Cadillac Escalade SUV rentals Ashland ... Chicago Drug testing

Franchises Offer Shortcuts, But Not Control

Q: I will be retiring this year at age 60 and intend to fulfill my lifelong dream of owning my own business. I'm too old to start from scratch, so I'm looking at several franchise opportunities, including fast food, auto parts, and an accounting service. What should I consider before choosing one? Anthony R.

A: Congratulations on the retirement, Anthony, and on the new business venture. As the old adage goes, when one door closes, a drive-through window often opens (or something like that).

Given the franchise types you are considering the first thing you should ask yourself is whether or not you want to spend your golden years cooking fries, selling mufflers, or doing taxes.

Franchising can be a great way to start a business career, but you should make sure you're not just trading one job for another. Unless you plan on being an absentee owner, which I highly discourage, you are gong to be working in the business just as an employee would, so be sure the business you choose doesn't turn your lifelong dream into a never-ending nightmare.

The primary advantage of buying into a franchise system is that it allows you to enter business quicker with a proven system, while minimizing risk and increases the odds for success.

The primary disadvantage is that you give up considerable freedom in how the business operates. In many ways franchisees are not really their own bosses because they are required to follow the rules set down by the franchisor.

Many franchise owners also quickly tire of asking: "Do you want fries with that?" and become absentee owners, which usually leads to the business being sold or shut down.

No matter what franchise you're considering, you should ask yourself the following questions before making a decision:

* Do you have past experience that pertains to the type of franchise you're thinking about buying?

* Are you prepared to work long, hard hours?

* Are you an effective manager?

* Are you willing to share your revenue with the franchisor?

* Are you willing to follow the franchisor's rules and regulations?

* And the biggie: do you have access to the necessary capital to invest in the franchise?

The big franchises like McDonald's and Midas Muffler can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy into, but unless you are a total business savant, the franchise is virtually guaranteed to succeed.

It's true that even a McDonald's closes on occasion. Roy Croc spins in its grave when it happens, but happen it does, so keep that in mind. There are thousands of lower cost franchises that you can buy into, but the lower the investment typically means the risk of success is higher.

As a rule, franchise operations are generally more successful than independent startups because they have a proven concept, a ready market, an established customer base, and a business model that can be replicated over and over again. Less than 5% of franchises fail during the first few years as compared to an 80% failure rate of independent ventures.

Many people have done very well as franchisees and often end up with multiple franchise operations. Adversely, many have not done so well because they bought into a franchise system that either was not all it was purported to be or they discovered that they did not fit into the franchisee's mold.

The key is to pick the franchise system that is right for you. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

* Purchase a franchise that complements your skills, work experiences, and interests. Don't start a business in a field that is totally foreign to you.

* Plan on becoming an owner-operator versus an absentee owner. Absentee owners lose control and interest quickly and the franchise suffers because of it.

* Gather as much information as you can about the franchises you are interested in. You are considering investing a lot of money to buy into a system, so know who you are dealing with and what you are paying for.

* Experience the product or service firsthand, as a customer would. If you don't like the service you get at McDonald's, don't invest in a franchise thinking you can fix their problems and run things better. You can't and you won't.

* Interview other franchisees to gauge the franchisee satisfaction level.

* Ask how many franchises have closed and for what reason.

* Ask about initial and long-term training and support.

* Make sure the franchisor is profitable and financially sound.

* Finally, do your due diligence. Request a disclosure document that includes in-depth information about the franchisor and if a franchisor refuses to produce such a document, take that as a huge red flag and mark them off your list.

Small Business Q&A is written by veteran entrepreneur and syndicated columnist, Tim Knox.

http://www.prosperityandprofits.com
http://www.smallbusinessqa.com
http://www.dropshipwholesale.net

In The News:

Washington state bug hunters have located the first-ever Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S., it was reported Friday.
Ahead of NASA's return to the moon in 2024, the space agency is teasing an "exciting new discovery" about the celestial satellite.
A tectonic plate "lost" for 60 million years hiding under the Pacific Ocean has been reconstructed by scientists.
A trio of space travelers safely returned to Earth on Thursday after a six-month mission on the International Space Station.
Following Tuesday's historic touchdown on the asteroid Bennu, NASA has released never-before-seen images of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft kicking up rocks and debris on the space rock's surface.
A U.S. Navy sailor killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor has been identified and is set to be buried in Kentucky.
Talk about “masked bandits.”
2020 has been a turbulent year, to say the least, but an endangered white rhino is giving hope to visitors at the Colchester Zoo 
Marine researchers say there are more sharks in the ocean off Southern California now than ever before, according to reports.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft made its historic touchdown on asteroid Bennu Tuesday, retrieving a sample from the space rock that will be returned to Earth.

Five Break-through Ideas to Immediately Increase Profits and Improve Cash Flow

Too often in business we get trapped into reviewing our... Read More

5 GREAT WAYS to Gain New Contacts

What are the 5 best ways to gain new contacts?There... Read More

How to Start a Pet Transportation Business

Pet Transportation Services are needed as the number of pets... Read More

How to Profit from a Concrete Roof Tile Business

Concrete Roof Tile Business: During the 2004 summer season, storms... Read More

Banking and Company Credit Card Policies for Small Business

Does your small business have a banking and credit card... Read More

Why The Carwash Industry is Stagnant; What You Can Do to Change Your Field

Many years ago, I had warned the carwash industry of... Read More

How to Create an Information Plan

What is in an information plan?Before you even meet with... Read More

Perfecting Your Pitch

Why should you describe your business to others in 5... Read More

Operational Aspects on P and L Statements of Mobile Services Businesses

What kinds of things effect mobile service businesses P and... Read More

Is It Recess Yet?! Confessions of a Self Employed Workaholic

I have a confession to make. My name is Caroline... Read More

Bogus Investor and Consumer Complaints and Consumer Misrepresentation

Like most regulatory bodies in the United States, the Federal... Read More

Learning and Growing

As you reflect on this year and prepare for next... Read More

Virtual Assistance for Healthcare Professionals

Administrative and clerical tasks are the bane of every industry.... Read More

How to Give FREE Advice and Make Money

When is advice free and when should you charge for... Read More

Small Business Marketing - How Important Are Your First Words?

"What do you do?" It just might be one of... Read More

Predicting Business Retirement Satisfaction for Business Owners

Most business owners do not think of selling their companies... Read More

Choosing A Business Thats Right For You

Q: I really want to start my own business, but... Read More

Alliances: What works, what does not

Why Alliances FailWhen do you know an alliance is falling... Read More

Five Tips for First Time Entrepreneurs

It seems so long ago that I started my first... Read More

The Number of Pages in the UFOC in Franchising is Still Growing Today

Today required franchise disclosure documents are over 200 pages generally.... Read More

Gold Medal Delegation

When the recent Games of the XXVIII Olympiad came to... Read More

Small Business - Would You Still Need An Accountant If You Didnt Need A Tax Return?

After over thirty years advising small business it still comes... Read More

SBAs 8(a) Program Can Help Some Companies Compete

Q: A friend told me that as a woman of... Read More

Franchises Must Meet Legal Definition to be an Actual Franchise

All franchises must meet the legal definition of a franchise... Read More

Essex Accountants: Top Things to Look For

One of the most common horrific mistakes a business can... Read More

put an addition on my house i want to add an addition to my house arlington heights ..