Disadvantages of a Franchise Business

disadvantages of a buying a franchiseIn our previous post we looked at the advantages of buying a franchise business.

However, while there are so many advantages of owning a franchise, the darker side of buying a franchise business can not be ignored.

Here are some of the disadvantages of buying a franchise:

1. Massive investment: Buying a franchise mean an enormous amount of investment regarding franchise fee, infrastructure, planning, and operations. However, in the case of independent business, a franchise can plan his business as per his budget.

2. Lack of independence: Buying a franchise does not mean that you own a business independently. You are answerable to your franchisor for all your actions and activities.

3. Restriction for buying products or services: By owning a franchise, the franchisee is restricted to buy goods or services from places of his choice. He has to buy those goods or products from franchisor even at higher rates than others.

No doubt that buying a franchise has its advantages and disadvantages but it can still be a better option as compared to independent business. Also if you gel well with your franchisor and take every possible effort to keep the brand free from dilution, the franchisor can be more than happy to extend his unconditional support to you.

There are some aspects of franchising, however, that you must be aware of before committing yourself.

Among these is the contract and the details of who pays for what, and what your expenses will be. What exactly is your share of advertising costs, for example? What protection do you have over price increases in your raw materials in the future, and what independence do you have in sourcing raw materials?

Are the product prices set in stone? Can you reduce your prices if you are trading in a poorer area and what special offers are you enabled to apply? These and many other questions have to be answered before you sign the dotted line.

However, once you have an agreement, a franchise can be a gold mine if you are permitted to use your business skills and acumen, and advertise locally in your way, both online and offline. Are you permitted to have your own website, and what marketing freedom do you have?

Make sure before you sign any agreement that the terms and conditions are fair and acceptable to you. Most will be fair but be careful of new franchises that have appeared in the current recession in an attempt to fleece you of your hard-earned redundancy money.

Many established franchises will treat you fairly and offer you an excellent opportunity to run your own successful business. The entire point of franchising is that the customer gets the same great service and product from your franchise and all the franchisees by following a proven system. So, you will need to learn the systems and processes that have made the other franchisees successful, as well as lead others as you hire staff. It could be challenging at times, but keep in mind learning a system can be much easier than trying to create one from scratch.

Advantages of a Franchise Business

Advantages of a franchiseFranchising has evolved over the years with its growing popularity. People prefer buying a franchise as compared to starting an independent business because of its numerous benefits to the franchisee.

Owning a franchise gives an aspiring entrepreneur an opportunity to get associated with a renowned and fruitful business. However, being associated with a successful brand means sharing entire responsibility for the brand value. After owning a franchise, it becomes franchisee’s responsibility to enhance, protect and promote the brand.

Buying a Franchise is great advice to start your first small business, although it all depends on the franchise. Some can be work from home ideas and ideal for people that have been the victims of the current worldwide economic situation.

If you have recently been made redundant, and have had a reasonable redundancy settlement, then you might be well advised to invest that in a decent franchise.

A well-chosen franchise can provide you with a good income for the rest of your life. However, why a franchise as opposed to any other kind of business?

There are some reasons for that, including:

A. You do not have the problem of finding a product to sell or a service to provide.

B. Most franchises have a ready-made product that is already branded and known to the public. There should be no need for you to bust a gut to get your business name known.

C. Many franchises offer local or even national advertising; you will have to pay a share of the cost, but the thing is you don’t bear the whole advertising cost yourself as you would have to do if you started your own independent business. The cost is shared by everyone in the same franchise network.

D. Training is provided. You are not just left to get on with it, as you would have to if you started up a regular business. Even after training ends, you still have people to advice you as you start running your business.

These are all good reasons to invest in a franchise. But there are some downsides so in our next post, we will look at those.

What keeps small business owners up at night?

small business owners frustrationIf you own a small business you will know it is not easy. Without any question, there are things that will keep you up at night. It comes with the territory.

SmartCompany recently published an article titled ‘We asked SMEs what keeps them up at night: Here’s the most common response.’

You can read the full article here:

Excerpts from the article:

“While almost a fifth are regularly thinking about cashflow and how to keep it steady, one quarter of the fifty companies on this year’s spend their nights worrying about people associated with their business.

