How to Tell if You Have What It Takes to Start a Business

If you are working for someone else, there has probably been a time or two you have wondered if you have what it takes to start your own business.  Not everyone is wired to be an entrepreneur, especially when it comes to taking risks to launch your own venture.

There are pros and cons to being an entrepreneur; some of the pros include:

  • The freedom to be your own boss
  • Job security and control of your work life
  • Unlimited income potential
  • Creative outlet
  • Flexibility

Some of the cons can include:

  • Risk
  • Fear of failure
  • Longer hours and more work
  • Fluctuation in income
  • Pressure and responsibility

In the past decade, we have helped hundreds of people realize their dreams of small business ownership and have found that one of the greatest obstacles for entrepreneurs is the assumption of risk. 

Taking on some risk is the price of achieving returns – if you want to make money, you can’t eliminate all risk.  The goal is to find an appropriate balance, one that generates profit, but still allows you to sleep at night.  This is an advantage that franchising gives an entrepreneur – it’s your business, but the trail has been blazed and you have a roadmap for success to follow.

If you are determined to be your own boss, we can help you discover if you have what it takes to start your own business and guide you through the steps to successful entrepreneurship. 

You can start by attending our March 22 webinar, Franchise Ownership as a More Stable Career Path.  The webinar is free, but you need to pre-register.  To register online, click here.

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

How to Make the Journey from Dream to Decision

Studies show that the vast majority of us would rather work for ourselves than for anyone else.  So why doesn’t everybody go out and start their own businesses?  It’s usually because of fear.

Larina Kase, author of The Confident Leader, says if you are stuck in limbo and want to get to the point where you can make a decision, you should take these five steps:

Uncover your fears.  In order to move forward, you have to understand exactly what it is you fear.  One of the best ways to do this is to ask yourself what would happen if the fear came true.

Get perspective.  When we imagine our fears being realized, most of us exaggerate the consequences to an unlikely extreme.  Try to keep things in perspective and reduce your anxiety by challenging negative thoughts.

Take baby steps.  One of the best ways to overcome your fears is to test them.  Doing something that makes you anxious gives you confidence to tackle larger fears.

Make a one-hour commitment.  Imagine just for one hour that you have already made the decision you are struggling with and see how that makes you feel.

Go with your gut.  If you are in analysis paralysis – researching the same information over and over – trying trusting your gut.  Your intuition will take into account what you already know and is liable to guide you to the right decision.

To learn more about realizing a dream of business ownership, 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.

Live Webinar Thursday 2/23: Hottest Industries & Top Franchise Trends for 2012

The Entrepreneur Authority team attended the annual International Franchise Association Convention last week and learned a lot about what is going on right now in the franchise marketplace.

We will share it all with you tomorrow – Thursday, Feb. 23 — via a free live webinar at 1:30 p.m. CT.

During this one-hour complimentary webinar, you will hear about:

  • The pros and cons of investing in a franchise…and the common pitfalls to avoid;
  • The legal considerations of owning a franchise...and how to protect your interests;
  • The hottest industries and franchise opportunities…as well as the industries that are trending downward;
  • The realities of financing your business in today’s lending climate…and some options that may surprise you;
  • The best process for selecting the RIGHT business…and what NOT to do!

You’ll also have a chance to ask questions and have them answered by our team of franchise business ownership experts.

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 866-246-2884. 

Major Steps Along the Way to Opening a Franchise

Entering into any new business venture is a process; here are some of the major steps along the way:

1. Self-evaluation. Matching franchise opportunities with the skills you have accumulated over your career and your own personal strengths and weaknesses is the first step in finding the right franchise for you.

2. Choose a franchise consultant. While there are lots of online resources for researching franchise opportunities, a knowledgeable franchise consultant can be invaluable in guiding you through what can be a complex process.

3. Research. You need to not only look at businesses that on the surface appeal to you personally, but also those that meet a market demand in your geographical area. Once you have narrowed your choices, you will need to obtain a Franchise Disclosure Document from each potential franchise and examine it thoroughly with the assistance of a franchise attorney.

4. Attend Discovery Day. This is where you will get more in-depth knowledge about the franchises you are researching. You will likely visit the franchisor’s corporate office and have the opportunity to meet the management team. Be ready with a list of comprehensive questions.

5. Talk to other franchisees. Choose a good mix of existing franchisees that are in your region as well as one or two others who are new to the system. Ask them if they are happy with the support they are getting from the home office as well as if their financial and other expectations are being met.

6. Make your choice and find financing. Once you have made your choice, you will have everything you need to secure financing. More franchisors are stepping up to fill the financing vacuum these days, so be sure you explore options before you sign the agreement.

7. Sign on the bottom line. Sometimes there is room for negotiation in franchise agreements. Again, be sure you are working with an experienced franchise attorney, who can help guide you through that process.

8. Permits and insurance. The franchisor is the most likely source of guidance on state, county, or city requirements for permits and insurance needed prior to opening your franchise. You can also get information at SBA.gov.

9. Staffing and training. Franchisors are responsible for providing training to you and your staff (if the franchise you have chosen requires a staff). Depending on the franchise, training could take place at a franchisor’s home office or at field locations, and can range from a few days to a week or more.

10. Open for business. A key component of your training will focus on the grand opening of your franchise. Beyond an operations manual, you should receive intensive training on franchise marketing practices. Some franchisors provide a corporate trainer to be at your location during grand opening.

To learn about what it takes to run a successful franchise, 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.

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.