7 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Franchise

Generally speaking, running a successful franchise is easier than opening a successful business of one’s own. However, this doesn’t mean that opening a franchise is a sure thing. In order to start a successful franchise, you must plan accordingly.

The question is, what do you need to think about when planning? There are quite a few different considerations which should be made before you buy a franchise. Here are 7 of the most important.

What to Consider Before You Buy a Franchise

Starting a franchise is not something that should be taken lightly. This is a serious business decision which will have a seismic impact on your future. Before taking action, you need to make the following considerations.

1. Potential Location

Before you even think about buying a franchise, you need to consider a location for it. If your location isn’t a good one, your franchise will not succeed. Conversely, if you pick a great location, your franchise is likely to thrive.

Often times, franchisors will help their franchisees to find quality locations in their areas. After all, this is an investment for the franchisor as well.

There are a number of different things to consider when choosing a business location, so you’re advised to read up and do your research. It would also be wise to utilize geographic analytical software, as it will help you to recognize population trends in your town or city.

2. Finances

Regardless of the type of franchise you’re looking to start, you must ensure that you have the finances available to fund it. Buying a franchise is certainly no exception to this rule.

When it comes to buying a franchise, you not only have to consider initial purchase costs but continuous operational costs as well. Depending on who your franchisor is, you might even have to pay for tools and resources.

It’s important to note, however, that many franchisors will help foot the bill on certain expenses. For instance, they will often help to pay for training, marketing, and location searches.

3. Franchisor Track Record

Not all franchisors are created equal. Whereas some have positive reputations and do everything they can to help their franchisees, others have negative reputations and actually hinder the operations of their franchisees.

Before signing any contracts to become a franchisee you must study up on your prospective franchisor. Most importantly, it’s important to find out whether or not said franchisor has a reputation for filing lawsuits against its franchisees.

In the end, you want to work with a franchisor that has your back, not one which fights every move you make. A positive working relationship with your franchisor is key not only to the success of your franchise but to your peace of mind as well.

4. Available Training

Franchisors want their franchises to succeed. Therefore, they typically go out of their way to provide training to franchisees and their employees.

However, this is not always the case. For this reason, you must inquire as to the level of training your prospective franchisor will provide.

Some franchisors will only provide training up to the grand opening of a franchise. Others will provide training perpetually, helping franchisees and their employees to operate their franchises optimally over the entirety of their existence.

While no form of training is necessarily better than the other, there might be a style of training that you prefer. In the end, it’s important to opt for a style of training with which you feel comfortable.

5. Ability to Run the Franchise

Franchises run the gamut from restaurants to service companies to entertainment ventures and everything in between. Your goal is to choose a franchise that you’re comfortable and capable of running.

For instance, if you have no experience in managing a restaurant, you probably shouldn’t buy a restaurant franchise. Instead, you should focus on your strengths. For example, if you’re well-versed in cleaning commercial properties, you might consider buying a commercial cleaning franchise.

Of course, regardless of the type of franchise you choose, you’ll need entrepreneurial skills as well. There is a lot more to running a franchise than performing the service provided by the franchise. A great deal of business acumen is required.

6. Time You’ll Need to Dedicate to the Franchise

It doesn’t matter what type of franchise you buy, running it is going to require a great deal of your time and attention. However, some types of franchises require more time and attention than do others.

To get a feel for your potential responsibilities, you’re going to need to ask some questions. When speaking to your prospective franchisor, inquire as to what a typical workday entails.

You should also ask questions about specific responsibilities. By gaining an understanding of your potential responsibilities, you’ll be able to get a better feel for the time and effort that they require.

7. State of the Industry

One last thing to consider before buying a franchise is the state of the industry that the franchise exists in. Not only do you want to ensure that the industry is thriving at the present time, but you also want to ensure that it will be thriving for the foreseeable future.

Choosing the right or wrong industry can make or break your franchise. Whereas choosing a franchise in a dying industry will likely end in financial disaster, choosing a franchise in a steady, reliable industry will likely result in a successful business venture.

Before you sign any contracts, make sure to do some thorough market research. Focus on tried and true industries while ignoring dying and trendy ones.

Interested in Opening a Franchise?

Now that you know what to consider before you buy a franchise, you might be interested in buying one. If so, and if you’re looking to get involved in the commercial cleaning industry, OpenWorks is the company to call.

A financially strong company with a long and successful history, we have franchises all over the United States. Regardless of your location, our team looks forward to working with you.

Contact us today to request franchise information!

6 Reasons to Become a Franchise Owner

franchise owner

franchise owner

You know you could run a business effectively and you’re passionate about providing for yourself and your family. But what type of business should you run? 

You want to be apart of a community but just can’t seem to find the right one that has a unified vision. Where do you turn? 

There are plenty of businesses to choose from. Probably more than you have thought of. That’s the beauty of franchising. It allows people to share in a collective vision. 

There are many reasons to become a franchise owner. Here are five big ones. 

1. Financial Opportunity 

Being a franchise owner is certainly about a sense of community and being apart of something. it’s just as much about providing for your family and financial security. 

If you’re entrepreneurial minded but don’t want to go through all of the hassles that surround starting your own business, owning a franchise is a perfect option for you. 

Because you’re entrepreneurial, you also know that businesses don’t make money by only focusing on money. They succeed because they don’t forget the little details of success while they’re prospering.

Choosing the right franchise is as much about financial performance as it is an interpersonal connection. The more connectivity franchisees have with their franchise owners, the more financially prosperous the business will be. 

2. Collaboration

Interpersonal connection is the foundation of a successful business. From those connections come collaboration, a huge advantage to becoming a franchise owner.

