Mark Cuban Shares The Key To Recognizing A Profitable Business Opportunity

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban – who made his reputation (and his billions) as a business maverick as well – is the author of a great blog where he posts his thoughts on business, sports and other life essentials.  You can find it at http://blogmaverick.com.

His new book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, is a steal at $2.50 and includes a lot of the insights he posts regularly on his blog.

One of the questions he is often asked is how to spot a profitable business opportunity, and here is his answer:

Knowing the industry very well. Most people think it’s all about the idea. It’s not. EVERYONE has ideas. The hard part is doing the homework to know if the idea could work in an industry, then doing the preparation to be able to execute on the idea.

Thousands of people want to start their own business, and many of them turn to franchise ownership as a way to realize that dream.  All too often, however, they fail to do their homework.  Or don’t even know how to begin.

This is where we come in.  The Entrepreneur Authority team helps people all over the country choose the best franchise business opportunity for their personal circumstances, and it all starts with a process we have perfected over the years.  You can learn more about that process by clicking here.

We also encourage you to attend our upcoming live webinar on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 1:30 p.m. CT, where we will share what is going on in the franchise marketplace right now, the pros and cons of investing in a franchise, the best process for selecting the right business and much, much more.

The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register.  You can register online at:

http://www.eAuth.com/upcoming-e-learning

You may also register by calling 972-731-6766. 

5 Ways Advanced Software Optimizes Your Franchise


Franchisors provide new franchisees with all kinds of training tools and systems, but good entrepreneurs always look for a competitive advantage.

That’s why it’s no good to settle – franchisees should be taking proactive approaches to their businesses, to remain at the cutting edge.

And that’s where advanced software can help.

While the franchising industry is poised for growth and success, it’s crucial for franchisees to find new ways of controlling costs and managing their business.

Here are 5 Ways Advanced Software Optimizes Your Franchise:

1. Enhanced Business Management. Advanced software can help franchisees manage their business and track growth from anywhere – helping them stay dialed in 24/7, if needed, to ensure vigilant oversight of their franchise.

2. Optimizes Inventory Levels. Keeping paper records of inventory just isn’t efficient. Using inventory-tracking software, franchises can stay on top of their supply chain management and work closely with suppliers and their franchisor to optimize inventory levels.

3. Reduced Costs and Shared Logistics. Using franchise software with a cross-chain retail software solution helps reduce carrying costs. In addition, it allows franchisees to source inventory from multiple pools – helping reduce costs without compromising quality.

4. Pricing Management. Advanced software can help track and manage pricing, which is especially crucial when factoring in regional/seasonal changes between franchises, along with marketing campaigns and promotions.

5. Efficiency-Driving Information. When you can track and analyze growth through advanced software, you’re able to improve on your shortcomings. With reports on sales, purchasing, CRM, employee management, and more, advanced software can help your franchise optimize its growth and success.

To learn more about entrepreneurship through franchising, attend our free monthly webinar, Franchise Ownership as a More Stable Career Path. The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register, which you can do online by clicking on the linked seminar title.

You may also register by calling 866-246-2884.

5 Must-Ask Financial Questions Before Buying a Franchise


People invest in franchises because they’re genuinely excited about the opportunity.

It’s a low-risk, more secure way to open a business and become a successful entrepreneur. For many people, the freedom of being their own boss, setting their schedule, and knowing their hard work affects their profits is enough reason to become a franchisee.

Before you commit to investing in a franchise, however, there are important financial questions to ask yourself before you begin. By doing do, you can help ensure you make the smartest and most well-informed decisions with your money and help set a course for success.

Here are 5 Must-Ask-Yourself Financial Questions Before Buying a Franchise:

1. How much total investment will a franchise require? On top of your franchise fees, there will also be the cost of legal fees, overhead costs, and a lease and/or mortgage if you’re operating a traditional brick-and-mortar franchise. Be sure to do your due diligence ahead of time and investigate these costs.

2. How much capital reserves will I need to cover losses? It takes time to develop a steady customer base. In case you’re not selling as much as you’d like at the beginning, be sure to have a reserve of cash to cover salaries and operating costs for a few months. A few months may seem long, but it’s always better to guess high and better manage your risk.

3. How much money will I need to cover my own living expenses? On top of money to cover your franchise at the beginning, you’ll also need to ensure you have enough money on hand for your own living expenses.

4. How long will it take your franchise to break even? For most businesses at the start, you’ll need to keep funneling money in before you make any. As part of your business plan, project when you’ll break even. Be conservative, and be sure to estimate and plan for the worst possible outcome rather than a best-case scenario.

