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What Our Family Learned From Harvey

Canva_DarkCloudsGraphic_HarveyHint: It’s Not About What You Do Before

Prior to August 25th, Hurricane Harvey was a nonevent for Texas and was elsewhere. Our world of business was focused on delivering to our clients, managing our business and occasionally enjoying life.

Then Harvey hit. It actually sprang up very quickly for Texans. First, it was crossing the Yucatan and then it was at our front door. There are many views from many people and with humility, I am expressing how we viewed our time under Harvey’s control.

My husband and I live at a Marina. We love being near the water! We have a condo on the 3rd floor, but look out on a beautiful little marina where our boat, Faith and Hope, is almost in sight. We presently are “dirt dwellers” that is what “Liveaboards” call people who live on land. We lived on Faith and Hope for 15 years. We understand Liveaboards and why they do it. It is simple living and it brings with it a serenity that provides a great sense of nature, peacefulness, strong bonds and beauty.

Needless to say, we have many friends that are presently Liveaboards. And, Harvey was more than a challenge…it was a nightmare! The water came up FAST and created almost an island effect. These Liveaboards could not get off and they had no electricity. We could only text and email them from our lofty perch three stories up surrounded by water. Although there were many more that were far worse off than our friends at the marina, my heart still went out to our friends coping with Harvey. Liveaboards are a different breed who almost hear a different drum. They want simple living where neighbors are true neighbors and one can stop over for a quick chat or a great meal whipped up for a crowd. We have often had 20 or more on one boat; and one time we fixed an entire Thanksgiving dinner (pies and all!) for many.

So what do you do? You have everything. They have nothing. Well, my husband and I focused on their possible needs…cell phone charging and food. Water is always on a boat so that was not a problem. But, how do you get it to them? Remember they cannot see the docks anymore or know where to step. Well, a miracle happened! The water calmed for just a small window of time. We walked down to the marina and contacted our friends. They decided to try getting off. Now, you can’t see where the dock is or where you should put your next step. My husband grabbed a paddle and our friend had a boat hook to gingerly try to find the next foot hole that is dock and not deep water! They worked together to get our friend off. This was not easy going with a pretty good current. He was tired and wet and wanted something hot. We made hot scrambled eggs with bacon; and I only had pita pocket bread but it worked! He was able to charge his phone and then, because his wife was still onboard and they have two beloved cats, he went back to his boat. We shared what food we had with them.

We were lucky but so many lost everything; some lost their lives. A good friend of mine was flooded twice. Once was the Tax Day flood in 2016 and now Harvey. We could only call her and tell her we will be there once we are no longer an island! We are grateful to Harvey in some ways because we had so many people reach out to us and were concerned about us. We were so touched. Unfortunately, we could only help a few.

Now, as Irma is churning through Florida, our thoughts turn to the many Floridians; we are sending our thoughts and prayers to them as they cope with Mother Nature at her worse.

Are You Seeking The Hottest Franchise?

(c) Can Stock Photo / alexmillosAs a franchise coach, I am often asked, “What is the hottest franchise?”

The answer is one that most people don’t like, “Well, it depends.”  What may be  a good franchise good for your brother Joe may not be good for you.  You may have different requirements, different dreams and different goals than your brother Joe.

So, how do you find the “best” franchise for you?  Most of our clients ask this question:

What is a good franchise that I enjoy, and that will work well in my market and for my life?

When I Googled, what is the hottest franchise, my search returned a lot of companies advertising all sorts of brands.  It was more gloss than substance.  You want to move beyond the gloss and ask these six questions:

  1. How much does it really cost?
  2. Will it work in my market?
  3. Can I still have the lifestyle I want?
  4. How much money will it make and when can I start making it?
  5. What type of support will I get?
  6. How stable is the franchise for long term growth and development?

Where Do You Start

To find a good franchise that works will in your market and for your life, start with yourself.  Write down the pros and cons of your last three jobs.  This will give you an idea of what you like.  Ask friends and family to help you understand your strengths and weaknesses.  You can also use our free business assessment to learn more.

Click here to start our free business assessment.

Funding

Visit with a good financial advisor, banker or 401K rollover specialist.  Learn what your options are for funding your new business.  It is always best to put together a plan of both your personal and business financial goals.  You want to be able to afford the business, as well as pay your personal bills, as the franchise starts to build and grow.