Expansion plans are also among the top worries for 20% of the group, while one lucky business says “nothing” keeps them up at night….

Beyond one word answers, here are four key areas that the leaders of the companies on this year’s list spend their time thinking about.

How to put others priorities before your own

A business isn’t simply answerable to its founders, and the number one challenge that these fast-growing businesses experience is balancing the sanity and welfare of the leaders, with the motivation and support for all other people in the business….

Speeding up expansion

The big growth figures on offer can sometimes mean bigger challenges, and Smart50 founders tell SmartCompany they spend their nights working out how to speed up the transition towards their final goals, while also maintaining that attention on their staff.…

Dealing with people problems 

Finding quality people to bring into the business is one challenge, but for all the support company founders try to give, one of their top worries is resolving people problems and dealing with under-performance…

Keeping the offer enticing

It turns out that having an established business with a strong track record isn’t enough to keep worries at bay; in fact, it was the Smart50 businesses with some of the longest histories that had the most intense concerns about the quality of their product slipping.

This group of company founders put a strong focus on reviewing and maintaining the quality of their customers’ experiences, particularly as the businesses have changed and expanded…”

The article includes a graph of the responses. In order, they were:

  1. People management (24%)
  2. Expansion (20%)
  3. Cashflow (18%)
  4. Quality of Product (14%)
  5. Unknowns of business (12%)
  6. Other (6%)
  7. Everything (4%)
  8. Nothing (2%)

By the way, these are successful business owners, who think about how to do business better. So all small business owners have things that keep them up at night. I believe that having a mentor and being part of a mastermind group is key to working through these concerns.

Once again, here is a link to the article.

10 Keys to Business Success – Part 2

Business success part 2This article continues our series on the keys to business success. In part 1 we considered the first 5 keys. Now we consider the next 5.

Once you have read this article, click here to read more business success advice from forbes.com.

6. Make decisions promptly

Successful entrepreneurs and managers are action orientated. Whenever a business opportunity comes along they utilize it promptly making even more revenue as well as expanding their company. One of the significant elements that can undermine your business is neglecting to do something about it or maybe taking too long to act. Any delay in maximizing a business opportunity through slow decision-making can be the cause of business failure and any hope of business success because the world of business is developing at an ever-growing pace.

7. Have a spending plan

Planning the expenditure, and keeping spending within the planned budget is an extremely important aspect to consider when starting and running a business. Make sure that you minimize the level of expenses in both business as well as personal lives and try to put more funds in ventures that will certainly generate more revenue in future. Repay the financial obligations, resolve all other responsibilities and budget plan your funds making sure that just key and profitable areas are focused on.

8. Be a risk taker and learn lessons from your mistakes

A lot of the very successful business owners & managers that we admire, took risks to invest in the successful businesses that we see today. It is thought that for one to be special you need to think and do things that are unusual and unique, but it is good to note that should any obstacles occur that could cause failure in your venture the losses are minimal. In the instance of a failure, don’t harbour regrets, rather learn from the mistakes and carry on. Likewise, do not blame yourself or other individuals or even your workers for your failure but take account and focus on the future of the business. Take note from the experts as to where you went wrong because this will assist you in the future.

9. Form alliances with like-minded people

Very successful entrepreneurs form alliances with influential people as well as get involved in support groups of like-minded successful business owners. It is worthy to note that the involvement of every stakeholder including the proprietors, managers, workers, vendors, customers and the community is fundamental to the business growth. The survival and growth of your business relies also on the authorities that guarantee its survival in regards to licensing it and ensuring its protection.

10. Give back to the community

When your company expands, don’t neglect other businesses and the whole neighborhood at large, rather try to do something that will certainly make your community a better place to live. Make your customers feel appreciated and they will supply you much more support. Organize community scholarship programs or assist with cleaning up the environment. Sponsoring projects that are run by your local council will certainly make your customers feel good and give credibility to your business brand.

In conclusion, if you are thinking about investing in a company that will minimize the financial fear or irritation, make you much more wealthy as well as safe and secure, as well as give you individual accomplishment and financial fulfillment, then take the 10 business success keys we have considered in both part 1 and part 2 into consideration.

