Monday, June 29, 2015

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."


It’s almost like George Eliot was speaking straight to the late blooming entrepreneurs. Most of us reach a certain age and feel it’s too late to start chasing old fantasies and begin again. The wonderful thing about success is its impromptu character – it could happen at anytime time in life for the wildest of reasons.

Dig a little into Ray Kroc, Leo Goodwin and John Pemberton’s past and you’ll be convinced that an empire can be built with a little gray hair and spirit! Several of history’s leaders did not begin with the companies they are known for today and the same can be said for many modern entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is never easy, no matter what stage of life you are in. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, yet the reward is leading a career you have control over and enjoy. 

As author Isabel Allende says in her TED talk, “society defines when we are old.” How true! Does your age have control over your ambition, passions and mission in life? How accurate it is to see years as chapters, while the story you have been living is full of detail and depth. There are so many pages left that can be equally thrilling and satisfying.

The safety your current career offers you is a huge reason to stay put and avoid change. You have safety in that job you’ve carried out for 20 years, in the routine you walk through each day and in the predictable road ahead. There is nothing wrong with valuing that safety or the life you’ve lived thus far.  But what about that desire for more? It has not aged at all. 

Your age is the equivalent of a fine, aged wine: highly valued, greatly enjoyed and rare. You also have something younger counterparts do not – money and the experience to manage it. Not only that, but you will know how to cater to your community and gather support from long-time neighbors.  Don’t be afraid to use your network and build a team you can trust. Start exploring and don’t be afraid to ask current franchisees for advice.

You are not bound by any one path. Remember that you are the main influencing factor for what happens in your life. If becoming your own boss was a goal 10, 20 or even 30 years ago, it can still happen.

Do you feel that you’re ready to get started? Let FranNet connect you with the business you’ve been looking for. Ask us about a free consultation with a qualified and experienced franchise consultant. Our purpose is to connect the dots and make the transition from corporate employment to the freedom of business ownership manageable and safe. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Be Honest About How You Dodge The Truth

What triggers a person to lie? There are those we tell ourselves, those to get ahead, white lies, broken promises, exaggeration, deceptions, compulsive lying -- there are several ways to go about it. In Bella DePaulo’s Ph.D. research, she found people lie during one in five of their daily interactions. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, says in her TED Talk that we’re lied to about 10 to 200 times a day! This leads us to wonder: how honest is our world?

As Meyer goes on to say in her TED talk, lying is a complex feature that is woven into the fabric of our history and our modern lives. She describes several indicators that unravel deception and arms people with the tools needed to spot lies. Lying in any form is serious, not just for our personal lives. Lying can be one of the main causes for the failure of your small business and why you aren’t living your ideal future.

How familiar does this sound: “it's too late to change direction now.” You’ve spent several years in a career you hate and the idea of change seems impossible – you’re convinced it’s too late. This is a lie! There isn’t a time of life that serves as an imaginary cut off point, age doesn't play a role in accomplishing your goals. What you do with your future is not permanently set in stone. If you want change in your life, go for it!

Your business needs to remain credible, and lying will never fail to ruin that. Stay credible by following through with your promises and remaining authentic. It’s okay for your goals to be reasonably aggressive, but when you're making a commitment make sure you do what you say you're going to do. Also, try to lay off the exaggeration. Stay honest and the customers will take notice, stretch the truth and the customers will see that too. 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising: make sure what they say about you is good.

“I hate my job now, but I will be happy as soon as I [get the promotion/finish the project/collect my bonus/etc.]” Which is it? Small fixes are temporary boosters when it comes to feeling fulfilled, but you have to think long-term. Maybe this means starting your own business, or changing your businesses company culture or pursuing your true passions. Don’t wait for something you hate to suddenly get better, only you can remake your situation.

Question your narrative, discover what lies you tell yourself or to others. The truth will certainly lead to a more fulfilling, positive outcome. Find security in your authenticity -- honesty is the path to a happier, healthier you.