Your Market Area

Use data to understand your market better.  A good resource is www.citydata.com.  Notice the salaries in the area and the distribution of commercial versus residential.  Notice the average age of the residents in your area.

Family

Does your family support your decision to buy a franchise?  Most everyone has bought a house or car.  Buying this kind of business is a much bigger decision even though franchises are highly successful.  Your family needs to be involved and support you.  Ask these three questions.

  1. If we buy a business, will you support me?
  2. What type of support will we give one another to make this new business work?
  3. Who will do what if a family member wants to be actively involved in the business?
  4. And, finally, do you all agree on the overall budget for the business? Do your homework on funding.

Learn to Involve Subject Matter Experts (SME)

Are you an “Unconscious Incompetent?” Do you know what you don’t know? This is where SMEs can be handy.

Your SMEs should be a good franchise coach, accountant, franchise attorney and banker. Do your due diligence on the business. (Investigate the business long before you write a check)

There is a lot to due diligence.  But speaking with the other franchisees (owners) in the franchise system is where you will uncover a wealth of good solid information including true earnings, challenges and rewards of owning this business.

“Other factors to consider when deciding on a franchise: how long locations have been open, net
location
openings in any given year; and growth potential of the concept’s given industry. Finally,
investors should talk to established franchisees in the system.”  The Street

What is the hottest franchise?  It is one that fits you, one you can afford and one in which you have completed your due diligence.

Right Franchising helps our clients with finding the right franchise for them and then we provide all the tools to help them complete a thorough due diligence on the franchise.  We prevent costly mistakes.  And, most importantly, we help our clients make well-informed decisions.

Gratitude: More Than a Feeling

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

(c) Can Stock Photo Gratitude

There are various words used to express Gratitude: grateful, acknowledge, appreciate, treasure, and thankful, to name a few.  For many people, this time of year is when they start counting their blessings and looking back on the past year. They gather their thoughts and reflect on people or experiences for which they are grateful. People believe that gratitude is what feeds their soul. What does gratitude mean to you? How do you show it? Looking for ways to express that gratitude in a meaningful way? Below are examples of how you can show your gratitude to the people you know and love.

Gratitude is more than a feeling, and it’s not enough to just feel grateful.  You need to do something with it – that’s where acknowledgement comes in. For example, tell your friends and family why you’re grateful to have them in your life. Acknowledge the impact of their friendship, their support or their love. Whether you sit down to write a note (or email or text), be specific about how they touched your life. Make them feel your gratitude.

What do you appreciate about your life? Is it your family? Or your job? Or your health? Or your community? As we and our loved ones, get older, we may not remember his name (Augusten Burroughs), but we remember the quote: “When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters.” And that is SO true! When you’re in ill health, it’s hard to think of much beyond your personal situation. Being healthy allows you to be more active in your life, business and community. There are many ways to show appreciation in your community for the gifts and blessings you have. Maybe you can assist someone who’s house-bound or bed-bound. Maybe start a food drive to help your local food bank, or drive the van that takes meals to senior citizens. What about a coat drive for foster children – for some, gratitude is a warm coat.

Do you treasure the people in your life? Do they know who you feel about them? And, I’m not just talking this time of year. J Do you show them, in small ways, how much they mean to you? It doesn’t take much – a heartfelt message written in soap on the shower door, having dinner ready on the table for you after you come home from a long day, or clean and folded laundry! Just that fact that someone notices and treasures what you do for them on a daily basis is another form of gratitude.

Whether you are giving thanks for a thoughtful note, a visit from a friend, a delicious meal or a thank you for our service members for keeping this the land of the free and the home of the brave, keep that feeling in your heart all year.

Remember this thought as you go through life – “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” ~ Unknown.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving surrounded by good food and great family. I plan on having an “Attitude of Gratitude!”

A Veteran, a Franchise, and His Mother – Part III Evaluating

Part III:  Evaluating a Franchise Opportunity

Evaluating - Thumbs Up Thumbs DownBefore we talk about evaluating, let’s look back at Bill’s journey to find the right franchise for him:

Right Franchising presented four solid secure franchises that fit Bill’s criteria, investment range and his passion for a business.

