considering starting a business

considering starting a business

Many people get to the point in their life when they are considering starting a business of their own. It’s a big step and one that should not taken lightly. When starting a business first look in the mirror, for there’s a big difference between the mind set of an employee and that of an entrepreneur.

Increasing numbers of people are opting for a franchise business model as opposed to trying to make it on their own. A quality franchise offers a proven track record of success with ongoing training and a help and support structure. So important for anyone new to business ownership.

However, the question still remains. Can I make this work and will I make a good franchisee? What does the mirror tell me?

When you consider investing in a franchise you must start with research, part of which is to be honest with yourself. What personal qualities will I be bringing to the table?

PASSION
Naturally you have a certain amount of drive, or else you would never leave the relative safety of your job and career. But how much passion do you have for the product or services you plan to offer. You will face long hours and hard work, especially at the beginning (nothing new there). You may face frustration at the speed in which you can scale your business to the point where it provides you will meaningful returns. Without passion (thinly disguised as enthusiasm) you will not find it easy to face these challenges. Sure, you’ll receive help, support and encouragement from the franchise team and the other franchisees like you, but they can only light a spark that ignites the fire that’s already within you.

THE WHEEL’S FINE. NO NEED TO RE-INVENT IT
Franchisors spend time and money developing and refining their brand and their business systems. They will not be looking for someone who wants to come on board to reinvent the wheel.

So one special characteristic is that of being system-orientated with a strong leaning towards partnership mentality (think John Lewis). Understanding the franchise model is important for you get to share the brand with fellow franchisees. You will want to be supportive in protecting who the brand is perceived by others.

WAIT – HOW ABOUT CUSTOMERS!
Naturally, being able to create customer confidence and loyalty is important if you are to ensure repeat business and referrals.

Apart from feeling comfortable around people you will need some element of sales skill. Obviously the franchisor will offer help in this area but you need to feel comfortable with the ethos of sales for you will need to persuade (encourage) people to buy your products and services. Trust me, nothing sells itself. This is something often missed when people decide to turn their skills into a business of their own.

ATTITUDE
In the end, much of the approach towards starting a business is down to attitude. A positive ‘can do’ attitude is easy to adopt when things are going right but real character shows through when things don’t run so smoothly. Hey, if business was easy, no one would be looking for a job.

PERSONALLY SPEAKING
I have experience as an employee, of being successful in a corporate environment, of running my own business and of being part of a successful franchise operation. I know all of these things to be true.

A good franchise provides a head start and the success engine that will help you drive your business faster and with GPS navigation to wherever you want to go. You have are given the keys but you have to drive it. Here’s to your Success.

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA. Her background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal provides invaluable experience. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business. She is especially looking to work with business start-ups, entrepreneurs, and professionals who travel extensively.
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is a franchise a perfect self-employment solution?

When I visit any strange town or city, I am struck by the number of businesses that I’m already familiar with. Familiar coffee or fast food brands, hairdressers even. Chances are that they are franchises. So I figure, ‘is a franchise a perfect self-employment solution?’

The fact is that opening any business in the high-street is expensive and high risk. To minimise that risk you would do well to access the experience of a company willing to partner with you and share their experience. A franchise might offer the perfect opportunity.

I am not suggesting all franchises are created equally. Each has its own personality and requirements to protect their growth and brand. You need to read the small print. You need to consider the money you have available to invest along with the risk you are prepared to take. But hey, that’s the same with any business venture.

So let’s be clear as to what we buy when we invest in a franchise. We buy time.

It takes a time to develop skills and to gain experience. It takes a time to build a reputation. What is the true cost in the extra time we spend trying to figure all this out ourselves? Building awareness slowly could move profitable revenues from this month to next quarter. From this month to next year. Lack of cash flow is one of the major challenges in any business and running out of money is a key risk.

A reputable franchise has the skill set and business model to minimise such a risk. They already know what it takes to build a successful business and they don’t have room for failure.

The main issue with a franchise business in the high street, however, is the money you have to risk and tie up. Brick and mortar business ventures are expensive to set up and maintain.

However, there are many work-from-home franchise models that have minimal setup costs and affordable license fees. Profits are generally excellent to good. You could work fewer hours, or work hard and make twice as much as a franchise.

In the digital age, many of these franchise opportunities are powered by technology and without the high investment of a brick and mortar business this opens up business opportunities without the traditional costs.

I am a keen advocate for the franchise business model for the right people and I appreciate that franchising isn’t for everyone. Neither is medicine, teaching, sales or graphic design.

However, if you are facing 2017 with a burning ambition to set out on your own, remember that you need not face the challenges on your own or with the high cost or risk of a brick and mortar franchise business.

rebecca crossRebecca Cross is an Award Winning Virtual PA. Her background experience working with IBM and the Wall Street Journal provides invaluable experience. She specialises in providing creative business and administration support for entrepreneurs and business owners who understand the value of working on their business, rather than in their business. She is especially looking to work with business start-ups, entrepreneurs, and professionals who travel extensively.

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