Do you feel that you’re ready to get started? Let FranNet connect you with the business you’ve been looking for. Ask us about a free consultation with a qualified and experienced franchise consultant. Our purpose is to connect the dots and make the transition from corporate employment to the freedom of business ownership manageable and safe.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

How Involved Is Your Online Community?

One of these three thoughts quickly crossed your mind. It was either:
·      I don’t have an online community
·      Of course, they love me
·      No, they don’t and I forgot the passwords anyway

None of the above will lead to a engaged online community, so let’s focus on the first one.

“I don’t have an online community”

If this is you, then make it a top priority to get one going as soon as possible. Even if you think your business doesn’t need a social media presence or a blog or a website, it does. Building an online community means identifying, reaching out to, and entering into relationships with the online component of the diverse pieces that compose the sphere of your business. This will not only build your brand and widen your reach, but it will help fulfill the purpose you company set out to accomplish in the first place.

“Of course, they love me”

How do you know? This might burst a few bubbles, but thousands of friends don’t mean a thing in the social media world. The average Facebook user is shown 1,500 pieces of content out of the thousands of posts they have liked, commented on and people they follow. The chance that you are making a real connection to everyone on your friends list is very unlikely and even if they do see it, the chances of them actually commenting is even bleaker. To truly discover how well you are doing, make sure you are using the correct tracking/data collecting tools and that your content is genuine and thoughtful.

“No, they don’t and I forgot the passwords anyway”

This is a clear indication that your digital marketing needs to be revisited and revamped. A thriving online community is not merely a large quantity, it is superior quality that drives people to your social media and eventually to be loyal customers. You need to identify your audience, listen to what gets them excited and then build a significant presence. An absent, abandoned account might actually be worse than not having one at all. Treat it just as you would for any other part of your marketing plan – it is just as important.

Hopefully, after carefully rethinking the approach to your online community, the only thought you have now is, “I care about my online community and I will consistently strive to make it the best it can be.”

Do you feel that you’re ready to get started? Let FranNet connect you with the business you’ve been looking for. Ask us about a free consultation . Our purpose is to connect the dots and make the transition from corporate employment to the freedom of business ownership manageable and safe.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Can You Really "Do It All?" Promises of Productivity.

business touching  with statistics graph and data informationsAmber Naslund, the SVP of a social intelligence company has a blog called, “Brass Tack Thinking.” In her post titled, "My Crazy Productivity Secrets” she took on the issue of being productive. Her words provide helpful insights and tips to help manage your time.


What it is that's keeping you from being productive? It could be anything, a loss of focus, lack of motivation, anxiety or even unclear priorities? Most likely, the main thing keeping you from being productive are your choices and using your time wisely.

“My choices reflect what’s important to me, and what makes me happy. That’s fluid and changes to an extent, but I’m devoted to a thriving career, a growing business, and excited about passion projects I have on the side. But there is no magic system. Stop looking for it.” - Amber Naslund.

Let's get it all out there, what do you need to do and what to you want to do. Be honest with yourself! It is easy to blend the two, eventually what you say you need turns out to be what you want. Of course, sometimes they do align. But when finishing a movie or playing with the dog becomes what you need to do, you’ve crossed into procrastination territory and the excuses will overflow.

“I don’t get the “busy as a badge of honor” thing. All that tells me is that you need to learn to manage your time better or get your priorities straight with yourself or the people you work for. Working insane hours is not an achievement.” - Amber Naslund.

At this point you have realized that more hours don’t necessarily equal more work done. If you're dreading the day ahead or constantly daydreaming, perhaps this is a sign you want more. A good way to finish what you need to is by enjoying what you do. “Working insane hours” will happen, but the achievement lies in your dedication to spend that time wisely so you can get back to the things that matter most to you.

“I have the responsibility of kids, animals, a house, and a business. The rest has to come after those things, and even the business can’t take over the other ones. - Amber Naslund.

Remember, your daily routine might look overwhelming but it doesn’t have to dominate every hour of every day. New tasks will always be there to take up room in your schedule. Keep in mind there is only so much you can do in a day and that’s okay! Relax, refocus and cut yourself some slack –work smart and know the difference between what needs to be done today and what can be done tomorrow.