Next step:  Evaluating the franchises that are a good match for Bill.

So, how do you evaluate a franchise?  Most people find this a daunting task and one in which they have little or no experience.

Let’s take it one step at a time:

Step 1:  Learn More About Your Preferred Franchise

Right Franchising will schedule a call with the right person for each franchise.  This will help us take a deeper dive into the details of each franchise.

Have you thought about the questions you should ask of each franchise?  Right Franchising suggests the following:

  1. What is unique about the product and services this franchise offers?
  2. What are the long term goals & growth strategy of your company?
  3. Tell me about how you will help me attract customers or clients.
  4. Tell me about the training and help in the field I’ll need.
  5. How much working capital will I need? What do you suggest?

Step 2:  The Franchise Disclosure Document.

Some of my clients refer to this as a good “door stop” document.  You will receive a federal document that has some great information in it but it is “HUGE.”    Most can be anywhere from 300 to 800 pages or more!

So, how do you take a bite out of this part of the elephant?

Next month, we will discuss Step 2 of evaluating a franchise —The Franchise Disclosure Document.   I will show you the best kept secret about how to quickly go through this document and get the information you are seeking.

To find the right franchise for you and make an informed decision, please email Gayle@RightFranchising.com for a free consultation.

A Veteran, a Franchise and his Mother…Part II

Bill’s Franchise Story – Part II

The Franchise story continues about Bill, a franchise and his mother.  Previously, Bill, my client had followed all the steps for finding the right franchise for him.  He completed the online assessment and completed the questionnaire.

franchise, canstockphoto6704318We spent 30 minutes understanding what interests him and what categories of franchises were of interest.  Bill and I talked about his skill set, types of businesses he has thought of and his investment range.  But, more importantly, we talked about what he really likes to do each day and what motivates him.  Without someone asking the right questions, it is hard to really know what motivates each of us.  This is where Right Franchising provided value with our experience and focused approach.

Here is what we discovered together:

  1. Bill loves to help people.
  2. He has great organizational skills.
  3. Bill needs a business that is flexible with his work schedule and family.
  4. He wanted a business that was a niche business with little competition.

There was more but you get the idea!  It is all about asking the RIGHT questions and a targeted strategic search.  My team spent four days searching franchises and business opportunities that fit Bill’s criteria and investment range.  We also made sure that the territory was available for each franchise or business opportunity selected.

Now, for the fun part of what Right Franchising does: I presented four good solid franchises that matched Bill’s criteria in every way.  This four was narrowed down from hundreds of franchises that either did not fit or were unavailable in Bill’s area.  We save our clients time, money and frustration with our targeted strategic focused approach.

We talked about the pluses and minuses of each franchise.  We also talked about his vision about how each franchise would work and what his day-to-day would be like.  He was excited about two of them because he liked them and wanted his family, particularly his mother, to be a part of the business.  They both have respect and regard for each other and felt they could work together comfortably.

So, now, we have four solid franchises that fit Bill’s criteria and investment range.  Each is successful and we are ready to evaluate them.  So, how do you evaluate a franchise?  Look for Part III entitled “Due Diligence”. 

If you would like to take my online assessment which helps you learn what types of businesses may fit you, please click on the assessment link.

A veteran, a franchise and his mother…

(c) Can Stock Photo

My franchise story this month starts with my client, Bill.  Bill is in the armed services. He has made a career out of the army.  No, he doesn’t strap on his field boots and gun every day, but he does wield a sophisticated system that trains hundreds of our men and women for combat.

I started working with Bill when he knew he wanted something more…something that was rock solid.  He said the government is great but there are constant restrictions and cutbacks.  So, we began our process of finding the right franchise for Bill that would give him that feeling of security and peace of mind.

Part I—The Assessment (10 minutes) which gives fast and accurate information about Bill.

First, Bill and I worked on understanding what interests him.  We spent about 30 minutes together and I was able to get to know him better.  We talked about his skill set, types of businesses he has thought about and his investment range.  But more importantly, we talked about what he really likes to do each day and what motivates him.  Bill loved to help people and has great organizational skills.  All of these are good transferable skills to a franchise.