5. What standard and alternative financing options are there? Bank loans and commercial leases are among the most common forms of financing for franchises. In terms of a loan, it will have to be secured through your personal collateral (such as a home equity) or through an SBA-backed loan. For alternative options, family and friends, online kickstarter campaigns, and retirement funds from IRA and 401Ks are also another common way to access funding for a franchise.

To learn more about entrepreneurship through franchising, attend our free monthly webinar, Franchise Ownership as a More Stable Career Path. The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register, which you can do online by clicking on the linked seminar title.

You may also register by calling 866-246-2884.

5 Reasons Every Entrepreneur Needs a Mentor


Confidence in entrepreneurship is key to success, but the most successful entrepreneurs know there’s always more to learn.

That’s why so many successful entrepreneurs and business owners seek new knowledge and wisdom, and rely on mentors to support them throughout their learning processes.

Here are 5 Reasons Every Entrepreneur Needs a Mentor:

1. You don’t know everything. As much as we all may want to think we know everything, sometimes we don’t. Or, we could, but it would be an inefficient use of time to spend figuring it out. That’s where a mentor’s guidance can really help you optimize your time.

2. You want to know everything. Entrepreneurs should be hungry for knowledge, and rightly so: knowledge is power. Being able to pick the brain of an established and successful mentor can help you quickly develop your knowledge, and gain a competitive advantage over the competition.

3. Camaraderie. Owning a business can sometimes be a lonely pursuit, especially in the beginning. Being able to spend time or talk to someone who’s been there – even if it isn’t about business, but another common interest – can really help keep you remain focused and reassured on your entrepreneurial journey.

4. It will make you think. Having a mentor who challenges you and asks tough question will ultimately help your business. Respect their experience and critical thinking, and use what you learn to optimize your business processes.

5. Because failure happens. To everyone. You’re going to have successes and failures as an entrepreneur, and a mentor will give you a helping hand of support when you need it (or a kick in the pants to get you in the right direction).

To learn more about entrepreneurship through franchising, attend our free monthly webinar, Franchise Ownership as a More Stable Career Path. The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register, which you can do online by clicking on the linked seminar title.

You may also register by calling 866-246-2884.

How Vets’ Leadership Skills Are Tailored to Franchising


Some people learn through textbooks, while others from life.

For U.S. Military veterans, their business education came on the battlefield – a place where success isn’t an option, it’s a matter of life, death, and freedom.

Through selfless, honorable service, vets also developed some of the strongest leadership qualities; skills that they can use when the time comes for them to transition back into civilian life and find a new career.

Confidence, dedication key to overcoming challenges

To succeed in the line of duty, veterans had to have an unflinching sense of confidence in not only their abilities, but the abilities of their comrades as well. In franchising, it’s crucial for franchise owners to be able to have the confidence to lead their business while also trusting in their staff to take care of their duties.

As part of this confidence and trust, veterans thrive as franchise owners because of their dedication. They devoted a large part of their life to serving their country, and didn’t back down in the face of great challenges and hardships. When problems arise in business, they’re able to overcome them with ease, knowing that they can survive minor setbacks and come out on top.

Vets able to draw on military experience to lead processes

Like any franchise, following the tried-and-true processes that make the franchise system successful is the key goal. However, some franchisees might want to stray from the formula and go their own way – oftentimes leading to failure.

Veterans, on the other hand, possess the leadership skills to operate their franchise according to the processes set out by the franchisor. They recognize that leadership in franchising isn’t about instability and egotism, it’s about recognizing that following the rules of what works is where they’ll find the most success.

It’s the same way in the military, where rules and processes were followed in achieving their missions.

And it takes a real leader to recognize this.

To learn more about entrepreneurship through franchising, attend our free monthly webinar, Franchise Ownership as a More Stable Career Path. The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register, which you can do online by clicking on the linked seminar title.

You may also register by calling 866-246-2884.

Inventory Problems? 5 Best Tips for Inventory Efficiency


Walking into a store with bare shelves or no hamburger buns isn’t pleasant.

Chances are, your customers aren’t going to be pleased. Even more, they may not come back any time soon, and will spread the message to others.

For franchise entrepreneurs, inventory control is preemptive damage control. Not only that, it’s just good business practice, and doing so can help optimize your daily processes and boost operational efficiency.

Here are the 5 Best Tips for Inventory Efficiency:

1. Project Better. Having too little inventory means your customers will be left with nothing to buy; having too much could eat into your capital budget. By better projecting how much inventory you’ll need – through a combination of sales tracking, seasonal factors, and potential for growth – you can best strike that fine line of having enough product without overspending.

