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Successful Business Opportunities
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Successful Business Opportunities

Friday, 24 July 2015 03:36
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Running a home-based business isn’t easy. Whether you are starting your own business or you have purchased a franchise, you will still be fully or partly responsible for management, operations, marketing, accounting and all other tasks. If you’ve never run a business before, the amount of responsibilities can be difficult to keep track of and disorienting.

RELATED: TOP 6 PODCASTS FOR ENTREPRENEURS

Fortunately, there are now many different tech solutions that can make it easier than ever to manage your home-based business. Applications for your computer and your smartphone can save you time, keep you organized and help you provide better services to your customers. Some of these apps do charge fees to use them, but many of them are completely free.

  1. Evernote

Evernote is one of the most popular smartphone apps in the world and is used by professionals, entrepreneurs, students and artists. The app turns your phone into a notebook, calendar, checklist and more. You’ll be able to write information, take pictures of receipts, schedule important meetings and record audio or video.

  1. Square

From the moment you start your business, you want to make sure that you have a way to accept all types of payments, including credit cards. Square is an app that actually allows you to swipe credit cards with your smartphone. You’ll never have to worry about turning away customers who don’t have cash.

  1. Dropbox

Another popular app with businesses, Dropbox makes it easy for you to store your important documents and work in the cloud. It can be a useful way for you to organize and secure documents, but its true value is in its ability to help you share documents with coworkers. Using the online application, you and your employees will be able to edit and share documents in real time. You’ll be able to view all of these documents from your phone, rename them, move them and make small changes to them.

  1. Google Maps /Apple Maps

Regardless of what type of phone you purchase, you’ll have a map application. Many home-based franchises require you to drive to your clients, and you will want to have a map application that will make sure you always find your way to your next customer.

  1. Hootsuite

Regardless of what type of small business you have or whether or not you purchased a franchise, you will want to invest time in social media marketing. It can be an effective way to reach out to local customers as well as find new ones. Hootsuite makes it very easy to manage your social media accounts. Using the app, you’ll be able to post to Facebook, Twitter, and other accounts all at the same time.

  1. Expensify

Bookkeeping and accounting can be very difficult for a new business owner. You will be better off outsourcing the most complicated tasks, but you still need a way to keep track of your expenses. With Expensify, you can take pictures of receipts and invoices as soon as you receive them. The app will store them online and can even organize them for you.

RELATED: THE 4 BEST BOOKS FOR ENTREPRENEURS

 
Thursday, 23 July 2015 07:00
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As kids, brothers Shaun and Gary Tuch took apart their toys to find out how things worked, they shot off rockets and got their hands dirty. But they just never connected with science in the classroom. Too many lectures, too many textbooks; it was boring.

Years later, they founded Professor Egghead Science Academy with one goal in mind: to make science cool for kids. They created a company that offers educational classes they would have enjoyed as kids.

We recently spoke with company co-founder Gary Tuch about this unique and innovate franchise. Learn what new trend really excites him, where he sees the franchise in the next five years and what he looks for in potential franchisees.


What’s special about the Professor Egghead Science Academy franchise?

We offer a for-profit business opportunity that offers a great solution to a real problem. Not many business owners have the opportunity to be a positive impact on their community while building financial success. On top of that, we have dramatically cut startup costs by being a completely mobile franchise that allows franchisees to start from home — rather than build out a storefront. In fact, AMEX has featured our business model and proclaimed it “revolutionary”!

RELATED: TOP HOME BASED FRANCHISES

What is the idea behind the franchise?

Professor Egghead Science Academy provides cool science and engineering programs for children ages 4-10. Our mission is to: Make science accessible, understandable and cool.

What do you look for in a potential franchisee?

We are seeking passionate individuals that not only want to be their own boss, but also see the problem our service hopes to fix.

Where do you see the Professor Egghead Science Academy franchise in five years?

We are a young franchise and have been extremely happy with the attention we have been receiving, nationally and internationally. Our goal is global domination — every child deserves to be an Egghead!

What’s your background?

I am an entrepreneur more than anything else. Armed with years of experience developing small- to medium-size businesses, I have found a passion in helping franchisees make the leap from being employees to employers.