Next, Bill took Right Franchising’s online assessment.  Ten minutes to find out the following:

1.        Should Bill actually own a business?

2.        If so, what values should that business have that Bill holds dear?

3.        What type of franchises would fit Bill’s skill set and risk-tolerance level?

Once we completed the Assessment, his Interest Inventory and a questionnaire, I went to work.  There are 4000 franchises out there and many are good; but some are not. As a certified franchise counselor, I work with franchises day in and day out, and know the ones that are good franchises with excellent return on investment and strong financial performers.

Right Franchising found four good franchises that fit Bill’s criteria and met his investment range.  We also made sure the territory was available.

Next week, I will post our results and how Bill chose the right franchise for him and, oh yes, how his mother became an integral part of his business.

To learn more about franchising and if it is the right path for you, please reach out Gayle at 832-864-2687 or Gayle@RightFranchising.com.

Today Is Your Last Day…

Last Day (Today) graphic

Would You Be Prepared to Hear That Today?

It was a bright sunny day when I told the manager that today was his last day. He did something I wasn’t expecting. He bolted from the room and started running through the warehouse!

I ran after him in my heels. You see, I was the Human Resources Director that told him, “Today is your last day.” I chased him to his car where he was slamming the car door over and over again. I approached him cautiously. I said, “You don’t understand, we have a severance package for you.”

He said, “You don’t understand, we just bought a new house and we have a baby on the way!”

That is when it happened! I knew I had to find an alternative to the J.O.B. There had to be something else where people are more in control of what happens to them. And, I wanted to be in control of my life, and my income.

(c) Can Stock Photo (Franchise) TodayI found franchising. I begin to get excited when I read the following:

  • Retirement Fund Contributions (Pre-taxed Dollars):
    • Employees are capped at $18,000 annually
    • Business Owners may contribute up to $50,000 annually

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Study of the American Worker

So, if you could gain control of your life today as well as put aside up to $50,000 annually, why wouldn’t franchising be an option? I believe it is!

Owning a franchise is the best assurance you can get that you will never hear these words, “Today is your last day.” Please call me at 877-307-1458 today for a free consultation to learn more about franchising and if it is right for you.

Here is a free gift to you. Take our free assessment below and see if a business is right for you – today.

FREE Business Assessment

Gayle Sutton
Certified Franchise Consultant 877-307-1458 or Gayle@RightFranchising.com
Right Franchising.com

Franchises: How to Buy One…

…And Still Afford Lunch (not just at a Franchise)

Most people drive down the street and see McDonald’s, Burger King and Chik-fil-A.  They believe that is the extent of a franchise.  So, let’s look at some facts.  Below is a good statistic provided by the International Franchise Association that shows the financial cost of a franchise and the percentages of franchises found in each financial segmentation.

Cost of Franchise Businesses graphic

 

Notice that 52% are under $100,000.  This figure would include everything you need to open the franchise, and often includes three months of working capital.  With a 690 or better credit score, you would put down $20,000 or $30,000, and the remainder would be funded with an SBA loan or other funding sources.

Also, notice that only 5.6% are over $500,000.  A McDonald’s franchise costs around $1.8 million for example. Of those 5.6% of franchises, they fall in many categories; restaurants are more likely going to be at the higher-end cost. There are great franchises for $500,000, and great franchises for $75,000 or less. I’ll help you choose the one that fits your needs best.

So, then you may be wondering, “If I invest more money, will I get a better return or a higher profit margin?”  It has been my experience as a certified franchise consultant that there is NO automatic correlation between the cost of the business and the PROFT it can earn.

Surprising? Yes!  But when you want to really evaluate a business, the best approach is to figure the net profit the business can generate.   So, what is net profit?

“Net Profit is the actual profit made on a business transaction, sale, etc., or during a specific period of business activity, after deducting all costs from gross receipts”, as defined by Dictionary.com.   It is easier to say, sales minus expenses.

Right Franchising understands this and matches candidates to the right franchise; one you can afford and one that generates a solid net profit for you and your family.  We do this with real numbers that you can validate with other franchisees (other owners) in the franchise system.  It is easy to do and really helps you make an informed decision.

So, if you’re ready to take the next step of checking out a Franchise, give me a call. I’d love to help you find just the Right Franchise! Franchise.  Call me at 877-307-1458 and let’s get started!.