Here are some financial business success tips on video.

10 Keys to Business Success – Part 1

business success tipsBecause business success isn’t as easy and simple as a lot of people think it is, we have provided several noteworthy suggestions to consider before taking this huge step.

On top of these suggestions the business owner needs to be aware that owning & operating a business requires a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and also a long period of time. Also the business owner is expected to be smart, ingenious and open minded to new ideas. She or he is also required to learn & research new innovation and new approaches of management as well as production. The business owner and the management must acquire ways that will help them curb the challenges that the business may face from its competitors as well as search for better methods of improving their products and services so as to entice as well as retain a big market share.

In the next two articles we will consider 10 keys to business success. In this article we will start with the first five:

1. Be market and also consumer oriented

Super successful entrepreneurs and managers comprehend and value the relevance of advertising as well as broadening the consumer base of their services and products. They attempt to learn and also comprehend the needs of their customers, and select the best means of reaching them as well as pleasing their needs.

They utilize social media such as Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter to reach them and also develop their brand because this kind of advertising and marketing is not only affordable but also has the ability to get to a wide range of people. They look for products that their customers favor and also section the market in such a way that every client has the ability to be pleased in a unique and expert way.

Furthermore, they educate their employees to deal with the clients in a pleasant and professional manner as this will produce a great image of the business thus broadening the consumer base.

2. Trust in your goals and also remain focused

At times, especially at the beginning or when venturing into or presenting a brand-new venture, some individuals will assert that its not a good idea and aim to discourage you from making these decisions. This can cause uncertainty and make you feel more separated from your peers when you try making such a financial investment.

Successful business owners do have some special understanding and skills to enable them to stand firm as well as stay with their concept and also carry on even when they face opposition. For one to be a successful company owner, she or he needs to trust in herself or himself, and most importantly keep focused on achieving her/his goals.

3. Recruit the best people

One of the major resources of a company is the qualified hard working team of employees. If you intend to increase your business operations and also gain even more revenue, the recruitment as well as selection of the staff members is quite crucial. You need an employment and choice procedure that will provide you with the best people. However, that alone is insufficient. Introduce a training procedure to boost their expertise and abilities and above all, inspire them at the place of work to enhance their productivity.

4. Have a single core focus

Another strategy to be a successful entrepreneur is to focus on a single core business. This will make it simpler and more reliable to manage. Because all your focus will be on the one core strategy, running the business will be more effective, as opposed to putting yourself in danger of failure when your attention is divided among alternatives.

5. Keep an open mind

While having a single core focus it is also important to keep an open mind. Various individuals will certainly feature a range of viewpoints and guidance on your company. Hear them all out but don’t always accept everything stated to be true. Hear the suggestions received from professionals as well as various other reliable sources and try to implement them, since this will certainly improve your business decision-making skills.

Stay tuned for part 2 on business success tips. In the meantime, here are some success tips from Bill Gates.

How to monitor a home based business through accounting

accounting is important for home businessA home based business is operated under either of these two circumstances:

One, at home; that is, most of the business’ work is carried out at home. An example is a dressmaker who does all the work at home with clients coming to pick their fittings there.

The other circumstance is when the business is carried out from home. This kind of business does not rent or own any premises other than the owner’s home.

Accounting for a home based business

Accounting helps the business owner to keep track of the business and plan on how to improve its performance. Is the business making a profit? Is he collecting debts quickly and efficiently? Are bills settled on time? Most importantly, is the cash flow improving or deteriorating? There are various aspects of business that enable the business owner to do effective accounting. These include the following:

