learn if they’ve had additional, unforeseen costs.

How extensive is the franchisor’s training and support program?

You should get all the support you need to get you going in a new franchise business. The training should more than make up for any limitations of your own background in a business where you may have very little experience. If for any reason you consider the program insufficient or its executives less than accessible, there may be a problem – so certainly pass by that franchise.

How many franchisees are in business?

You will find a list of franchisees in the FDD, but the franchisor can answer: How long have their franchisees been operating? How time-tested is the system? How well individual franchisees are performing is best answered by the franchisees themselves.

The franchisor’s obligations

Better to find out early what the franchisor will cover as part of its fee and what will be your responsibility. Does the franchisor help with site selection and/or lease negotiation? How much marketing/advertising support do they offer?

Is there a franchisee network of support?

Many franchisees say these types of support mechanisms, whether a formal mentorship program or franchisee network, provide the best source of assistance to get their new businesses up and running. Look for ways the franchisor helps connect you to fellow franchisees.

Restrictions on the franchisee

You should know the renewal and termination terms. Will your territory be exclusive? And you need to know upfront what rules apply if you want to sell the business. Legal advice is always a good idea.

How much income do I need to cover my requirements?

A franchise allows you to know all your costs before you sink a dime of your own into this business, so if, when you’ve done all the math and added up your expenses and figured out your likely income after six months, one year, two years and longer, and you still won’t achieve earnings necessary for your lifestyle, this business may not be for you.

What type of marketing support does the franchisor offer?

Will you have to run your own local marketing program? These costs can add up.

Doing a thorough due diligence can mean the difference between success and failure. For starters, it will help you choose the right franchise for you, and, more importantly, it helps you separate the winners from the losers. So when it comes time to invest in a new business, you know way more than any know-it-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 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

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 or at (484) 278-5489.