FEAR – how we go past it!

(c) Can Stock Photo Fear Graphic

(c) Can Stock Photo

What do CAT scans and purchasing a franchise have in common? Fear.

 

As I write this, I am awaiting results from a CAT scan for my right lung.  I know in my brain that I don’t have Lung cancer (never smoked in my life) and yet, that little small voice keeps saying, “What if?”

I started to think about how sometimes my clients are fearful, but perhaps afraid to admit it because they perceive this as a weakness.   So, why are we fearful and how can we STOP being fearful?

For me, waiting on my CAT scan results, I need information.  Once I have this information, I can make an INFORMED decision.  My new clients are fearful because they don’t have the information they need to make an INFORMED decision.   At Right Franchising, we work together to provide good solid information so our clients will make an informed decision—no shot in the dark!

So, how does one become informed when considering buying a franchise?  First, know some basic facts about franchising:

Ray Kroc, the creator of McDonald’s® coined the phrase:  “Franchising is certainly going into business for yourself, however, not on your own.”  Trying something on your own generates extreme fear!   Franchising is the world’s most successful system for building and growing a business.  By its much defined processes, it helps eliminate fear.

If franchising is so successful, then why am I fearful?  CAT scans are successful too; but until I have the results, I remain fearful.    A good franchise consultant can provide the tools and expertise to find the right franchise that fits you, and then helps you investigate it thoroughly.  You will learn 3 important things during the “Due Diligence” period:

  1. Does the franchise make money, and what is my take home pay?
  2. Does the franchise support its franchisees, and is that support ongoing for the life of the business?
  3. Are the franchisees happy with the franchise, and with their decision to join the franchise system?

In conclusion, how do we defeat fear?  The truth is we don’t!  Even with my results from my CAT scan, I will have to trust that my doctors know what they are doing.  Even with a good solid due diligence, you will still be fearful when you purchase a franchise.  It is still a leap of faith.  The information you and I gather, about the franchises that fit you, helps make it a smaller leap with a very soft landing!

Free Gift from Gayle with Right Franchising

Have you ever wondered, “What do I ask a franchisor when I am interested in a particular franchise?”  For a FREE list of questions to ask franchisors, please Click Here..

If you would like to learn more about the RIGHT way to find the RIGHT franchise that fits you improving your odds for success, please click here: http://www.rightfranchising.com/contact.html

Looking For New Business Funding?

Funding graphicBut, You Have a Few Funding Questions…

Like:

  • How much money will I need? 
  • How do I go about funding a business? 
  • Is the funding safe?

As a franchise consultant, my clients usually have two fearsFear of failure and fear of funding.  In this article we are going to address funding, and in our next Blog post we will address fear of failure.

How to Fund a Business

Most people have bought a house or a car but a business!  How does one even start to understand where to find the money to fund a franchise?  Here are four interesting facts below and four good ways to fund your franchise.

 It is easier to fund a business than to buy a home. You just need the right sources.

  1. Learn from Gayle at Right Franchising ways to fund a business that are safe, proven and provide peace of mind as you start your business.
  2. We find good sources with low interest or no interest rates for our clients.
  3. Right Franchising will provide funding assistance and analysis. So you make the right decision and avoid costly mistakes.

So, there are better ways than to go to my local bank?  Yes! Because banks have less money to loan, and they have increased their requirements which often makes loans out of reach for most people and some investors.

Types of Funding Plans

  • Rollover of funds – without debt, penalties or interest and the government assumes 40% of the cost of the franchise.
  • SBA Express Loans – offers Small Business Loan Express (UNSECURED) loans with loan limits up to $150,000, which are easier and faster to process.
  • SBA Loans – Loans with 20 to 30% down depending on credit score and debt ratio. These loans are for franchises that are from 150,000 to 1 million plus.
  • No Money Down Loans – these loans require no money down and one can borrow up to $100,000 or more in some cases.

Don’t let the fear of funding stop you from owning a strong performing franchise or business.   There is no charge for the conversation only good solid information to help you learn about funding.  Your desire for a business may be within your reach and you just need information.

Please call Gayle at 877-307-1458 or email me at Gayle@RightFranchising.com to schedule a brief 30 minute call.

Copyright 2015