  1. Cashbook – a separate bank account should be opened for the home based business. The business owner will then need a system for recording all transactions; that is, receipts (money in) and payments (money out). This forms his or her cashbook. A cheque account and savings account can also be opened. A cash book can either be manual (a 16 column A4 book from a stationer) or a spreadsheet such as Excel. A spreadsheet has many advantages over a manual cashbook. Calculations on it are simpler and more accurate, entries that could have been forgotten can be added later and it does not require a lot of storage space. It is also less tedious and it allows the user to design the book in any desired style.
  2. Computerised accounting systems – these are available online at varying prices, with most of them being database systems that prompt the accountant for entries and offers a choice of different reports to be printed from the data entered.
    Cashflow Manager Cloud is an example of an online accounting system used for small to medium-sized businesses. It is a powerful tool but simple to use. Since it is online, the owner of the home-based business does not have to install any software on his computer.
  3. Record keeping – the home-based business owner should keep supporting documentation to the summary of amounts in and out of the business provided by the cashbook. These records can be kept electronically to save on space. The documentation includes:
    – Receipts of all payments
    – Copies of tax returns
    – Bank statements
    – Other documents relating to the business

Why is accounting for a home based business very important?

Through accounting, the home based business owner is able to record the business’ performance in financial terms. It translates all business activities into numbers that are then organized into different reporting formats – such as business financial statements.

Every real activity of the business is ‘accounted for’. A lot can be told about the business by reading these statements and forecasts about the future of the business can be made.

In summary, accounting helps the business owner to monitor the performance of the home based business. When he uses accounting to record all the business activities, then turn the records into the correct formats, it is possible to get very useful information about the business. It is important to remember that accounting knowledge is often needed to benefit fully from accounting. Such information is ubiquitous in the internet in unlimited amounts. But working with an accounting professional is also a great way to make the most of managing your business.

A Good Home Business Website is Essential

Your website is a great marketing toolEvery business, even small and home businesses need a good website. These days, with new technology such as WordPress and other content management systems, a website is cost effective and easy to create. There is no excuse for not having a good home business website.

Here are 3 prime reasons you need a great website:

Access a much wider market than your home business normally could

A good website is working for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and transactions can take place round the clock with visitors from around the world. This would be impossible from a physical location. In many cases, many home businesses are now entirely online operations because of these benefits.

A website is also a great way to provide all the information potential customers need about your products and services removing the need for written correspondence in the form of letters or emails, or other forms of contact. It is convenient for customers as well when they can easily make decisions based on all the material you provide them online.

Mobile is also changing the way people do business as people today often use their smartphones and tablets to search the internet while on the go. So make sure your website is mobile ready.

A home business website is an inexpensive, but effective marketing tool

A small home business can have a website that is just as professional and powerful as a large company. It puts you on an even footing. A good website adds credibility to your business. Even though your business may be small, the quality and appeal of your website can win you customers because of the increased confidence they have in you.

As I have already said, today’s technology means that a website does not have to be cost prohibitive. There are many tools that enable savvy people to do it themself. But even if you don’t want to do that, but you cannot afford a local developer, consider outsourcing through sites such as Upwork where you will find freelancers that are very inexpensive.

A website advertises your business to anyone using the internet at any time. Using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps people find you in the search engines searching for products and services that you offer. You can even advertise on the internet using Google Adwords and similar services and this can often be significantly cheaper than other forms of advertising. The good thing is that you generally only pay when someone clicks on your ad so unlike print, radio, TV and other forms of advertising, you are paying for results.

A home business website can improve interaction with your customers

An effective website gives you the ability to communicate with customers and prospects. You can have email contact details on your site but even better still, you can have a ‘chat’ plugin on your site so you can interact with potential customers while they are there on your site. This is a great opportunity to make the sale while your prospects are hot, and lead them to the information they are seeking to make a decision.

Some areas where this can be effective include:

  1. Customer support
  2. Analyzing visitor behaviour
  3. Conducting visitor surveys
  4. Standardizing sales and support messages
  5. Improving customer relations

In summary

A good website gives you opportunities to brand your business and market it cost effectively, as well as increased opportunities to grow your sales and communicate with customers. A good website is an essential tool for every home business.

Marketing Ideas for a Small Business – Part 2

small business marketing ideas meetingAs promised and following on from my previous post, below are a few marketing ideas for a small business.

In this article we are going to focus on how to bring your business name and product to the attention of your target audience.

Content marketing

Another effective way to market your business and attract more customers is by generating content that is of a high quality standard and relevant to your audience. This type of marketing if well executed can turn out to be a valuable tool to your marketing game plan. If you want better results, you can produce different types of content like videos, webinars, or articles and divide them out on a number of channels.