If you own a franchise you’ll have access to tried and tested forms for advertising, marketing, and sales. The point is, you’ll have the resources that come from people working together in a highly structured format. 

Some added benefits that stem from the collaborative environment of franchising: 

  • The benefit of proven service marks, trademarks, and proprietary information. 
  • Access to company market research as well as access to a guide of patents and designs.
  • Database of standard operational procedures to refer to so that you’re not caught in ambiguity during tough situational decisions
  • Access to mentoring from successful business owners. 
  • Contingency resources. 
  • Opportunities to enhance your management skills due to an established business model. 
  • A proven method that offers the opportunity for rapid expansion. 
  • A chance to Improve your community by instilling a sense of ownership. 
  • Allows your community an opportunity for economic expansion alongside the expansion of your franchise. 
  • Supply is made easier due to the franchise’s advanced network of suppliers.

3. Success 

Success is partly how much money you make, but that’s only the tangible expression of success. True success is a feeling of motivation. It’s the real reason you get out of bed in the morning. 

Success is changing lives for the better and improving your own character. Being a franchise owner affords you the opportunity to do just that.  

The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that close to 2/3 of all U.S. retail sales are from franchises. The American consumer demands success from franchise owners and the tools are in place to deliver that success.

Being a franchise owner eliminates the questions that come from starting your own business so that you can focus on your personal growth as a business owner. It gives entrepreneurs the tools needed to confidently start their own business. 

There are plenty of reasons for franchises statistically surviving longer than privately run businesses. Some of them were discussed previously. One important factor that allows franchisees to succeed is the purchasing power they have access to. 

A good franchise will take advantage of the power of negotiation they possess. This rings true for anything from inventory to in the necessary in-store materials you need to continue running.  

Franchises simply have more access to resources that make the day to day operations of running a business easier. Thus, the chances for success are greater.  

4. Flexibility 

With all of the business resources at your fingertips, you may be under the impression that owning a franchise isn’t owning anything at all. You may feel like you’re just a puppet for the real owners. 

While there are certain policies and procedures you’ll have to follow, you still get the creative freedom and day to day responsibility that comes with owning a franchise. 

As a franchise owner, you are your own boss. But with that flexibility comes the responsibility to deliver results. Some franchise owners take flexibility to mean that they don’t have to work. 

Owning a franchise is still an immense amount of work, but it allows you the freedom to do that work on your own terms. You won’t have a boss breathing down your neck about why you clocked in late, or whether you’re wearing jeans in your office.

Certain franchises will be the exception, but most franchises care about one thing: performance. This allows you to go about that performance the way that you want. 

5. Financial Assistance

Owning your own business means the financial burden falls solely on your shoulders. Good franchises afford their franchisee’s financial opportunities that facilitate their franchisor’s success. 

These financial opportunities appear in the form of real estate assistance and construction assistance. If you’re looking to expand to multiple locations, the franchisor should offer you help since it’s in their best interest. 

6. The Feeling of Ownership 

Owning a business is one of the most rewarding experiences an individual can have in life. That experience is made sweeter in the fact that you get to collaborate with other like-minded individuals. 

The responsibility and joy that come from fulfilling your responsibility make franchise owners successful. It’s not about the money, it’s about the quality of work and lifestyle that you’ll enjoy. 

Ownership is the gateway to freedom. 

Franchise Owner: The Right Path 

Anyone thinking of owning a business should seriously consider being a franchise owner first. It can give you a window into the business you are interested in.

It can serve either as a launching pad to start your own business or as a life long career choice that affords you the opportunity to own multiple businesses. 

Check out these other blog pieces to explore why owning a franchise is the right choice

 

 

 

When the Dust Settles: 5 Misconceptions About Franchising

franchising

franchising

Did you know food franchises account for 36% of all the franchises in the United States? One major factor is that there are all kinds of food that people eat. We have bakeries, coffee shops, dessert places, fast foods, and more.

Another factor is that people turn to franchising as a second job or an opportunity to get out of their day job. They then choose food franchises, as they think that it’s the most profitable since “people need to eat.”

That’s a common misconception, though, as it’s hard to enter an already saturated market.

Aside from that, there are other misconceptions about franchising that can be harmful. Read on to find out the 5 most common ones and to learn some quick franchise facts:

Misconception #1: The Franchisor Will Do the Heavy Lifting

The franchisor will already have the business framework set up. For that reason, the franchisee only needs to shell out money, right?

That idea can never be more wrong. First of all, the franchisor may require a business plan from the franchisee. Apart from that, they have a set of standards that you must adhere to before you’re awarded a franchise. They want you to succeed, but they won’t do the heavy lifting for you.

You’ll have to study their strategies and come up with your own for your franchise. They won’t meddle with day-to-day operations. They do, however, provide training and support systems throughout your franchise life.

Still, it’s up to you how you want to run your business based on a set of pre-arranged conditions. Remember that when you buy a franchise, you’ll only be paying for the right to use the brand name and the right to operate your business model in a certain location.

Misconception #2: There’s No Creative Freedom in Franchising

With that said, you also have creative freedom when you decide to run a franchise. The franchisor won’t be meddling with you; they’ll only provide the framework. That means you’ll be in charge of the hiring, management, and such.

The only limitations would then be the menu, color scheme, signage, uniforms, and so on. Protocols are already set by the franchisor, too. These are already proven formulas, which allow you to represent the brand in a professional way. Outside of that, you can come up with ideas of your own and even make suggestions to the corporate.

If you like exercising the creative side of your brain, you may focus your skills in marketing. You can think of fun ways to promote your brand and your franchise. For example, you may produce content as you wish or organize events for brand awareness.

If you like looking at data and coming up with ideas on how to improve it, stay in operations. A franchisor won’t try to limit you as much since they want you to succeed, too, so they can succeed.