Start working toward your business ownership goals. Let FranNet connect you with the business you’ve been looking for. Ask us about a free consultation. Our purpose is to connect the dots and make the transition from corporate employment to the freedom of business ownership manageable and safe.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Get Your Business Back On Track

Owning your own business is a daily effort to keep revenue up and the client list strong. However, sometimes the money isn't where you want it to be and client aren't coming through the door as often as your would like. If you have been trying to figure out how to save your failing business, remember that nothing is impossible. It’s not too late and there are some tips that other owners have used to save their business.

The first thing you need to do is identify the problem. This is where many people fall short. Grant Cardone, the "Turnaround King" and author of several books, has made a career of turning around failing companies and making them profitable again. After 25 years he knows a thing or two about identifying the root cause.

"I've never seen the executives of a company have the right idea of what the problem is," he declares. "It's like talking to a drug addict about his problems: He'll blame everything but the drugs." So he says, "Before I meet with the management team I get some intel on the company."

It’s easier to blame the economy, a badly timed expansion, the government or anything other than your own decisions. If you really want to save your company, you can’t be afraid to point a finger inward and take responsibility for your actions.  That being said…

Maybe your staff or business partner needs to be revisited as well. You can’t run a business solo, which means a smart and motivated team is crucial to the success of your business. Make sure you trust their intentions for the company and look for those who have the initiative to take on problems and quickly solve them. Along those lines, reevaluate your clients and cut lose the ones that are draining your time and energy with little return.

Scrutinize your financials and make some tough cutting decisions. It’s time to trim the waste, time is money and so it the late payments on loans, credit card processing fees, personal salary, membership fees on certain business credit cards, paper and energy-sucking appliances. If you’re finding it hard to stay above water, you have to sacrifice something to throw overboard.

Know all of your options and keep your cool, it’s not too late to save your business. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, stay focused and get creative – you will turn it around and learn from what happened.



Do you feel that you’re ready to get started? Let FranNet connect you with the business you’ve been looking for. Ask us about a free consultation with a qualified and experienced franchise consultant. Our purpose is to connect the dots and make the transition from corporate employment to the freedom of business ownership manageable and safe.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Align Yourself With Strong Franchises

franchise is a specific license that a franchisee can acquire that in turn allows the owner to have access to the franchisor’s proprietary knowledge, processes and trademarks in order to allow the party to sell a product or provide a service under the business’s name. FranNet’s franchise experts know how to spot the best franchises with these simple giveaways.

If the franchise you are looking at doesn’t have a strong business system or a proven business model, then cross it off your list and move on. What is the difference? A strong business system is how the business operates on a daily basis, such as the payroll, point of sale system, marketing and point-of-sale systems. These items are in direct contact with your consumer. If it isn’t well executed, they will be the first to know and word of mouth can be disastrous (or conversely, highly beneficial). Also, a proven business model is what makes a franchise…a franchise. Franchisees purchase an idea that has shown massive success. They then get training on how to replicate that success (system) to obtain the same outcome. The entrepreneur has the option to choose a business that has been around for years or may be newer, but either choice should have both a strong model and system.

When you find a franchise that is constantly innovating and trying new ideas, keep it on the list. This is a strong sign that they will remain a success through their consistent flow of creativity and openness to keep their business relevant. A business has its staples, however it shouldn’t remain monotonous or its customer base will grow bored and restless. Look for the franchise that has solid staples with an equally solid stream of fresh product or offers.

Befriend other franchisees and seek their wisdom – this will undoubtedly weed out some “maybes” on your list. Ask what they did in their research stage and during their first year, and compare their personality to their ownership responsibilities. Who are you most like? Are they succeeding or is their business struggling? The trick here is to be honest with yourself after the interviews. If you speak with a franchisee that is failing, yet resonates perfectly with your work habits, seriously question your next step. Franchisees in your community could be your future – carefully reflect on that.