Choose to be active on social media

Most of the small businesses have a profile on the popular social networks like Twitter and Facebook although this alone may not be able to give your business greater marketing. For you to be able to maximize the advantages of social media you need to keep your profile fresh and up to date with new information.

Post content consistently but only a few times in the week. This leaves your audience with the urge of reading your next post. In addition, ensure you engage actively with your audience by following user’s posts, sharing images, tweeting back as well as liking other users content.

Marketing a small business using videos

Video has increasingly become popular with consumers because of how they offer a successful way of marketing any business. A small growing business can use a video in many different ways to market its business. Research has shown that many people are easily persuaded to buy a product if they see a video of what you are offering them.

Marketing a small business is not as easy as many may think but it is also not impossible. With the right marketing strategy, your business can reach its peak. For your business to be successful, people need to know about your products and services as well as your brand. This is where a good online marketing strategy comes in handy.

For more marketing know-how visit http://www.sba.gov/content/marketing-101-basics

Marketing Ideas for a Small Business – Part 1

Home Business Marketing TipsThe biggest challenge entrepreneurs and business owners encounter is marketing a small business effectively. There are thousands of marketing techniques to choose from and finding the ideal approach for your small business can seem like a daunting task. It even gets more challenging with the limited budget small businesses have to work with.

Below are some strategies that can help bring your business to its peak.

Look at blogging in a different perspective

Blogging is a powerful tool for marketing your business. Creating your own blog may take time but you come to realize that the results are worth the efforts. For your blog to be productive, you will need to invest some of your precious time in writing quality content. You can do this on a weekly basis.

The more you increase your publishing frequency, the more the benefits of your blog increases. This is a perfect way of creating trust in your business. Actually, businesses that blog consistently generate more leads than those that do not.

Email marketing

It is never too early to start building your email list, you can actually start from day one. You can be surprised how a simple email sign up request form on your website can give unimaginable results. Use incentives such as an eBook or newsletter to lure users to sign up to your list.

Get insight from other businesses

Study how other successful businesses related to your business made it to the top. You can learn something by looking at their social profile and websites. Take advantage of any competitive analysis tool that can help expand your business. Do a research on the competitors of your brand. This will help you get insight on new strategies and methods to market your business or you will be able to get inspiration.

Take advantage of competition

You can effectively market your business by running a competition. Offering a captivating prize or award is a good way to attract customers. It also makes your brand a talk of the town and you definitely know what this can do for your business.

You can use social media sites such as Facebook to promote your competition and you can also generate more leads by attracting new followers for your business.

Make your site available to mobile users

With the latest innovation of smartphones, many people can’t bear to go a day without using this device. By ensuring your website is mobile optimized, you can be able to reach millions of people through mobile internet. A wise thing to do is to create a responsive website that can instantly scale to fit a mobile phone of any size.

I will follow up with a few more ideas in our next post. For more about what marketing is, have a look here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing.

Stay tuned…

Accounting knits the home business together

 Accounting is important for a home businessAccounting refers to the measurement, communication and processing of monetary information in relation to economic entities such as businesses. Many accounting experts simply refer to it as business language.

Accounting practitioners are referred to as accountants and, as you can read below, it is important to ensure your accountant has the right experience and credentials.

Accounting is divided into a number of fields, some of which include:

  • Financial accounting
  • Management accounting
  • Tax accounting and
  • Auditing among others.

To start with, financial accounting deals with the financial information reporting of a company. Financial statement preparation for outside users is also done by this department. This is generally to the suppliers, regulators and investors.

Management accounting basically deals with measurement and analysis as well as information remittance to be used by the internal management. The proper keeping of the monetary data so that their summaries are showcased in reports is what is referred to as bookkeeping. In this field of study, many companies embrace the use of a double-entry system.

It is also important to recognize that accounting organizations are the ones that facilitate accounting for small businesses and expert advice for larger organizations that have their own internal accounting departments. Such organizations and their principals are generally members of professional accounting bodies. A major role of accounting firms is simply to audit the financial statements for larger companies. Auditing is done based on the general acceptable accounting principles.