Misconception #3: You Should Only Look at the Biggest Brands

McDonald’s and 7-11 branches look profitable, aren’t they? However, they’re not always the best choice, especially for beginners. Smaller franchises are pretty profitable, too.

Of course, there are advantages to choosing a well-recognized brand. You shouldn’t limit yourself to them, though, if you’re after success.

Don’t discount newer franchisors; they have the potential to grow bigger. When that happens, franchise fees will soar up but not for you.

It’s a risk for sure, but it can be a huge opportunity for you. You only need to research well and study the franchisor’s business model. Make sure it already has a track record and it should be able to provide at least 2 years of financial records.

Furthermore, you should also look at franchises outside of the food industry. There are fitness centers, for example, and professional cleaning services for businesses you can apply for. In fact, Quick Service Restaurants only account for 25% of franchises in the United States.

Misconception #4: Success is Almost a Guarantee for Franchisees

Many people think that buying a well-known brand means money will come in an instant. That’s not the case, however; it still hinges on your ability to run the franchise well.

It’s no doubt that you have higher chances of success compared to small businesses, especially if you choose a franchise that already has a solid reputation. You’re also given tools to work with; in short, you get a boost at the beginning of your business.

Nevertheless, you still have to know how to utilize those tools and build upon the foundation that the franchisor has already set for you. There are McDonald’s franchises that fail even if it’s a worldwide brand. The people you hire, the way you manage the business, and more factors will determine your success.

Plus, money won’t come in fast enough for you. It will still take time before you see returns on your investment like any other business.

Misconception #5: You Should Choose a Franchise Based on Your Passion

They say that if you choose a job you love, you won’t have to work a day in your life. That may be true for some people, and if this is viable for you, then go for it. It’s not possible for other people, though, but don’t let that discourage you.

There are many businessmen who are successful because they didn’t choose a path based on their passion and past experience. Rather, they chose an opportunity that allows them to chase the lifestyle they’re seeking.

Choosing a business based on what you love will only limit you. This might cause you to ignore the countless other opportunities for you. Plus, take it from others who made this mistake: you might end up hating your passion since it would then feel like a chore.

With that said, don’t limit yourself to the opportunities that require what you already have. You can always learn the skills needed for other opportunities, and those may be what will allow you to grow and succeed.

Choosing the Right Franchise for You

The right franchising opportunity for you won’t come to you-you have to look for it and then study each one to see which will allow you to grow. Still, it’s never a bad idea to have some preferences in where you want to go. If you’re looking for a professional cleaning company, for instance, talk to us today.

The Real Operating Costs of a Business Startup

operating costs

operating costs

Sick of sweating it out only to see someone else profit from your efforts? Looking to be your own boss so you can grow your own business and do things your way? By all means, go right ahead.

Just make sure you know about the hidden and unexpected costs of being a business owner before you take the leap. If you plan ahead, there’s every reason for it to be a success. If you’re ready to learn the real operating costs of a business startup, read on!

Owning Your Own Business

The idea of getting up at sunrise every day, putting on a uniform, and sweating it out all day for someone else’s business profit ain’t so great. Especially if it’s the sort of boss that doesn’t know how to treat their employees well, and offer some appreciation or encouragement.

No wonder you fantasize about being your own boss.

Imagine arriving at a time that suited you. Imagine being able to plan the business strategy, focussing on the big opportunities as you see them. Imagine selecting your own dream team of employees so reliable they’re bankable.

When It Isn’t so Great

The only thing is, there is a catch. When you work for someone else, you get a guaranteed salary every other week. You can plan your spending, splurges, vacations and the rest based on that number since it doesn’t change.

When you own your own business, you’re responsible for all those unexpected costs. Like the higher than anticipated energy costs cause your workers used air con in the unseasonable heat for the past two weeks. Or the worker’s comp payout that you still doubt even happened at work.

Making It Work

All of these unexpected costs mean it can get harder to plan your life, as it’s harder to bank on your earnings. But here’s the thing, you shouldn’t let it stop you from trying a business startup. There are lower-risk opportunities in things like franchising, for example.

The real trick is knowing the risks and the real operating costs and planning for them. Then you can still have the freedom of being your own boss while getting the profits, and taking vacations and getting out of doubt to boot!

Operating Costs to Be Aware Of

Did you know three in four startups fail, despite having venture capital backing? All the more reason why you need to plan your budget wisely. While you’re in the planning phase, there are some key costs you should expect.

Permits and Licences

Want to Trademark your name or product? It comes at a cost. As does general business registration with municipal, state and federal authorities.

Next, are you offering a health, alcohol or food product? Something to do with safety? These will all require a permit, and proof you won’t cause harm.

This is especially true if you’re considering importing raw goods. Permits can mean a lot of bureaucratic red-tape, and the cost of legal experts who know how to get your application filed and processed as fast as possible.

Start with some online research into what permits you might need for your business startup.

Marketing

The idea goes that you shouldn’t have a marketing budget since whatever you spend is an investment in increased sales. That’s all well and good for big business, but if you’re just starting out, marketing is definitely a cost you’ll need to account for in your budget. In the beginning, it’s likely to be a cost you’re slow to recoup in sales.

The good news is that the digital world offers a lot of marketing help at a relatively small cost. You can create your own designs using the free version of Canva, and share news of your business at no cost by posting on Social Media.

If you do decide to actively advertise, you can target a particular audience with great precision relatively cheaply using your social media platform of choice.

Insurance

Remember that workers comp payout we mentioned? Having the right insurance takes away the stress of similar situations since it’s now your insurance company sending in their expert team of lawyers to fight on behalf of your business.