What motivates you to keep going?

I believe there is a problem that Professor Egghead Science Academy provides a solution for. We have developed our franchise over many years, tested it on the local level, seen the benefits it provides to the community and we are very excited to see the impact globally.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

We would most likely have franchised sooner. Our business has been running successfully for several years, with the kinks all ironed out.

Please tell us your secret to success…

I think that everyone should have a to-do list with them at all times. If you don’t have a to-do list, you have nothing to do and if you have nothing to do, you can’t accomplish anything.

What is one trend that really excites you?

There is a huge push for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs. The lack of quality STEM programing has lead to a serious decline in the number of young adults enrolling in secondary education programs for science. This has lead to a decline in the available job force in the US along with an increase in these types of jobs overseas. The realization that there is problem has allowed for our company to grow rapidly.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

We have created our own cloud-based management software that makes running our daily business easy — since I use that every day, I would say it was my favorite tool.

Do you (or did you ever) have a mentor?

Throughout our growth we have been fortunate to work closely with several successful business and franchise mentors. Their advice along with their positive reviews for our company has given us tremendous motivation.

Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Whether starting a franchise or developing your own company, just remember that the hurdles along the way are designed to make your business stronger and more successful. Many can see the hurdles as a reason to give up, but if you see it as a test – you will be successful.

Where can people get more information on Professor Egghead Science Academy franchise opportunities?

Visit the website here.

Where can people find Professor Egghead Science Academy on social media?

RELATED: 20 CHEAP FRANCHISES TO START UNDER $20,000

Thursday, 23 July 2015 04:56
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Franchise: Dunkin’ Donuts

Franchising Since: 1955

Headquarters: Canton, Mass.

Number of Units: 11,310

About the Franchise

Dunkin’ Donuts has become one of the most recognizable brands in the country. Dunkin’ Donuts originally started as a business that keeps it simple, serving coffee and doughnuts. While Dunkin’ Donuts still does that – and does it very well, many would argue — they’ve also been expanding their product line, attempting to entice their customers to come back for lunch.

RELATED: TOP 10 FRANCHISES OF 2015

In the past five years, Dunkin’ Donuts has increased its number of U.S. locations by 1,000 to a total of just over 8,000. Dunkin’ Donuts stores can also be found in over 32 countries.

Dunkin’ Donuts requires that its franchisees have a net worth of at least a quarter of a million dollars, with $125,000 of liquid capital available. To start a franchise, a franchisee will have to make a minimum investment of just over $200,000. For that investment, a franchisee obviously benefits from Dunkin’ Donuts great brand reputation and recognition.

Financial Assistance

The franchisor facilitates through third-party lenders, financing for qualified franchisees. The amount of financing and period of repayment varies by program, circumstances, and creditworthiness of the applicant.

Term of Agreement and Renewal

The length of the franchise term is typically 20 years. If all requirements are complied with, the franchisee may purchase an additional term.

Breakdown of Costs

The following information is compiled from the Franchise Disclosure Document of Dunkin’ Donuts (2014). The FDD will provide you with in-depth information regarding the costs and expenses you can plan to incur when developing a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise.

Initial Franchise Fee (20-year term): $40,000 to $90,000

Building Costs: $90,000 to $540,000

Building costs include the cost to construct a building. The franchisor estimates that a freestanding building will cost $60 to $260 per square foot (estimating 1,000 to 2,500 square feet).

Site Development Costs: $0 to $200,000

Site development costs include the costs to develop the land and other site improvements, including exterior landscaping, electrical and water hookup, paving, sidewalks, lighting, etc. The low-end of the range is the estimated cost for you to negotiate a build-to-suit lease in which the landlord incurs most development costs, and you make a lease deposit.

Real Estate Costs: Varies

Real estate costs vary considerably according to the type of restaurant, real estate values in your area, your real estate interest (leasehold or ownership), location, size of the site, code requirements and other factors, including labor, as well as whether you, your landlord, or the franchisor develops the restaurant.