Is there such a thing as a perfect franchise? No. If you are seeking perfection, you will not find it. What you can find, however, is a franchise that will embrace all your particular wants and needs and provide you with the future you’ve always wanted.

Do you feel that you’re ready to get started? Let FranNet connect you with the business you’ve been looking for. Ask us about a free consultation with a qualified and experienced franchise consultant. Our purpose is to connect the dots and make the transition from corporate employment to the freedom of business ownership manageable and safe.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Your Business and the Rising Peer-to-Peer Trend

There’s a brand new form of transactions building in your community and it’s name is the sharing or collaborative economy. The up and coming trend is defined as an economic model for individuals to borrow or rent assets owned by other people. This peer-to-peer (P2P) interaction is becoming increasingly popular, and could start to affect your business.

While there are positives and negatives to any type of transaction, many entrepreneurs are discovering the benefits to the sharing economy. Communities across the U.S. are getting excited about how easily the new companies are creating jobs. Never before has the average consumer been offered such a variety of convenience, however there plenty of bugs to work out for these budding companies. This “what’s mine if yours, for a fee” philosophy is spreading due to the overwhelming demand for instant, cheaper gratification. The system uses items/services that are widely used and baits consumers to trust each other with carrying out these services.

Take a car, for example. This expensive, everyday commodities are being transformed by businesses like Uber or Lyft. This service connects riders with drivers, creating an alternative to taxis and public transportation.

Crowdfunding is another sector of this trend that provides an outlet for anyone to raise extra cash. Websites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter are raising money for entrepreneurs and small business everyday. Meanwhile, more business-focused crowdfunding platform exist that offer business loans of up to $100,000. Suddenly, starting your own business could be as easy as creating a profile and writing a compelling enough bio.

Errand services like TaskRabbit give people the ability to outsource commonplace tasks like picking up dry cleaning or running errands. Even a business’s empty parking lot or unused conference rooms can be rented with companies like Work Space On Demand and LiquidSpace. The “second hand campaign” is rising in popularity as people look for ways to save on time and money.

The main worry is regulatory uncertainty. Will room-renters have to adhere to hotel taxes, for example? The rules need to be updated to protect consumers and other businesses from harm, but for entrepreneurs and small business owners, it looks like it’s time to start caring about sharing.



Do you feel that you’re ready to get started? Let FranNet connect you with the business you’ve been looking for. Ask us about a free consultation with a qualified and experienced franchise consultant. Our purpose is to connect the dots and make the transition from corporate employment to the freedom of business ownership manageable and safe.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

4 Types of Questions to Ask Franchisees, Before You Become One

You’ve gone through the process of narrowing down the franchise concepts that fit you best. Now it’s time to start the research process.

Before you invest any money, it’s important to carefully and thoroughly perform your due diligence. Make calling and visiting with franchisees part of this process. Franchisees are invaluable resources when it comes to truly understanding how you will fit within a particular franchise.

In other words, you’ll want to speak with at least eight to 10 franchisees in the franchise you are considering. Ask the franchisor which owners have similar backgrounds to you, who the most successful owners are and those who may be struggling. You’ll also want to include a couple franchisees on your call list who are no longer with the franchise and gain more insight into why they left.

By conducting this type of research, you are able to gain a greater perspective of the business you are considering buying. Plus, you’ll have a better idea as to where you might fall on the performance spectrum within that franchise model – top, middle or low performing.

So how should you prepare for these calls? Gather your questions! Here are four types of questions to consider including on your list to get the most out of your conversations:

Getting to Know the Individual
When meeting with a franchisee, the first type of questions you’ll want to ask should be centered on getting to know the individual. Their answers will help you get a better feel for how similar or different from that person you are. And this information may help you predict how you might perform in this same system. Ask questions like:

  • How long have you been in business? 
  • What were you doing previously? 
  • What made you choose this franchise?

Try to get an idea of how it’s going for them, and in general, if they like what they do.

