OpenWorks Featured In Columbia Business Times

Economic growth has fueled expansion for many companies, and OpenWorks is one of them. The Columbia Business Times covers OpenWorks’ recent expansion to the heartland of the United States–highlighting franchise opportunities for entrepreneurs in the area as well as janitorial services for companies big and small.

For more information on OpenWorks regional locations in Missouri, click here.

OpenWorks is guided by a simple philosophy: A cleaner, safer and healthier environment means a more productive work place.

3 Reasons to Start A Cleaning Franchise

Franchising

Franchising

Deciding whether to buy into a franchise or start your own independent cleaning company is a tough decision to make. Each has its own pros and cons, but when it comes to commercial cleaning, you must think about what your strengths and weaknesses are in relation to the industry. Are you good at attracting new business? Do you know suppliers to get discounted rates? Do you need help getting your business up and running? Are you good a managing other people? Questions like these can provide some clarity as to which option may be best for you. If you’re still at the fork in the road, consider these 3 reasons why you should start a cleaning franchise.

Marketing to new and current customers is easier

For many small business owners, marketing can be an extremely difficult undertaking. You must know who your audience is, what they need, and most importantly, what it is that you are providing them that sets you apart from your competitors. Opting to go with a franchising company eliminates that burden and even elevates your credibility in the marketplace via brand recognition. Many clients will recognize the logo or the name of the franchising company, giving you a leg up on small businesses that are struggling to make a name for themselves and attracting new customers.

Brand RecognitionBrand recognition and brand awareness play a crucial role in how much business you attract. Since most franchising companies are more established, they can build their brand to a level that a budding entrepreneur simply can’t compete with.

 

Brand is one of the biggest benefits to franchising. It allows for a larger pool of clients to tap into and it also makes it easier to attract new customers. By franchising, you’d have more time to focus on growth rather than trying to convince a prospective customer to consider your unknown business over the companies that they do happen to know.

Business operations become more manageable

Starting a business requires thinking about every component of business; not just sales. Things like payroll, taxes, certifications, training, supply replenishment, quoting, etc. all play a role in ensuring that a business is practicing healthy habits. However, those components require serious groundwork that you may not have enough bandwidth for. If that sounds overwhelming, consider how a franchisor might help. Typically, franchisors assist franchise owners in providing sales, legal, marketing, contractual and administrative resources to help them accelerate their businesses.

Giving InstructionsOngoing support and training are what enable many franchise owners to excel in sales, customer service, and overall business operations. Instead of problem-solving as a sole proprietor, franchise owners have access to a dedicated support team ready to assist should an issue arise. Underscoring the importance of the provided support and training is the fact that it lends peace of mind. Franchisors that have a successful track record know that investing in the franchise owners is the best thing for the company and the franchise owners. Be cautious if a franchisor does not provide any sort of training or support program.

Financial  recommendations and support help to stay on track

Money matters. And anyone who says otherwise has clearly never owned a business. Regardless of whether you choose to start your own company or open a franchise, capital is required to get the ball rolling. The cost of starting your own company depends on the size of your operation whereas most franchising companies have a tiered financial structure based on how large you want to grow. Most entrepreneurs take out small business loans if they aren’t being bankrolled by a wealthy contact or sitting on stockpiles of cash. But even then, the risk is evident. Many franchising companies recognize this. That’s why many offer financing options that seek to help entrepreneurs that are ready to get to work but don’t have all the capital needed to purchase outright.

Financial report

Depending on the type of franchise you are going for will determine up-front costs. Commercial cleaning franchises usually have lower up-front costs than franchises in the retail and food industries. Interestingly, up-front costs are only a piece of the puzzle. Franchising often saves in equipment costs, overhead expenses, décor, and physical spaces—making this option more attractive than simply going at it alone.

Keep in mind though that access to these resources usually comes at a cost. Whether it’s through royalty fees or a predetermined management style, it’s important that you talk with the franchisor to ensure that you fully understand the fee structure and franchise agreement.

Regardless of whether you start your own company or decide to franchise, the important thing is that you understand that you aren’t the cleaner—you’re the boss.

OpenWorks is guided by a simple philosophy: A cleaner, safer and healthier environment means a more productive workplace. For more information on how an OpenWorks franchise can jumpstart your business, visit our website here.

Life Experiences That Prepare You For Owning Your Business/Franchise

So many people focus on the future, and while having a plan in place is important, it is equally important to never forget to learn from the past. Your experiences speak volumes about your future actions so don’t be afraid to look back on past performances and reflect. Understand that all previous jobs were not experienced in vain. Prior jobs provide entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and tips on how they can keep their business afloat.

