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In Focus SeLF-empLoymenT To Be or Not To Be, That Is the Question (thanks Shakespeare).BypATTynormAn Fwant a boss, they want freedom and flexibility and theyor many, self-employment is a no-brainer. They knowwhat they want and they simply go after it. For others it issimply not that easy. Almost everyone tells me they don’t don’t want a cap on their income. So why don’t they make the pro- verbial plunge into business ownership? FEAR. What are the characteristics of an employer? They are not afraid of challenges. They are the doers and not the dreamers. They aren’t afraid of hard work and perhaps long hours. Chal- lenges are met, problems are smoothed over and eventually the employees provide the employer with a nice comfortable living. An employer understands that over time he will be able to step away from the business to some degree while having a valuable asset working for him. Sowho is the typical employee? An employee is often not com- fortable with risks and sees challenges not as opportunities, but as insurmountable obstacles. Comfort is foremost on the list of desirable job qualities. The employee maintains status quo and wonders why he’s not getting ahead. He punches his timecard every day while the employer makes money from his efforts. He Patty imagines taking the step to business ownership if only the right norman opportunity would come along and wonders why the stars have never been perfectly aligned so that he could realize his dream. marketing and senior health care opportunities, plus of course What about you? Where do you fit? Are you content to let simple and sophisticated retail. life happen around you or do you want to be the person making things happen? Start your soul searching with these very important questions: Why a franchise over the traditional type of business? Fran- F What are your goals; financial, personal and professional? chising has a number of advantages. You are buying: branding, F What skills, experience and interests do you have? marketing, products, systems, technology, group buying pow- F Consider your past jobs and determine what you liked best er, training, support, a business partner as well as a franchisee and least about them; then make a list of your strengths and network. There are some challenges to franchising; you aren’t weaknesses. totally independent and you need to be able and willing to fol- F How much money can you invest? low the franchisors systems. As with everything there is still an F Are you comfortable managing others or would you prefer element of risk. You also need to understand there will be ad- to work alone? vertising requirements; although, I don’t know of any business F Where do you want to work? Are you willing to relocate? that operates without marketing efforts. There is an initial fran- F What hours are you willing to work while the business chise fee that no one likes to pay. The franchise fee in most cases ramps up and what lifestyle expectations do you have after is designed to get the franchisee up running and profitable and the business is established? typically not a money maker for the franchisor. So where does F How do you feel about selling and the sales process? the franchisor make their money? On royalties; in other words, F Are you more comfortable with a transactional sale; do you if a franchisee is making money the franchisor is making money want a business to business or a business to consumer type and if the franchisee is making an exorbitant amount of money, business? so is the franchisor. A smart franchisor is going to ask himself; how can I help this franchisee be wildly successful so that I can By starting with a list of what you have to offer and what you be wildly successful too. need from a business, you can create a strategy and model for your research. Okay, you want to explore possibilities, but where do you start Let’s say you’ve found an assortment of franchises that look because there are over 3000 franchise opportunities. There are promising. What do you do next? five different quadrants of franchise businesses. Home based Contact the franchisors and request information about their con- businesses which are primarily mobile/service oriented. Light in- cepts. You will get a call from someone in the franchise development dustrial businesses which are primarily service oriented or light department who will gauge your interest and advise you if the terri- manufacturing. Office based businesses which are typically sales, tory you seek is available. You will want to thoroughly view the web 20Opportunity World • November/December 2012 www.OpportunityWorld.com


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