You’ll need to pay now for unexpected disasters in the future, and that’s why insurance comes into your budgeting early on. Budget for workers’ compensation insurance, commercial property insurance, and commercial auto insurance, if applicable.

Do your research to compare rates online, and consider partnering with a commercial licenses agent to assist you n the process. They may be able to bundle the different insurance coverage you need and offer a better rate in the process.

Location and Equipment

If your business needs a physical space to work in, you’ll need to factor in rent costs. As well as the computer hardware and other equipment you need to operate.

There are a bunch of reasons why coworking spaces are growing in popularity, so they’re worth considering when you weigh up your options.

Utilities

Need electricity? Water? Internet?

We thought you might. Get some online costings, and add them to the budget. It’s a good idea to talk to people operating similar businesses and ask what essential utilities and other services they pay for.

Hot Tip: Ask Around

You’d assume that competing businesses wouldn’t want to tell you their secrets.

In reality, most other SMEs are only too happy to provide support to a fellow business owner. Look for local business support and networking groups early on.

You’ll find helpful connections and just-in-time advice on how to be a success.

From Operating Costs to Profits – Let’s Go!

There you have it: the real operating costs of a business startup. Don’t let it frighten you off taking the leap.

Work to make a list of all of the expected and a few possible unexpected costs, and then plan them into your financials. The real takeaway here is not to shelve the startup idea, but to go into it with your eyes open.

If your interest area is franchises, consider OpenWorks. We’re a full-service commercial cleaning franchise that offers cleaning, janitorial, and maintenance services, as well as integrated facility services through reputable local partners and franchisees.

At Openworks, we have 23 corporate offices across the United States and over 600 franchise locations. For more information on our franchising opportunities, check out more at our blog today!

6 Fantastic Facts About Buying Franchises

buying a franchise

buying a franchise

Do you hate your job? Do you feel like you should be doing more but you don’t know where to turn? Does the idea of being your own boss excite you but scare you at the same time?

If you answered yes to any or all of those questions – you should look into opening a franchise. Franchises are already (and proven) successful businesses that are looking for people like you to help them open new locations.

Want to learn more about buying a franchise, like how to do it and who’s a good fit? Read below.

1. It’s Easier than Starting a Brand New Business

No one really knows how hard starting a business is until you’re in the trenches of it. There are no hard rule books, just hundreds of online articles by people who may or may not know what they’re talking about.

Not only do you have to come up with your own idea structure when you start a from-scratch business, but you have to figure out a name, a list of bylaws, and file all the paperwork as well.

When starting a business from scratch, it’s advisable to have a lawyer to look over your papers, which adds to the costs. Registering an LLC alone in your state costs a few hundred bucks. (The prices differ by state.)

While starting a franchise isn’t easy, it’s still hard work, there are more maps and guidelines laid out for you. You get contacts at corporate who can walk you through when you get stuck and truly wants you to succeed.

Plus – you have a business model and strategy in place. Writing a business plan can take months – and all you need to do is edit yours (in legal ways) to fit your personal location.

2. They Provide Training

Many franchise businesses have a back end, where you can watch and participate in training videos. They can cover anything from what first steps to take after you’ve cleared your costs, to how to introduce a new product line.

If it’s a clothes-based business, some companies even hold training on how to style outfits for yourself/the mannequins.

If there’s something you want that you don’t see in the backend training video library – go ahead and ask for it! There should be customer support there to help and listen to you.

Many franchises also have a private group Facebook page or team calls. If your question is still burning, you can ask it there, where people can give you advice they’ve actually lived through, not something that sounds good on paper.

And hey – even though you’re going at this alone in your area, you’ll make some other franchise owner friends/future partners along the way.

3. You Can Sell it if It Doesn’t Work Out

We’re confident that you can make this business opportunity work – no matter the one you end up choosing. But if something happens suddenly or you actually give it your best try and it doesn’t work out, you can sell the franchise.

Now, it may take some time to sell and there will be hoops to jump through, but you can get out. We’ve seen people hire private brokers when they sell their franchise and times when corporate helped the current owner by sending leads their way.

4. It Has a Higher Chance of Success

For a while, there was a statistic floating around that 80% of businesses fail. The number changes depending on what source you look at, but less than half of from-scratch businesses are still open five years after they start.

Franchises aren’t (usually) part of those statistics. Since there’s already a customer base from other locations, you don’t have to fight for recognition. It also costs less, like we already stated, in the long run, to actually run the store.

You can thank the franchise owners before you, for shaping the company and setting you up for success.

We don’t have the actual statistics, but you’re much more likely to succeed long term with a franchise than you would start out on your own.

5. Branding is Figured Out For You

When you start your own business, you have to come up with a name, a logo, a slogan, a website design, a brand voice, all your social pages and a strategy to run them. Other than the fact that you’ll have to fill out some website and social information – a franchise does all that for you.

Let’s say you wanted to open a Kentucky Fried Chicken. You already know the colors and the logo off the top of your head. Right?

You may even see the Colonel’s TV depiction in your head right now.

You’ll have to come up with your own marketing content some of the time, but you can always share/copy what other locations are doing. That includes online promotions/content and whatever marketing materials you have in-store.

6. Banks Like Established Businesses

If you walked into a bank today with an idea and a business plan for a from-scratch business, you might get approved. But if you walked in with a business plan from a successful and well-known franchise business, you’ll have an easier time convincing them to lend you money.

Of course, that still depends on things like how well you’ve prepared for the loan meeting, your credit, and your lending profile, but like we said – franchises are more successful.

Banks want to make their money back. They don’t make money as an institution if you go bankrupt trying to make a brand new business work.

Buying a Franchise – Is it For You?

Even though buying a franchise is a little easier and marginally cheaper than starting your own business – it’s not the right choice for everyone. You’ll own your business, but you’ll still have to follow corporate’s rules and regulations.