Maintaining a thirst for knowledge and success, learning from mistakes, and remaining persistent are some of the most important life experiences that will prepare you for owning your own business/franchise.

  • Previous Jobs-
    • Food Industry- From cooking endless meals in a hot compacted kitchen to placing orders from rude hungry customers, the food industry will teach you a lot about handling intense situations in high-pressure environments. Correcting wrong orders and dealing with customer complaints ultimately enables you to inherit sharper problem-solving skills and makes you quicker on your feet.
    • Retail & Sales- Most seasoned retail and sales employees can read a customer’s profile based on their needs and matches them perfectly with the corresponding product. This adaptive skill will take entrepreneurs far in the business/franchise realm because they have experience successfully making sales to customers from all walks of life.
    • Customer Support- Customer service reps endure the most unsatisfying sides of people daily — this experience will give you the composure needed in a highly competitive environment. Retaining a disgruntled customer without sacrificing your poise will prepare you for practically any customer challenge you encounter down the road.
  • Thirst for Knowledge-
    • There is no better investment than an education. Invest heavily in your education, but only on things that truly interest you. You can never have enough information, education is a lifelong process and it doesn’t end when the class does. Continue to feed your brain about things that can help your business grow.
  • Ambition-
    • With ambition comes passion so make sure that your business is in a field that your heart agrees with so that you always look towards the future when inspiring to be a successful business owner. Surround yourself with innovative thinkers and continue to be hungry for better business ventures that way your business lives on long after you’re gone.

Owning a business or franchise is not going to be easy, thousands of entrepreneurs will hear no before they are given the chance to succeed. It is important that you believe in your dream and works hard enough to conquer all obstacles regardless of how many times you face adversity.

OpenWorks is guided by a simple philosophy: A cleaner, safer and healthier environment means a more productive workplace. For more information on how OpenWorks can benefit your facility, visit our website here.

Why Now is the Time to Start a Franchise in Columbus

According to VentureOhio’s 2017 Venture Report, there are currently more funding dollars generating through Ohio than ever before by virtue of the capital, Columbus city. Since 2013, nearly $1 billion in new capital has been raised by Ohio-based ventures.

Over 70 percent of those dollars were raised by Columbus-based investors. Many Columbus based-investors direct their efforts and dollars into the city’s economy, businesses, and overall quality of life. Consequently, Columbus is now the top U.S. metro city for young companies progressing into sizable employers enabling large amounts of money to flow not only through the city but the state as well positioning itself as one of the top places to start a franchise.

Tools and Resources

As Columbus entrepreneurial efforts expand, so do the tools and training to fuel and guide its growth.

Companies are not only investing dollars into startup companies, they are building relationships and mentorships to guarantee the companies first-year success.

Because Columbus is so innovative concentrated, it is home to several powerful research organizations such as Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Ohio Health.

Columbus Quality of Life

The cost of living in Central Ohio is 5 percent lower than the national average, making living and working in the Columbus Region affordable.

Columbus consistently leads major cities in business environment and overall environmental quality.

Below are some recognitions Columbus as received over the last 3 years:

Low Business Cost Higher Chances to Grow

With major industries in technology, insurances and education, Columbus is currently listed as one of the top places for businesses and careers by Forbes.

In comparison to traditional entrepreneurial cities such as Boston, New York City, and Silicon Valley, the Columbus Region, and Ohio as a whole, offers significantly lower operating costs for businesses.

The city offers a large quantity of loan programs, partnered with nonprofit lending organizations that have provided more than 7.7 million in total funding to 26 businesses in 2016 alone.

Columbus possess a culture of accountability. Natives encourage each other to purchase, sell, and invest from within. Innovative spirits and progressive minds coherently thrive every day to establish Columbus as the Mecca for business in the nation, which is why now is the time to start a franchise in Columbus, OH.

Interested in learning more about purchasing an OpenWorks franchise? Check out our franchise opportunities here.

 

4 Reasons to Buy a Franchise Vs. Starting a Business Alone

Owning a franchise comes with ongoing support that almost guarantees first year success.  Although you are not working within your own entrepreneurial vision; you have full support from your franchise community, brand recognition and marketing utensils, training that has been proven to successfully educate employees about customer service, and access to the equipment needed to maintain a successful business.