The Rating Questions 
The rating questions are a great way to get a better sense of franchisor provided programs and support. For example, if a franchisee says that the support is great but then rates it a five out of 10, then you know you may want to dig a little deeper into the type and consistency of support provided. 

Use the rating-based questions to gather more information on the franchisor-franchisee relationship. And when a rating is exceptionally low or high, take that as an opportunity to ask them to elaborate. Sample questions might include:

  • How would you rate the initial training?
  • How would you rate the ongoing support?
  • How would you rate the marketing programs?
  • What do you like best and least about the business? 

Get a Sense of the Numbers
This is your opportunity to get real-life numbers on the annual revenue, expenditures, and revenue breakdowns. Remember how your list of franchisees to contact represented a good cross section of top, middle and low performers in the system? Well, this will give you a good idea of what you could expect in the best and worst of cases should you decide to move forward. Questions you might include on your list are as follows:

  • How do you compensate employees (benefits, paid time off, etc.)?
  • What is your annual revenue expectation for the year?
  • Approximately how much per year do you spend on …?
  • How much could I reasonably expect to gross/net in the first year, second year and third year?
  • What are your costs of goods sold as a percent of sales? 

If You Could Only Ask One Question 
The answer to this question speaks volumes, “If you had to do it over again, would you?”

Just because a franchisee is considered a “rockstar” in a particular franchise system does not mean that that individual’s answer to this question would be an automatic “yes.” It’s important to remember that a franchise is a small business. It may come with a turnkey business model, but you still have to be prepared to put in the hours and the work. What is the cost/reward ratio, and is that something you would be comfortable with.

Once you’ve completed your calls and visits, and you’ve reviewed your notes, it’s time for a little reflection. Try to determine if you are more similar to the successful owners or if you relate more to those who are struggling. Ultimately, you want to be able to determine if this is something that you could see yourself doing and that you would enjoy doing. The business that is meant for you is one that will help you achieve your goals and vision.

Do you feel that you’re ready to get started? Let FranNet connect you with the business you’ve been looking for. Ask us about a free consultation with a qualified and experienced franchise consultant. Our purpose is to connect the dots and make the transition from corporate employment to the freedom of business ownership manageable and safe.

Uncover Powerful Ideas

Inspiration. It seems abundant one day and scarce the next, its unreliable tendencies taunt you constantly and it’s starting to show in your business. Take a moment and try this: stop obsessing over the need for a new idea, back away from your desk and take a walk. Powerful ideas are not hiding, they definitely aren’t avoiding you and their ability to strike fear into your heart ends now.

Inspiration is wild and trying to tame it defeats the whole purpose! The awe and wonder you feel after listening to a symphony wasn’t jotted down 20 minutes earlier, “to be felt later at the symphony.” The vibrant purples and pinks of a sunset don’t glow by appointment. Instead, you pause because it strikes you immediately and disrupts your routine in the best way possible. The connection between the two is the lack of control you have in their existence. Your mind is genuinely inspired by the new sensory input, and this is what you must accept about inspiration. It is literally all around you and cannot be planned or controlled.

Does this mean there’s no hope for your business? Certainly not! If you need more innovation, the best thing to do is cultivate an environment that will encourage these bursts of inspiration. Have creativity-boosting sessions with enticing visuals, office games/exercises and brainstorms. This will undoubtedly change up your routine, and that is just what we want it to do! Don’t stress over how to make your company more appealing, start with the little changes. With the freedom of expression churning internally, your clients will quickly pick up on the differences externally.

The last step after you decide on something is to follow through. Change can be very uncomfortable, but use the support of your team and deliver on your promises. Also remember that you aren’t alone and your coworkers are priceless when it comes to freshening up your business. They spend just as much time involved with keeping the business running and have much to offer. Get together, toss around thoughts and change your routine and inspiration will surely follow.

Do you feel that you’re ready to get started? Let FranNet connect you with the business you’ve been looking for. Ask us about a free consultation with a qualified and experienced franchise consultant. Our purpose is to connect the dots and make the transition from corporate employment to the freedom of business ownership manageable and safe.