Many people have the dream of owning their own business, and a chance to move from doing well enough to creating a success story out of their hard work. But sometimes these dreams take longer to get solidified than we would like. However, if you’re looking around for a brand new business opportunity, you may wish to consider the merits of investing in a franchising opportunity.
How a Franchise Business Works
Buying a franchise business is very simple. For a initial outlay, you can purchase the rights to sell popular branded products which have been produced by an already successful company. In return for this outlay, you will be given all of the tools, equipment and products to set up your own business and start seeing profits from day one.
The benefits of owning a franchise business are numerous, and include:
- Having the opportunity to become a part of an already successful enterprise.
- Ongoing advice and support from day one.
- A guaranteed return on investment.
- Training and advertising opportunities.
How to Find a Franchise Opportunity
If you’re interested in investing in a new franchise business, you will need to find out if there are any available franchises for sale
A franchisor does not need to be located in your local area for you to be able to invest in a franchising opportunity with them. Many successful franchisors have franchisees located nationwide, which gives them the opportunity to reach a larger customer base.
To find the right franchising opportunity for you, it’s always advisable to search in as many different places as you can, both on and offline, so you’ll be more likely to find the perfect franchising opportunity you’ve been looking for.
Taking the First Step
Investing in a new business opportunity, such as a franchise, can seem like a daunting challenge, but the greatest things can happen when you’re willing to invest in the fruits of your own labour. And, with franchising, this is exactly what you’d be doing.
Buying a franchise will, almost always, require a small initial investment. However the ROI with a franchise is almost guaranteed, provided you are willing to put in the time and effort to make your new business a success. And, since it is in the best interests of a franchisor to ensure that all of their franchisees see profit, if you decide to invest in a new franchising opportunity you’ll receive advice and support in your endeavours from day one.
Selling a business is never simple. There are no guarantees. Today the economic climate is changing so rapidly that goods and services fly in and out of demand at such a rapid pace that it’s almost impossible to guess what is bankable what isn’t. But what you can do is be smart and optimise your profits. It’s mostly common sense, but these few pieces of advise are invaluable.
1. Sell your business at the right time. One of the most common motivations for business owners selling is that they become either too ill or too old to continue to operate the business as they would like to. Perhaps due to pride, many business owners do not wish to take a lower, lest strenuous role in their business and therefore decide to sell instead. Do not attempt to sell your business under these circumstance. If you are already feeling physically weak, you do not need the additional stress. Nor do you want potential buyers trying to monopolise on your desperation by offering you less than you business is actually worth. If you’re going to sell, sell whilst your healthy and fighting fit.
2. Think about what you are selling. Before you put your business on the market, you need to consider what its key assets are. What are you actually selling? Define not just the physical value of the business, but also its value in potential profits and other endeavours. Successful businesses will already have a steady client base. And so the new owners are in fact acquiring almost guaranteed profit in addition to the physical attributes of the business. You must take this into account whilst evaluating the overall value of your business.
3. Show your business at its best. Potential buyers do not want to walk into your business offices to find a dilapidated workspace with a dissatisfied boss or staff. They don’t want to find that your files are not up to date and they certainly don’t want to know that your business is failing. If you really want to maximise profits when selling your business, these are a must. Obviously, if a buyer can see a clean business in operation, with content staff helping to turn over products and services to a loyal host of satisfied customers, your business will sell itself.
4. Be realistic about the value of your business. Your business is never going to sell if you price it out of the market, but equally, determining its actual value is not a simple task. Unless you are remarkably confident about how much your business is worth, you will probably want to consider seeking professional help from business specialists such as Axis Partnership. Companies such as these will ensure that you get the maximum possible profit when selling your business. Of course, it is in their interests to do so.
In our current economic climate, generating consistent profit margins can be a difficult and competitive process. The past few years have already seen the decline of such major companies as Woolworths, Oddbins and Blockbuster Home Video. And in this time of such financial uncertainty, naturally every small business will be trying to outdo the next in looking for new and exciting methods to ensure that their products and services receive the highest possible ratings and the widest coverage. However, with environmental concerns also on the verge of reaching an all-time high, businesses must not only consider how they go about maximising profit, but also how they are to do so in a way which is not damaging to the environment. This is not necessarily a bad thing though. After all, businesses who do show an empathy regarding environmental concerns may in fact be more likely to receive custom.
Many years ago, the procedures required to process our main forms of advertising were definitely not environmentally conscious or energy efficient. The use of print media as an advertising force was all-encompassing and the demand for it has contributed massively to deforestation, air and water pollution and excess waste. Today of course, many of the principal far reaching forms of advertising are wireless. With the worldwide dominance of the internet, sites such as Facebook and Twitter are some of the most heavily populated environments we can enter into. They are of course also prime locations to advertise and promote your business. If your company hasn’t yet developed a presence on these sites, you are quickly moving into the small minority and in doing so, are putting yourself at a major disadvantage in terms of potential revenue. Setting up a Facebook page and Twitter account allows you to instantaneously promote your business and its services through a regularly maintained page with recent company updates and information. By establish links online and conducting regular giveaways, you are empowered through these pages to draw very large numbers of people to your business on a daily basis. This increases awareness of company with very little cost to yourself or indeed the environment.