If you’re someone who wants 100% control – franchises aren’t for you.

But if you can handle working and growing your business as a team, then you should find the right niche. You’re already on the path to success.

Ready to learn more? Read our “getting started” guide here.

Owning a Franchise or Owning a Business: What’s the Difference?

owning a franchise

owning a franchise

Are you looking to make your dream business a reality someday? Are you great at managing a business but not at creating one?

Depending on your strengths, it may be better for you to either buy a franchise or a startup business.

According to a study by IHS Market Economics in 2018, franchising accounts for $404.6 billion in GDP. For the small business community in the US, it contributes an estimated $8.5 trillion to the economy.

If you plan on establishing a business or owning a franchise in the future, it’s best you understood the differences between both.

Below, we’ve got a comparison between owning a franchise and owning a business. Read further to check out the pros and cons of each compared to each other. In the end, we included some advice on choosing between the two commercial endeavors.

Owning a Franchise

Before we proceed, you may ask, what is franchising? This is a business relationship between a franchisor and a franchisee. Franchisors are owners of an established business allowing franchisees the right to market the franchisor’s products or services.

Franchises could range from convenience stores to commercial professional cleaning services. Successful and well-known franchises include McDonald’s, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Anytime Fitness. In essence, it’s any kind of business expanding with new locations.

Upfront, franchise businesses have a lower total investment cost. The catch is that franchise business owners need to fulfill the requirements that franchisors set. Also, franchisors handle the projects, timing, and remodeling of a franchise business.

Buyers who lack experience in the industry choose to buy franchise businesses. The developed factors make it easy for first-time business owners. These factors include access to a business system, corporate support, and supplier network.

Owning a Business

With your own business, you start from the ground up. For business owners, you need to find your own operational resources or create a way to gain some. You build up your own human resource and other departments.

Launching your own business can be fun but keeping it afloat can be a challenge. Investment costs for small business owners to buy and operate will be higher. On the bright side, you have the ability to develop the aesthetic, products, and brand that you want.

A business’ independence gives the owner more control over investment decisions. You get to decide where you want to invest and how much you’ll invest in it. Furthermore, you can choose to downsize the scope of projects if the income is tight.

Did you know that 69% of entrepreneurs start their businesses at home? If you feel that you will be able to handle the stakes of a startup business, why not start your own? You never know when your business may one day become the franchising parent company.

Comparisons: Pros and Cons

Let’s talk about side-by-side comparisons for owning a franchise and a business.

First, buying a franchise is perfect for first-time business owners. In essence, it’s a turnkey business that is waiting for you to take the reins. Everything is ready and all it needs is an owner to manage it and a new location.

Already, there’s an existing customer base, documented cash flows, and a workforce in place. Depending on the franchise, you could either buy a location that is fully operational or build a new one from the ground up. Should you need an exit plan, you can sell it to a new franchise owner.

Buying into a franchise will not allow owners the freedom to make many changes. They have limited marketing strategies, products, and services. This makes the franchise ownership model different from the typical business model.

Small businesses, in comparison, allow owners total control over their products and services. If the market conditions change, you can create a new marketing strategy to adapt. For many business owners, you are your own boss but you are also on your own.

Since businesses are an original project, you need to get your own funding, employees, and more. You need to create a customer base from scratch and learn to keep records. It’s a chance to make your dream come true but it’s hard work.

Choosing Between a Business or a Franchise

There are some factors to consider when you want to own a franchise or build up your own business. As you can see from above, each has its own strengths and weaknesses. See below for the situations you may find yourself in when you choose either.

Do you want a quick return of investment? Franchises like Subway could do the trick for you since they are already popular. Starting your own business can take a while to get that ROI.

How creative do you want to be with your products and services? If you want the ability to change your services every few years to match demands, launch a business. With franchises, you must refer to the parent company for changes in products or services.

How much budget do you have? Buying a franchise can cost less. For more details on becoming a franchise owner, check out our guide here.

Think about employee training and such. You may know how to do the thing that will make your business boom but can you train employees to do the same? A small business is great for you if you’re willing to train hired employees, keep the books, and more.

The success rates for both vary. Every day, many franchise businesses and small businesses fail and succeed. It all depends on the owners.

Profit from a Franchise or Startup Business Now

That’s our guide and comparison between owning a franchise and owning a business.

Remember that whichever you choose to get, hard work and wise decisions will make you go far. Your approach as an owner will dictate how well your choice will work for you.

Now that you know which will be best for you, what else are you waiting for? Get started on making those business plans or buying your franchise.

Do you need help in getting into a franchise business or running your own? Visit our blog for informative posts on the subjects. You can also contact us today in case of inquiries.

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The High Risk of Cleaning Your Own Business

cleaning your own business

cleaning your own business

You handle every aspect of your business from sales team training to staying on top of the latest industry trends, so you figure you can handle the cleaning too. Right?

Not so fast.

While cleaning your own business may seem like a logical way to save money, it may end up costing you more than just time.

Let’s take a look at ways cleaning your own business can actually be a liability.

Slips and Falls

This is one of the top reasons for lawsuits, and it’s a very real threat if you’re cleaning spaces where customers will be walking.

You may find a few moments to do a quick mop of the floor, making it shine. While that will look good, you’ve also inadvertently created a skating rink that can make someone take a tumble without the right precautions.

The bottom line here is if you’re doing your own cleaning (or have an employee doing it) then your liability insurance covers slip and fall incidents. You may not even be covered for this kind of incident.

However, choosing a reputable cleaning company means it will fall on their liability insurance if someone gets hurt. This is important because falling-related injuries are among the most costly in the U.S., and the cost increases with age.