2. Organize and Improve Tracking. Mistakes happen – often, inventory can be miscounted and that’s where problems arise. To best ensure this doesn’t happen, invest in an electronic tracking systems using bar-code scanning to eliminate human error, and use analytics to determine your best and worst sellers.

3. Spreadsheets. Crumple up those loose-leaf inventory notes, and invest in taking the time to create a spreadsheet. While Microsoft Excel and Lotus 123 will work fine, Quickbooks or Peachtree also have high-functioning inventory tracking that will help you better organize your inventory tracking.

4. Prioritize. New franchisees may be, at first, overwhelmed by the number of responsibilities they have. That’s why it’s so crucial to prioritize, especially when it comes to inventory control. Most businesses have hot-selling items that make up the majority of the demand from customers; focus on controlling these core areas.

5. Have a Backup Plan. It doesn’t have to be too complicated, but anything could happen. Have a thumb-drive with your inventory on it, in case your files are lost. Have a contact who can get you supplies ASAP, by forming a strong business relationship with them. Whatever you do, just make just your business is prepared when the unexpected hits.

To learn more about entrepreneurship through franchising, attend our free monthly webinar, Franchise Ownership as a More Stable Career Path. The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register, which you can do online by clicking on the linked seminar title.

You may also register by calling 866-246-2884.

KFC Actually Selling Chicken Corsages for Prom

Finger lickin' good! The fast food chain's new edible wristbands - priced at $20 - feature one golden drumstick along with a wreath of sweet-smelling baby's breath flowers

April Fools was over two weeks ago, but apparently it doesn’t matter for KFC.

This time, the joke is on America’s fried-chicken staple, which is actually selling drumstick corsages just in time for high school proms.

Teaming up with Nanz and Kraft, a Louisville florist company, KFC is offering finger-licking corsage-chicken hybrids, which feature a drumstick — yes, a drumstick — instead of the traditional floral decor, along with silk baby’s breath, green leaves, and a white ribbon.

Orders for the bizarre graduation accessory can be made almost anywhere. Once an order is placed, Nanz and Kraft will ship the corsage and a $5 voucher that will allow the purchaser redeem a fresh drumstick at any KFC location.

There were only 100 originally made, and he cost for one is $20. Additional shipping costs vary, of course, depending on the customer’s distance from Louisville, Kentucky.

“Word is spreading, and they’re going pretty fast,” said Angie Searcy, general manager of Nanz & Kraft, in an interview with USA Today, who added that they may consider making more than 100 if KFC wants to continue the offer.

“We are shipping them all over the place. The bulk of (orders) are from different cities and states, not actually Kentucky,” she added.

In the strange spirit of it all, co-owner of Nanz and Kraft, Eddit Kraft, said to Global News that, “We actually have a couple that’s getting married in Louisville that’s wondering about a wedding, and they want to incorporate their flower centrepieces with the KFC chicken buckets.”

“But we’ll see where it all goes. We might have to do boutonnieres next year or something like that,” he said.

To learn more about entrepreneurship through franchising, attend our free monthly webinar, Franchise Ownership as a More Stable Career Path. The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register, which you can do online by clicking on the linked seminar title.

You may also register by calling 866-246-2884.

How Vets Can Know They’re Ready for a Franchise Mission

Military Vets Mission


There is no Am I ready for this? question to ask yourself in the military.

Missions are completed under strict orders, and as combatants you must follow each objective carefully and meticulously in order to be successful.

In the line of duty, it often takes unfathomable courage, teamwork, belief, and fearlessness. For this, your country is forever in your debt.

Being ready for a franchising mission takes self-reflection, time

As you leave the military and become an honourable veteran, many veterans will wonder what’s the next mission in life – Where do I take my life after serving my country for so many years?

Many veterans succeed as entrepreneurs, especially in franchising, because of their outstanding attention-to-detail, process-following, problem solving, and leadership skills.

Simply put, there are rules and systems to be followed, similar to those found in the military.

While it’s important to take some time to reflect, take into account that franchising is perhaps the closest replication to the military – meaning a transition into a new civilian will be easier, as countless other veterans in franchising have proven.

Vets should understand the costs, expectations, and journey

Although the start-up franchising costs aren’t cheap – often in the five-figure or above range – many franchisors offer franchise-fee discounts and other incentives to veterans. That’s because veterans excel at owning and operating franchises, and deserve to be rewarded for the value they bring.

However, this new career path won’t necessarily be an easy mission.

Rewarding? Yes, absolutely. Challenging? Almost certainly. 

Invest yourself in the beginning, for the long haul

Especially in the beginning stages of owning a franchise, new franchisees will need to ensure they hire the right staff, establish a strong team-focused business culture, and optimize daily efficiencies to ensure profits are maximized.