4 advantages of purchasing a franchise over a start-up business are listed below:

Training Program

  • Training is paramount to franchisors. It ensures uniformity and consistency amongst all franchisees.
  • As an independent business owner, it is up to you to establish a training system that educates your employees and enables them to handle any situation that comes their way.
  • Franchise owners receive training materials that prevent accidents and unfortunate situations whereas a small business owner you learn how to operate through mistakes and discovered successes.

Brand Establishment

  • As an independent business operator, brand establishment is going to be difficult when you are buying into a new franchise model with no successful proven marketing plan or fan base.
  • By purchasing a franchise, you are exposed to a brand that is established and hopefully already has the trust of its customers.

Successful Advertisement model

  • Parent companies constantly provide franchisees with marketing materials and strategic plans that run system-wide advertisements and promotions.
  • It is up to independent business owners to establish stable ongoing marketing materials that build customer loyalty and sales.

Higher Success rate

  • Franchises usually survive their first five years and maintain high percent growth rates. However, it’s a gamble when it comes to independent business owners.

 

Owning a franchise can be a very eventful yet flourishing venture that almost guarantees immense success. If you are looking to purchase a franchise, do your research and ensure that you are getting in business with a parent franchise that possessed a very high success rate. If you’d like to learn more about Openwork’s franchise opportunities, visit our website to find out more here.

Top Questions to Ask Your Franchise Sales Person Before Purchasing

Franchises are often described as businesses with a safety net, or a business-in-a-box. While these metaphors do a good job of highlighting the fact that there is usually less risk and stress involved in purchasing a franchise as opposed to starting a business on your own, they don’t prepare a potential franchise owner for the level of research they should undergo before deciding to purchase a franchise.

Why do you need to do your research? Because while it’s true that purchasing a franchise may provide you with an established brand, administrative support, and many other benefits, it’s still a big commitment. Investing in a franchise is an investment in yourself, but also in the franchisor.

So, how do you make sure you’re prepared? To start you off, we’ve gathered a list of top questions to ask your franchise sales person before purchasing:

  1. How long will it take for me to break even?
    You’re going to want to know when you can first expect to start breaking even so you can prepare yourself financially. If it typically takes several months to break even, and longer to become profitable, you’ll want to know so you can make the most informed decision.
  2. How do they choose their franchise owners?
    Franchisors look for franchise owners that represent their brand. They may be looking to see if you align with the company in terms of personality and skillset. Similarly, it’s good to know that a franchisor has some sort of vetting process for selecting their franchisees.
  3. Is the franchisor in a strong position, financially?
    Before you invest your time and money into a franchise, you’ll want to know whether or not the franchisor is in good financial standing. After all, you’re investing in this company as much as they’re investing in you. A franchisor’s FDD (Franchise Disclosure Documents) will disclose their financial statements and provide you with a better idea of their income.
  4. What’s my income potential?
    This question is key when it comes to determining if a franchise is right for you. Ask what the average earnings are for a franchisee, and whether or not there is capacity to grow. This is significant when it comes to making your final decision. You might be happy to run a business of a certain size, or you may want more out of your franchise over time.
  5. What makes them different from other similar franchises?
    Ask what sets this franchisor apart from other franchisors in the same industry. What training and support do they provide? What’s the potential to grow the franchise? What makes them special?
  6. What support is provided by the franchisor?
    Finding out how much support you’ll receive from the franchisor will be a good indication of what you’ll get out of your purchase. Some franchisors will provide a week or two of training, and then the franchisee is expected to operate independently after that, whereas others will be more hands-on, and will provide support on a more frequent basis. Asking this question will allow you to determine what you want out of your franchise and make the decision that’s right for you.

 

OpenWorks’s best in class commercial cleaning franchise business model is unique because it takes a comprehensive approach to helping franchisees meet the challenges of operating their businesses. To learn more about our franchise opportunities, visit our website here.

 

Starting a franchise in 2018? Here’s what you should know:

Starting a franchise is generally easier than starting your own business. Franchisees are usually given a blueprint that gets their franchise location up and running. Here are a few tips that you should know if you are thinking about making that commitment:

Research is a must:

Continuous franchise fees apply:

Endless training opportunities:

  • Training is paramount to franchisors. It ensures uniformity and consistency amongst all franchisees.
  • Franchisors typically provide training and material support for all employees especially the investor. Franchisee owners are expected to not only handle books but unclog toilets as well, the investor is expected to know every position so make sure that you are prepared to get your hands dirty.