Proper cleaning companies also carry with them the proper signage to alert people that surfaces are wet, reducing the risk of falls.

Annoyance to Clients and Staff

If you’re using your own staff to perform cleaning duties, then chances are they will be doing this during regular hours. That can be an inconvenience to customers (not to mention other staff) who will be using the space.

Hiring an experienced cleaning franchise means you can probably arrange for some or all of the work to be done after hours or on weekends without interfering with the business operation.

Lost Productivity

If your employee is the one that gets hurt while cleaning, you’re not out of the woods yet. You’ll have to cover the injury rehabilitation through your workers’ compensation insurance, and your premiums might go up as a result.

Not only that, but you might’ve just lost your top creative mind or your hardest worker because you decided they should mop instead of doing what they were hired for. This means you’ll lose that talent for as long as it takes them to recover, and the relationship may be strained when they return.

Mandating employees to do your cleaning can also hurt morale. It sends the message that what they’re doing is not enough. This can hurt employee relations across the board.

Cleaning Product Danger and Compliance

If you don’t do the cleaning for a living, then there’s a good chance you don’t know what the best—and more importantly—the safest products are when it comes to cleaning indoor spaces.

That means you and your employees may not know the potential risks of individual cleaning products or what can happen if you mix the wrong products together.

Proper cleaning companies will show up with protective gear to prevent breathing fumes or getting harsh chemicals on their skin.

Aside from improperly using cleaning products, you may end up improperly storing them. This can be a hazard that can backfire if you get a visit from an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspector.

OSHA also says businesses need to maintain a clean space and expects employers to establish a strategy to achieve this. It may simply not be possible without bringing in outside help.

Janitor and Equipment Costs

You may think that dedicating a staff position to cleaning won’t cost you very much, but you’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg.

Not only can a custodian add another full salary (with benefits) to your payroll, you also have to consider the equipment they’ll need. That could be floor polishers, special cleaners, gloves, masks, brushes, brooms, mops, wipes—the list goes on.

Suddenly you’ve gone from adding annual operating costs to adding capital costs too! And don’t forget that you may have to pay for equipment maintenance or replacement down the road.

Because janitors are often on slick surfaces or have to climb ladders to get at hard-to-reach surfaces, they are more likely to slip and fall, which takes us back to the point about workers’ comp.

When you add up all the costs of salary and equipment for in-house cleaning staff, you’ll more than likely find that hiring a cleaning company on an ongoing basis is cheaper. Not to mention the added peace of mind you’ll get from less liability risk.

Less Focus on Innovation

Let’s be honest here. You didn’t become your own boss to clean. But for every minute you or your staff spends cleaning, you could be making a sale or working on the next great idea.

You probably don’t do your own accounting—you leave that for the professionals. The same goes for cleaners. It’s a labor and time intensive process that has to be done right, and you simply shouldn’t waste your valuable time doing it.

One of the best qualities of being a boss is to know how to delegate tasks. Cleaning is one task that should be outsourced.

Employees May Not Be Bonded

When you hire a reputable cleaning company, they often advertise that they are bonded. That means they may cover any loss from theft or accidental damage following an investigation. The same may not be said about your own staff.

Cleaning staff are often police background checked, so you can feel confident about letting them into more restricted spaces with valuable inventory or sensitive information.

Cleaning Your Own Business Can Be Messy

As you can see, cleaning your own business not only takes away time from doing what you do best, but it can also cost you a lot more than just hiring a cleaning company.

Hiring a business that only does the cleaning can help ensure it’s done right. Trained cleaning staff know where to look and what to look for to eliminate germs and other impurities. They’ll also clean your toilets—good luck getting your tech staff to do that!

Meanwhile, if you’re looking to start your own cleaning business, then contact us today to find out how we can help you be part of a valuable franchise.

How to Become a Franchise Owner: A Beginner’s Guide

how to become a franchise owner

how to become a franchise owner

If you’ve ever dreamed of working for yourself, then it might be time to join one of the 745,290 franchise businesses in the U.S. In fact, one new franchise opens every day! The following guide will give you some practical steps you can take now to learn how to become a franchise owner.

Understand the Franchise Model

A franchise is essentially a business that was created by someone else that you will license. You’ll pay to use the company’s name, products, and services, marketing concepts and technology. You won’t create a company from the ground up. Someone else did all the work for you. You’ll run it and hopefully, expand it.

There are about 3,000 different kinds of franchises, and they fall into five general categories:

  • Food Service
  • Retail
  • Personal Services
  • Business to Business
  • Children’s Services

Know Yourself

This is the most important step to take, even before you get down to the nitty-gritty of purchasing a franchise. Owning a business isn’t for everyone, and it’s critical to understand if you can handle the inevitable ebbs and flows.

You’ll also want to get clear about the work environment you thrive in. For example, do you want to work from home? Do you prefer an office setting? How are you at managing people? How many people can you manage successfully?

Assess Your Budget as You Learn How to Become a Franchise Owner

You’ll need to get very familiar with your personal budget before you take on a business. How much money do you have to invest? Will you need to finance the upfront costs? Where will you get financing? Some franchises will accept part of the cost up front and will finance the rest for you.

Understand all the factors that a franchiser will consider when evaluating your application:

  • Credit score
  • Net worth
  • Available cash
  • Other income
  • Industry experience
  • Management experience

Understand the Costs

There are several costs and ongoing expenses involved with owning a franchise. First, you’ll pay an initial fee to become a franchisee. This fee can range from $10,000 to well over $100,000.  You’ll also need money to rent or buy commercial space, office equipment, and any required licenses.

You’ll also pay continuing royalty fees to the franchiser for the right to continue using the company’s name and products or services. The royalty fee may be calculated as a percent of your earnings, or you may pay a flat fee every month.