And while hours as a business owner can be flexible, owning a business means that the majority of the work will likely need to be done by you, unless you’ve hired a management to oversee operations.

But the successful end result is liberating – knowing you became an entrepreneur.

And for many veterans, this is a mission that changes their lives forever.


To learn more about entrepreneurship through franchising, attend our free monthly webinar, Franchise Ownership as a More Stable Career Path. The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register, which you can do online by clicking on the linked seminar title.

You may also register by calling 866-246-2884.

Intriguing Franchising Trends for the New Year

Are you attracted to the idea of opening a franchise? It makes sense—you get a recognized brand, a proven operating system and built-in sales and marketing training and support, usually for less than it would cost to launch a similar business from scratch. Franchise Times reported on some intriguing franchising trends for 2013 and heading into the coming year, including healthcare, celebrity endorsements and consolidation.

Healthcare Franchises

The Affordable Care Act has sparked some surprising business franchising opportunities, such as the new economy hearing aid franchise Zounds, and new nutrition and fitness franchise concept Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right. Other hot medical franchise opportunities include chiropractic, lab testing, weight control, mobile dental equipment repair, fitness centers, learning assistance, home care and hospice and senior nursing care. Expect to see even more varied franchise concepts as naturopathy, lasik eye treatment and home health care, due to the expected addition of millions more Americans with health insurance and a shortage of primary care doctors.

Celebrity Endorsements

Celebrity endorsements are gaining traction in franchising. Stars bring in customers and big business. The latest celebrity endorsements for franchises include Peyton Manning for Papa John’s, singer/rapper Pitbull for Miami Subs, Shaquille O’Neal and Auntie Anne’s and Magic Johnson and Starbucks. Celebrity endorsement isn’t a new marketing concept and while it does come with some pitfalls, partnering with someone who already has a huge fan following can be a shortcut to success.

Consolidation

Franchise Times reports that franchises sold in record numbers in 2012, in addition to many mergers and acquisitions in the franchise world. The trend continued in 2013, with franchisees getting bigger because smaller units are selling to big operators due to increasing food costs, anticipated rise in healthcare costs in 2014, costly remodeling campaigns and retiring operators. Costly rebranding and remodeling campaigns are big incentives for smaller operators to sell. Burger King and Wendy’s have major remodeling and rebranding initiatives, and Applebee’s is rebranding.

How to Get Started

The Entrepreneur Authority recommends you first figure out what your priorities and expectations are. Consider such factors as what industry you want to work in, if you want a large brand or a new niche, and how much you are willing and able to invest.

As with any business and financial dealings, conduct your due diligence as far as raising the necessary capital. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has many resources for those who want to buy franchises, including tutorials and franchise research resources. The SBA also has information about securing a business loan to fund your franchise purchase. In addition to business loans, interested entrepreneurs may be able to fund their venture by selling annuities for a lump sum payment up front.

Finally, read and understand the detailed disclosure document required by the Federal Trade Commission’s Franchise and Business Opportunity Rule.

Maximize Your Morning Productivity (Infographic)

Entrepreneurs that succeed the most maximize their time efficiency.

Then, if so, why is it that mornings are so difficult for some people?

When it comes down to it, simple planning and a few changes can help most entrepreneurs thrive in the mornings and get more work done.

Plan ahead the night before, rethink wake-up time

It’s important to get into a soothing ritual before bed, to best prepare your body for quality sleep. Along with this, it’s a good idea to rethink your wake-up time – most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders rise at 6:00 a.m. or earlier.

As a great tip, it’s important to slowly wind down by turning off all electronic devices and relaxing the mind 90 minutes before you go to bed.

Get off on the right foot in the morning

Just as it’s important to have a routine before bed, it’s also good to have one in the morning to successfully gear yourself up for a productive morning. Whether it be exercise, stretching, something creative, or just reading the news, get into a habit you enjoy and can look forward to.

Most importantly, get focused for the day ahead and be sure to stay relaxed and connected with your environment.

Tackle most important things right away

At the office, make a list of your Top 3 most important things and tackle them right away. This will help your prioritize and re-focus your mind, while helping you to optimize your efficiency.

Above all, manage your morning energy effectively and spread it out through the rest of the day.

For the full picture, check out this infographic from Entrepreneur and Column Five:

How to Use Social Media to Find Customers (Infographic)

To learn more about entrepreneurship through franchising, attend our free monthly webinar, Franchise Ownership as a More Stable Career Path. The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register, which you can do online by clicking on the linked seminar title.

You may also register by calling 866-246-2884.