Accountancy is one of the lucrative courses students should yearn for in the near future since it has a lot of value in every organization. It is the accountant who puts checks and balances in place for financial management to ensure that a business does not collapse.

With small and big businesses alike there are important considerations that should always be put in place before a home business hires the services of any accountant. Here is a glimpse of some of these factors:

Professional Accreditation

This is one of the most important factors to determine before hiring the services of any accountant. A client or employer needs to hire an accountant who is fully qualified for the task and the accountant of choice should be a member of a professional organization. It is a fact in this day and age that some people can deceive by representing themselves as bookkeepers or accountants even if they don’t have a clue about accounting principles.

Experience in Accounting

This is also a major factor to bear in mind before employing any accountant. He or she should be able to demonstrate that he or she has been in the field for quite a long time and therefore demonstrates vast experience in accounting.

Assess Referees

Find references and determine what other people have said about him or her. If you are employing someone for an in-house role, assess the referees listed in the resume.

Accounting is a very critical department of any company and particularly home business where every dollar counts. It is the discipline that knits the whole business together. It is therefore vital to engage an accountant who is both highly skilled and highly reputable and specializes in accounting for home business.

Build A Successful Work From Home Business With These Useful Ideas

ideas for a successful home business
Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Starting a business from home can be a fantastic way to generate some money especially when you have time available that would otherwise be spent unproductively.

When the bills start piling up and you just can’t seem to make ends meet you might think initially about supplementing your income by starting a home business that might even end up becoming such a success that you never think of changing. One option open to you is to start an online business, and hopefully these tips will help you no matter what business you choose.

In fact, here is an article that talks about the 10 best home business ideas.

If you feel yourself getting stressed in your home business enterprise, take a breather. Sometimes when you work from home, it is easy to forget to take breaks. It’s easy to get engrossed in your work and working from home actually makes it harder to take proper breaks. But you need to schedule in 10-15 minute breaks to relax, especially when something stressful is happening. You’ll revisit the problem with a clearer mind and solve it more productively.

Find inexpensive ways to advertise your home based business. If you are help small business owners with their internet marketing, drop some flyers and business cards off at local business. Many shops, post offices and community centers often have notice boards you can advertise on. If you want to enjoy an increased demand for your services then also try to be creative!

Here are some marketing ideas to get you started.

The internet is a great way to source products that you can sell to people in your local area as well as to take your products to people around the world. It is a very easy way to create a real store without the investment of a physical store front and the costs that go with that.

In every business you need to carefully study your competition. review their pricing and understand what makes them different and why they have set their prices that way. In almost every market there are businesses whose focus is on being the cheapest, those that have premium prices and those in between.What strategy will you adopt and why?

By the way, we would recommend that you never put down your competition and say negative things about them. For a start it forms a negative impression in your customers minds but competition brings out the best in different businesses and every business should find what makes it unique to draw customers to them. Never be afraid to promote your own business, your products’ features and benefits, and how your customers will benefit from doing business with you.

Get the right software for your business to make your life easier. Proper software, including things like accounting software, PDF creation software, and industry-specific software packages not only make you more productive and more profitable, they also make it easy to comply with regulations and pay your taxes. Most business software also has free and cheap alternatives should you lack money.

Needing the cash is certainly a great reason to attempt to start a home business, but it’s far from the only reason. Regardless of your particular reasons, however, the important thing is that you work to apply accurate information and proven tactics so that you can be successful. Use what you’ve learned here to help you get there.

Welcome to Ginger Knits Blog

Welcome to our blog.

Why Ginger Knits? Well, I love Ginger Meggs and I like knitting. In fact, because business is another passion of mine I would like nothing better than to have a business focused on knitting clothing for children like Ginger Meggs.

(Ginger Meggs is a cartoon series started way back in 1920 about a red-haired young mischief-maker who lives in an inner suburban working-class household. It has been a long running comic series in Australia and was also made into a film in the 1980s.)

That’s probably never going to happen but in the blog I plan to spin a few yarns  about business and hopefully provide a few pearls of wisdom along the way.

I hope you enjoy it.