You’ll also pay marketing and advertising fees to promote your business and the parent company. In fact, some of your marketing fees may be used for national advertising. It’s important to understand what advertising your franchise will get for your money.

Research Franchises

The internet is a great place to start when you’re looking for franchise opportunities. You can easily find lists of franchises arranged by name, business type, and geography. It’s important for you to study markets trends to understand what types of businesses are doing well or are likely to do well in the future.

You’ll want to know if a business model is really successful or if it’s just trendy at that moment. You may discover the business you’re interested in has experienced falling sales recently. You’ll also want to study the market in your area. For example, you may want to run a coffee shop. But if the market in your town is saturated, you’ll have a lot of competition right from the start.

Talk to Franchisees

Stop by a store and talk to the franchisee. Ask a lot of questions! For example, you might ask what she likes most about the business? The least? What is the franchiser like to work with?

Attend a franchise exposition. This is a great way to see a lot of businesses at one time and talk to the people who represent those businesses. If you’ve already picked out the industry you like, visit with franchisees from several companies.

You can also work with a franchise broker who will help you find a business. Be aware, though, you’ll have to pay for the service. You may be able to find a franchise on your own just as easily.

Research the Franchiser

Once you have identified your target company, do a lot of research. Make sure the company has a good reputation. Pay attention to your interactions with the company. How do they treat you? Is their customer service helpful? Are they responsive to your questions?

Read the Fine Print

Once you’ve selected your franchise, and you’re ready to commit the money and the time, you’ll want to read all the paperwork very carefully. You’ll receive something called the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

Under the Franchise Rule enforced by the FTC, you must receive the document at least 14 days before you sign a contract or pay any money to the franchiser. The FDD contains 23 specific pieces of information about the franchise, its officers and other franchisees.

The franchise agreement will also include the length of the agreement, the renewal provisions and the end of the contract.  You might want to consider hiring an attorney to review the agreement with you.

Attend Discovery Day

This is a time set aside for you to meet the franchiser’s executive management team, typically at the corporate office. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know the company culture and see for yourself if it’s a good fit for you.

Again, pay close attention to more than the business side of the franchise. It’s also important for you to study the intangibles. How are you treated? Do they answer your questions willingly? What kind of support can you expect to receive from the corporate office once you open your business?

Wrapping It Up

Owning a franchise provides people just like you with the chance to run their own business. Depending on the franchise you choose, you can set your own hours, hire and train your own staff and run a business with a lot of support. It’s a good time to learn how to become a franchise owner because the industry grew by 3.8% in 2018.

If you would like to learn about franchise opportunities with OpenWorks, please contact us for more information.

4 Pros and Cons of Being Your Own Boss

being your own boss

being your own boss

Most people want to be their own boss, and for good reason.

Leaving your everyday job to become your own boss can be a very exciting experience as it opens doors to a completely new world of endless possibilities. It gives you a chance to convey your thoughts fully and also make money, as there are no limitations to your creativity.

It is quite a risky endeavor, so it requires persistence, ambition, and patience. Moreover, becoming self-employed is not something that everyone can handle very well. Sometimes a person may end up making less money compared to the previous 9 to 5 job that they used to have before.

Being your own boss has its good and bad sides and some of its advantages and disadvantages have been listed below.

Pros of Being Your Own Boss

If you’d like to reclaim your time and your life, then running your own business is the best way to do that. Let’s dive into the pros of being the captain of your own ship.

1. No Fixed Monthly Income

Once your business has been set up and is running smoothly, there is no limit on the amount of money that you can make. You get to control all the profit you make. This is in stark contrast to being employed whereby your monthly income is fixed unless you were working on a commission basis.

You can greatly reduce the expenses in your business by doing most of the stuff by yourself or you can get help from family members, friends, or even former business associates. 

2. You Make Your Own Decisions

You get to decide on everything when you run your own business. You may be open-minded enough to gather a couple of opinions from friends, family members or even from consultancy firms, but eventually, you are the final decision-maker.

You can set up your shop anywhere you want and also choose when to go to work. The layout of the premise and the equipment used are up to you. You get to choose the type of product you want to sell and its price point.

In addition, you do not have a supervisor telling you what to do or how to do it. You get to decide how your own business operates.

3. There is No Limit to Your Creativity

When you start building and managing your own business, you are free to decide whether you are going to provide services or goods to your potential client. If you choose to deal with goods, you will have to come up with methods of production and delivery.

Over time, people change their preferences, styles, and tastes, so it is important that you notice these changes as a producer, or else you will lose market share. As your own boss, you have the ability to be flexible and change with your market to provide them with what they need.

Some of the changes you can make include rebranding and repackaging to make your product more appealing or by raising/lowering the price with respect to the level of demand. You are also free to change the product and start selling something else that seems to be capturing the attention of the shoppers.

4. You Can Come Up with Your Own Culture/Routine at Your Workplace

Once you are self-employed, you have a chance of creating an environment that aligns with your professional or personal values. Under the employment of someone else, you have to carry yourself in a way that the boss has instructed whether you like it or not.

When you work for yourself, you have an opportunity to incorporate morals and core values into your day-to-day operations. This way, even if you choose to hire a worker, they will have to do things your way.

Cons of Self-Employment

Being your own boss is great, but it isn’t all daisies and sunshine. If you want to be your own boss, you’ve got to be realistic about its disadvantages. Here are a few of the biggest ones.

1. Steady Income Isn’t Guaranteed

In every business, there are times when it’s booming, and times when things may not go according to plans. As much as you get to keep all the profits in a ‘good month’, there may come a time when you incur losses instead of profits.

If you are running an unlimited company, you will be forced to dig into your personal account to finance the business and save it from closing down.

