3 Steps Ahead of Business Ownership

Many people have a dream of owning a business. It’s an American Dream! But, whether doing so as an independent business or as a franchise there are important initial steps to take to ensure their dream-turned-reality starts off on the right foot.

Improve Financial Health

Review FinancesReview and analyze personal finances. As a first step, it’s essential to understand income coming in and expenses going out each and every month of the year. Think ahead to bills that come due quarterly or annually.

Plan a firm budget. The goal is to ensure living expenses are met for a minimum of one year after starting a business. If a vacation is planned during this period, it must be included in the budget. Pay off all short-term debt to the extent it’s possible and practical to do so.

If savings or income from investments are not allocated for living expenses it’ll be necessary for personal income to continue through year one. Lenders will require a solid plan that is not dependent upon first year income from the new business. This may require a spouse or life partner continuing their employment while the business gets on firm footing.

Review credit reports for accuracy. Challenge all errors and keep records of the same. Organize all financial records including bank statements, investment account records and insurance policies – auto, health & life.

Consider working through the above with an independent financial coach who can provide valuable professional insight and perspective. From a confidential, non-judgmental position they can help resolve some issues requiring attention that may have initially appeared to have been barriers to business ownership.

Network as Much as Possible

Meet with members of the local business professional services community – bankers, attorneys, financial planners, accountants, realtors. Share plans to start a business within the community. Develop a network of these professionals and keep them apprised of progress.

Attend and actively participate in networking events well in advance of commencing business operations. Networking provides great benefits from a very early stage including introduction of the business to the community, support from fellow business owners and assurance of a busy grand opening.

From visiting with business professional to attending local chamber meetings to participating in community functions, personal involvement starts to establish a long-term commitment to the community. Owning and operating a business is about establishing and building relationships. Do so as early as possible.

Be Honest with Yourself

Although working through due diligence is essential it’s important not to over-analyze to the point of procrastination… or even, paralysis. Taking the necessary steps outlined above should set a foundation of being well-informed and yes, a foundation of comfort and confidence, as well.

But, only with an honest evaluation that the steps were actually taken and worked through should a final decision be made to move forward.

 

 

 

 

Organizational Skills All Franchisees Should Possess

Organizational skillsWho hasn’t seen the phrase “organizational skills” listed as a requirement of a position? It might seem excessive that this vague term is so in demand, but the possession of organizational skills can make or break your career success.

While this is true for any role, it is even more integral for a franchise owner. Because there are so many tasks to juggle on any given day, keeping everything organized is the best way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your working hours.

Read on for a look at the essential organizational skills to propel your franchise location toward success:

Scheduling. More than just scheduling shifts and meetings, as a franchisee you’ll be expected to schedule every aspect that goes into running your business. From scheduling progress check-ins for projects to scheduling incentive programs for sales goals, the ability to create a schedule and stick to it is essential to running your franchise.

Delegation. It’s impossible for one person to handle everything that needs to happen to keep a business running smoothly—that’s why delegation is key. By delegating, you’re lightening the load on your own shoulders while empowering your team to tackle the difficult tasks.

Time Management. In many jobs, your time is managed for you. You’re provided with small goals on the way to larger accomplishments and project timelines are completed at your own manager’s discretion. However, as a franchisee, those project timelines and daily tasks are set by you.

People Management. Managing is commonly regarded as a “people skill,” but it takes organizational savvy as well. Planning evaluations, building a successful team and orchestrating group meetings may not be the leadership tasks that get all the attention, but they’re just as integral to being a respected and regarded manager.

Preparation. Being prepared is the key to staying on top of your business routine. Whether it’s taking notes before a meeting with your franchisor or jotting down the next to-do list at the end of the day, starting off on the right foot will keep you from playing catch-up when you should be looking ahead.

If you’re interested in the world of franchising, Franchise Foundry is the best place to turn!

Entrepreneurial Mindset: Consultant’s Friend or Foe?

failureSometimes, no matter what you do, no matter what you try, it just doesn’t work, or work to the level it needs to in order to help turn around a failing business. Not all consulting opportunities leave us smiling even though we gave it our all… and then some.

It’s sad, but we must learn from the experience to be better, even just a little bit better for the next time, for the next person, the next client, the next entrepreneur.

Certainly, we must be better for the next opportunity if we are to make a difference. In the end, we must not second guess. Instead, reflect upon the experience and move forward. It does leave me with a question, Does having an entrepreneur’s mindset help or actually hinder being an effective consultant?

#reflection #entrepreneurship