FINDING YOUR FRANCHISE
Some good sources for franchise opportunities include Entrepreneur, Successful Franchising, and Franchise Times magazines. Entrepreneur (and its sister publication, Business Start-ups) also promote many business opportunities. Remember, these are typically NOT overseen by the Federal Trade Commission and, in my judgment, are very poor alternatives to a franchise. Most will not give you a list of previous purchasers and my 20 years in business brokerage lead me to believe that less than 10% of these “business opportunities” ever produce satisfied buyers. Most promote an industry that is past its prime while omitting this information from its “pitch.”
A couple that still hang on are “Medical Billing” programs and vending machines. Today, almost every physician can prepare his own electronic filings and several major service bureaus now offer services nationwide. Equifax, the credit reporting agency in Atlanta, is a major provider to those who haven’t yet automated. Most every market is served by several well-entrenched vending machine companies who will pay to put machines in profitable sites. Those locations that don’t have enough business are left for those “hooked” by the business opportunity vending machine scams. I’ve talked to dozens of unhappy owners of a dozen or two machines (usually stored in their basements) who found that their equipment and the sites offered were inferior and their dream dissolved.
Set your sights on a franchisor who will provide full training, on-going support, and market research for new products and services to offer in our rapidly changing economy. Don’t let the idea of avoiding royalties lead you down a blind alley. Units that belong to a franchise almost always develop higher sales that independent companies. Sharing a small percentage with your “mentor” is well worth the price–you’ll almost always have more money left after royalties than the independent merchants in your industry.
A PRESCRIPTION FOR YOU
“The E-Myth: Taking Charge of Your Business” by Michael Gerber is a great book for entrepreneurs. He discusses how to build you business for greatest profitability and how to surround yourself with good employees who will help you achieve your goals. You can find this book, in paperback, in any bookstore or obtain it on audio tapes from Nightingale-Conant at 800-647-9198. If you’ve never seen the wide selection of motivational, self-improvement, and business titles available on tapes for listening as you drive or exercise, call Nightingale-Conant for their catalog.
Remember, the most critical ingredient in your entrepreneurial success is YOU! How you train and motivate yourself will account for more than half of your future success or failure. A lazy, ill-informed person can fail with the greatest franchise system. On the other hand, an excited, well-educated, hard-working entrepreneur can turn lemons into the best lemonade the world has known–and make a profit doing it!!
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