But what of the more traditional forms of advertising and promoting you ask? Does being eco-conscious mean that we can’t take business trips in order to promote our companies in face-to-face meetings? Do the concerns of deforestation mean that business cards or carrier bags with our company logo are unacceptable? The answer of course is no. But there are still ways in which you can look to alter some of these activities. If you do need to have a meeting with someone in another town of country, perhaps consider having that meeting online instead, using Skype. Or if you must meet them face-to-face, can you use public transport? Naturally no-one is suggesting that you abandon business cards or traditional company promotional materials. But don’t buy business cards made from cheap, disposable papers or card. If your company still likes to promote their logo on paper carrier bags, buy Wholesale Carrier Bags from APL Express, not cheap ones which do not use recycled materials. Though you may spend a few extra pennies on some of these changes, many will in fact save you considerable amounts of money, at the same time promoting your business as an environmentally conscious body.
npower have created a “Small Steps, Giant Leaps” illustration that features a collection of some of the stories from the early years of companies like Facebook and Amazon to highlight just how tough things can be — and that you’re not alone.
npower fix 123 by npower.com
In December 2012, npower asked more than 500 SMEs across the UK about their attitudes to business and energy planning. They found that:
- Planning for the future was a problem for the majority (57%) of businesses and they could only manage to plan for the next 6-12 months.
- 56% take a planned approach to their businesses’ energy consumption, but only 25% implement energy efficiency measures.
- 42% complained that the day-to-day running of their business prevents them from making long-term plans.
- 60% feel that being able to fix prices, such as their energy supply and other overheads, would help them to plan further ahead.
It’s not often that a business owner takes a strategic look at his or her business. Why? Because the day to day “fire-fighting” seems to be more than enough to keep most business owners busy!
This is not the way forward and this is your business running you, rather than the other way around; which is how it should be.
The following ScoopIt page summarises all the great advice that exists scattered around the internet and consolidates the “best bits” to help you t your thinking to be more strategic and help your business grow.
As bizarre weather batters the world and companies look for a way to stand out from the competition, talk of environmental concerns has become more common in the boardroom. Making your business greener is not just about saving the planet – it could also save you money. Anything from switching the lights off to switching to renting virtual office space from a company like i2 Office can help; changes both big and small can add up to lower costs and more efficient working methods over time.
Energy awareness in the office works on the same principles as in the home. You wouldn’t leave computers, lights or kitchen equipment on overnight or even over the weekend in your house and it’s much more costly when you think about an entire office building. If possible, consider longer term solutions such as solar panels to produce your own energy for the company, or insulating walls and windows to avoid rocketing heating bills.
Many offices are going paperless now and it’s worth maintaining this philosophy. Only print when it’s essential, utilise your email account wherever possible and take advantage of digital signature programmes to avoid sending physical documents outside of the business. Even the way you run your office can be more energy-efficient by using cloud software rather than on-site servers which drain energy and time.
As a more radical step, you may be able to dispense with physical premises altogether. The virtual office is a way you can save on building expenses and bills and still maintain a business address and telephone answering services. Meeting rooms can be temporarily leased as and when needed, and with advancements in technology like video conferencing, you could avoid unnecessary travel too.
You can start going green simply by changing your approach and thinking of less wasteful alternatives throughout the working day. Extend this to your commute and start using public transport or car pools, save time and money by bringing your own lunch and source recycled supplies like paper and bathroom products. If the whole team is working together on green issues, small businesses can be much more productive and profitable, ultimately benefiting everyone.
In today’s ultra-competitive business climate, keeping an eye on the competition is a common-sense part of any strategy. You could pay a specialist researcher to do the job, but there are many cost-effective measures you can take yourself to find out everything from how your competitors market themselves to taking a peek into their company accounts.
Before diving in, keep in mind that your competitors in the offline space are often not the same as your competitors online, so look beyond the most obvious opposition. Here are three tips to help you do your own competitive research:
1. Do regular online searches to keep track of the other businesses offering the same service or product as you in your area. This will also show you which of your competitors rank at the top of the search engine’s results page and lead you to their websites. The website is now the front door of any company, so keep an eye on your competitors’ homepages: what key phrases are they using, which help them bring in web traffic? Are there lessons you can learn in terms of design and ease of interface? There is nothing more off-putting for customers than a clunky website or one that doesn’t provide enough information.
2. Listen to what the customers are saying. If someone decides not to use your business, don’t be afraid to ask if they have found an alternative elsewhere. This could be invaluable knowledge for improving your business model. If your business is more active in the online field, it becomes especially important to keep up-to-date with conversations about your rivals on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Spotting a recurring complaint about a main competitor could allow you to take advantage by using the same media to highlight your own high performance in that area.
3. Get the financial inside line. Anyone running a small business knows that at the end of the day, it’s all about the balance sheet. Understanding those of your rivals, especially the ones that appear successful, must be a key aspect of your strategy; online services such as Duedil provide a free rundown on company accounts going back several years. You may find that a firm you see as a major success in your field came from a financial position not dissimilar to your own. One thing is sure: the more you know, the more confident you can feel in the decisions you are making.
Running a business is never easy – as a business owner, ultimately the buck stops with you. If you haven’t got a business plan in place, then I think this makes the job harder. If you don’t know where you’re heading, how do you know how to get there and more importantly if you’ve arrived?
To that end, given my experience, I have compiled a book of “50 Essential Business Advice Tips To Ensure Your Business Flourishes And Thrives in 2013″.
Download your free copy here.
Hopefully this will help you look at all “pillars” of your business and make some informed choices about how your business is going to evolve through the rest of the year.
Keep up to date with useful hints, tips and advice on effective business planning. Updated on a regular basis, this ScoopIt page collates all the “good stuff” about business planning that is on the web and consolidates it in one place for easy reading.
The latest posts are summarised below.
If you know me, you’ll know that I am always banging the drum with regard to having a plan for your business. Whilst I am sure there are successful businesses who haven’t got a formal plan, why hamper yourself and not have one in place.
Now is the time of year to look ahead for the next 12 months and decide where your business is heading. To that I end I have put together “10 Steps to Success in 2013“, which will help you to look at particular aspects of your business and start to formulate a plan going forward.
You can download the guide here.
Remember if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it!