2. Your Business Becomes Your Life

It feels very good when everything in the workplace is running properly. On the other hand, your presence at work becomes so vital that everything ceases to function when you are not around.

This means that there is little to no time for holidays because you will have to shut down all operations. In addition, your business is likely to go through a rough patch when you have to be away for a while, like when you fall sick.

3. You Finance Every Activity at the Workplace

As much as you have the freedom to choose the location and equipment that you use, the money spent here comes from your pockets. If you do not own the property, you will have to pay the monthly rent and finance the upgrading of the equipment you use from time to time.

Furthermore, if you have staff working for you, you will have to pay them and maintenance services as well. 

4. You Do Almost All the Work in the Beginning

When starting up your business, you will have to do everything by yourself. You will have to create your business profile both online and offline from scratch. As the sole proprietor of your business, you will have to take care of all the things that your boss used to do when you were employed.

Need Help Managing Your Business?

There are a number of advantages involved in leaving your daily 9 to 5 job and being your own boss is one of them. However, there are disadvantages that cannot be ignored. Therefore, it takes courage and resilience to be successful. 

If you already run an office or are finalizing a lease on a workspace, be sure to contact us for all of your office cleaning needs! 

10 Shockingly Simple Tax Hacks for Business Owners

small business tax tips

small business tax tips

There are more than 27.9 million small businesses currently in operation. And those businesses serve hundreds of industries, employ thousands of people, and make an impact in their communities.

However, they all share one thing in common: they have to pay taxes.

What most business owners don’t know is that they’re often paying far more each year than they need to. And the more money you send to the IRS, the less you have to grow your business.

So, how can you cut back on tax costs? Use these simple small business tax tips to maximize your deductions.

1. Keep Track of Your Expenses

The best way to reduce your tax costs is to deduct all qualified business expenses. This includes rent for your building, utilities, and even work-related travel expense.

But to do that, you need to keep track of what you spend on each thing. Start a file and keep all of your receipts.

You’ll need these to justify the deductions with the IRS. If you are unsure as to whether a deduction qualifies, check out the IRS deductions page.

2. Separate Your Personal and Business Expenses

In order to keep track of your expenses, you’ll need to separate your business and personal accounts.

Think of it this way: when you separate your business and personal expenses, you’re giving yourself a chance to take more deductions on your taxes.

Business deductions and personal deductions are different. But when you separate your accounts, you’ll end up maximizing those deductions and saving money on your taxes each year.

3. Stay Up-to-Date on Inventory

If you stock products and keep them on hand at all times, staying on top of your inventory is necessary. Not only does it help you stay on budget, but it also could save you money on your taxes.

Inventory values can change the longer you have the items in stock. When the value decreases, it’s a loss for your business. You spent the money and can’t get it back.

But you can deduct that loss on your taxes.

4. Make Bookkeeping a Priority

Taxes aren’t easy and the more information you have at the end of the year, the better off you’ll be around tax time.

Take the time to make bookkeeping a priority. Track your expenses every month. Keep records of all purchases, organize them and monitor how your business is doing every quarter.

5. Hire an Accountant

As we mentioned before, taxes aren’t simple and the tax code changes every year. This makes it hard for business owners to get the most deductions on their own.

Instead of battling it out with complicated forms, get help from an experienced accountant. They know the tax code better than anyone else. And they’ll help you find deductions you didn’t even know were an option.

As an added bonus, they’ll also handle the tax preparation process so you can focus on running your business.

6. Register Your Business the Right Way

Different types of businesses have different tax benefits. For example, many sole-proprietors can save hundreds on taxes each year if they structure their business as an LLC.

Start exploring your options and find the right classification for your company. Then, take the time to restructure and register your operation properly.

7. Make Quarterly Payments on Time Every Time

Every business owner has to file quarterly estimated taxes. You work for yourself, so no one is withholding those taxes for you.

And if you miss a payment or pay too little by the end of the year, the IRS may charge you a hefty fine.

Set up phone reminders, put the quarterly tax dates on your calendar, and make sure you send them on time. Once you do, keep track of how much you sent and on what date you sent the payment.

If you’re audited, this information can help straighten things out.

8. Classify Employees the Right Way

Business owners can classify their workers in three main categories: full-time employees, part-time employees, and contract workers. Full-time and part-time employees increase your payroll taxes.

But hiring people to do full or part-time work and classifying them as contract workers to avoid payroll taxes will get you in major trouble. At best, you’ll face costly back taxes if you’re caught. At worst, the IRS will give you a huge fine.

Every time you hire someone, make sure they’re classified correctly. If you’re not sure, talk to your accountant.

9. Keep Track of Your Employees’ Wages

No matter what type of workers you hire, always keep track of what you pay them. You can deduct those payments as part of your business expenses. Maintain records for every payday throughout the year.

Once you get close to filing your taxes, you’ll have a clear idea of how much of your money went towards labor. And you can deduct most of that amount from your tax liability.

10. Pay Attention to Your Personal Income

Reducing your taxable income is a great way to save money. So, where do you start? By making regular contributions to your retirement plans.

Most retirement contributions get taken out on a pre-tax basis. This means you don’t pay income tax on the contributions until you start making withdrawals from the account.

When this happens, the total amount of money the IRS bases your tax rate on is lower. When you maximize your contributions, you could save hundreds on your taxes each year.

Make the Most of These Small Business Tax Tips

As a business owner, you have more important things to worry about than then ins and outs of taxes. Use these small business tax tips to help reduce your tax liability and save money each year.

The more money you save, the more you can invest in your business. And the more money you have, the faster you can grow.

But what if you dream of being your own boss but don’t know where to start? Send us a message and find out how to become a successful franchise owner today.