The show must go on:

  • Franchise fees are continuous so it’s important that the location continues to grow. An advantage of being a part of a franchise is the endless marketing and support that will guide you in the right direction.
  • It is the franchisee’s responsibility to maintain franchise standards and employee relations to ensure endless success.
  • Franchisors usually continue to check in on the quality and success of your franchise.

Successful vs. unsuccessful:

  • Franchises are judged by franchisers based on how well they abide by guidelines, collaboration, and sales.
  • If the franchise is doing well, then there are more opportunities for the franchisor and franchisee to continue business and expand to other locations.
  • If a franchise is not doing as well, then the franchisor has the right to forfeit or sell ownership.

 

If you’d like to learn more about Openwork’s franchise opportunities, visit our website to find out more here.

Why NOW is the Time to Buy a Franchise in Philadelphia

When you think of Philadelphia, you may think of the city’s infamous cheesesteaks, the Liberty Bell, the rich and varied history – and you would be right to! However, Philadelphia represents so much more than that. Swiftly becoming known as one of the more affordable cities on the east coast, Philadelphia should be on the top of a business owner’s list of markets to consider for a new business. Here’s why:

A Thriving Economy

In a city where the cost of living is 6% below the national average, Philadelphia is also one of the most thriving economies in its region. Given its location to Washington. D.C. and New York, it is strategically placed for its 6 million residents. It has a vibrant creative scene filled with arts, music and theater, and also ranks as the nation’s fifth largest city. For a business location, the inexpensive cost of living and low labor costs make it the perfect opportunity for a new business owner looking to get their foot in the door.

Something for Everybody

Philadelphia is a city known for its variety – no two areas are the same, which means there’s something for everyone. Additionally, Philadelphia is known to be less expensive than east coast neighbors Boston and New York, which means that renting or buying is more easily affordable. And, when the median home price is $163,500, there’s plenty of choice in that regard. Philadelphia is also a perfect example of a city that makes excellent use of public transport links, offering trains, subways and buses up for service. If public transport isn’t for you, then consider walking or using your bike – the city is highly walkable and friendly towards cyclists. Not to mention, the city has a rich and vibrant history and hosts some beautiful sites of natural beauty.

An Industry Hub

Philadelphia is a hub for commercial, educational and cultural opportunity. As well as its historic landmarks, Philadelphia is well known for its renowned research universities and has cultivated several major industries, including bio-science, financial services and tourism. For a new business looking to break ground, Philadelphia offers openings across a variety of sectors.

If you’d like to learn more about OpenWorks’ franchise opportunities, visit our website to find out more.

Why NOW is the Time to Buy a Franchise in Nashville

When you think of the city of Nashville, you probably think of “Music City”, or the bright, vibrant colors and Southern charm – and you wouldn’t be wrong! Nashville has a reputation for being a thriving, bustling city, filled with music and great food. It’s also becoming one of the top cities for young business owners and offers a great quality of life. If you’ve ever thought about owning a franchise, here’s why OpenWorks’ expansion into the Nashville market could be great news for you:

One of the Fastest Growing Economies in the Country

Earlier this year, Tennessee’s Secretary of State’s office posted an 8.7% gain in the number of business filings compared to the first three months of the previous year. If that wasn’t enough, the state’s employment growth is outpacing the nation, increasing by 2.2% in March. This rapid growth is primarily being led by booms in the construction and tourism industries, proving that both businesses and people are flocking to the state in droves. For a new business owner, it makes for perfect ground on which to establish a strong marketplace hold.

Great Quality of Life

Hailed by Forbes as the ‘The Next Biggest Boom Town in the U.S.’, Nashville is nevertheless maintaining house prices that fall below the nation average, ensuring a great quality of life for its residents. With a median home price of $167,500, there’s ample opportunity for a young entrepreneur to enjoy Nashville’s wide variety of restaurants, bars and live music hangouts. If that doesn’t float your boat, Nashville also offers much by way of arts and culture, including free exhibits and receptions – it even boasts its own full-scale replica of the Parthenon! If you feel like getting out of the city, there are stunning countryside views, wineries and historic small towns just outside of Nashville.

Thriving Industries Across the Board

There’s plenty of opportunity in Nashville to break ground across a variety of sectors. While the science and technology industries are particularly gaining traction, Tennessee is well known to be the hub of the nation’s health care system, with hundreds of global healthcare companies calling the state home. As the job market continues to really come into its own, the Nashville area offers a new franchise owner the chance to bring their business to the next level.

If you’d like to learn more about OpenWorks’ franchise opportunities, visit our website to find out more.