Electronic Cash Register/Retail Technology System: $24,700 to $55,350

Opening Inventory: $8,000 to $20,000

Your initial inventory of merchandise and supplies needed for the operation of the restaurant will include raw ingredients and products for resale, containers and other paper, plastic, or similar goods, maintenance and cleaning materials, office supplies, and miscellaneous materials and supplies.

Misc. Opening Costs: $9,500 to $70,000

Licenses, Permits, Fees and Deposits: $3,500 to $5,500

Uniforms: $400 to $1,200 

Insurance: $4,500 to $16,000

You must provide commercial general liability coverage with minimum limits in the amount of $2,000,000 per occurrence, employment practices liability coverage with minimum limits in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence, all risk property coverage, plate-glass coverage, and employers’ liability and workers’ compensation insurance, in accordance with the franchisor’s published standards.

Travel and Living Expenses While Training: $2,000 to $35,000

The above estimated range of costs is for two people to attend the Dunkin’ Donuts initial training program for 6 to 8 weeks (depending on production platform and the opportunity to support a new restaurant opening), including transportation, board, lodging, sanitation exam, and uniforms.

Marketing Startup Fee: $10,000  

Additional Funds for First 3 Months of Operation: $100,000

ESTIMATED TOTAL (doesn’t include real estate costs): $272,600 to $1,523,050

These figures are estimates in setting up a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise and operating it for three months. It is possible to exceed costs in any of the areas above.

RELATED: HOW TO BUY A FRANCHISE

Thursday, 23 July 2015 03:34
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The Internet and the prevalence of smartphones have drastically changed consumer expectations. Americans now expect to buy exactly what they are looking for and they expect to receive it instantly. This is putting a lot of pressure on all types of businesses, especially franchises. Both franchisors and franchisees are being challenged to rapidly integrate the new technologies, and this process never ends because every year there will be new innovations and apps that need to be understood and implemented. This trend is likely not going away anytime soon, so it’s not something you can disregard.

Reservation Technology

The latest technologies are being used in franchises in many different ways. One easy example is online reservations. Online reservations are not just for airlines, they are now used in virtually every industry. All types of restaurants, even fast casual and fast food, are allowing customers to make reservations online. Other services, such as childhood enrichment, private trainers, and painting and wine classes are now being registered for almost primarily over the Internet.

RELATED: DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES IMPACTING FRANCHISES

Currently, most reservation services are free for consumers, but when franchises use third-party reservation software, they often have to pay an additional charge. Some businesses are experimenting with their own proprietary reservation software and apps. This eliminates the need to pay a third party for organizing the reservations.

New Devices and Tools

Franchises are also looking at ways to incorporate tablets and other devices into their services. Many consumers are very comfortable using a tablet to reserve, request or adjust their purchases and reservations. Having self-serve tablets in new businesses is making it easier to keep the customer and happy and get them quickly on their way. With rising labor costs, and the specter of rising minimum wage, many businesses are seeing big benefits to incorporating tablets and other technologies. Franchisees should be wary of the upfront costs of these technologies, but should also consider how they could affect customer satisfaction and service.

The Food Industry

There is no industry that might be experiencing this trend more than the food industry. For a long time, there has been growth in fast-casual, the slower alternative to fast food. This hasn’t changed, and customers are still flocking to restaurants like Chipotle where they are willing to get their food more slowly as long as the food is of a high quality and tastes better. However, at the same time that fast casual is getting slower and more service-oriented, fast food is getting faster.

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There is a huge growth in fast food delivery. More and more franchises are building their own apps or partnering with existing companies like Uber to offer fast food deliveries that are extremely fast. Though this is still in the experimental phase, it may soon be commonplace for consumers to order fast food on their mobile devices and have it delivered in only 15 minutes. There will be a lot of digital and logistical headaches along the way, but this new trend is sure to change how fast food franchises serve their customers.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015 06:55
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During Bin There Dump That’s 45 years as a franchise, they have found several factors that identify what makes a great franchise operator, and the results speak for themselves.

These successful Bin There Dump That franchisees have taken the entire dumpster rental experience to a whole new level, and the franchise has since become the go-to dumpster company of choice by many residential and commercial customers.

We sat down with John Ferracuti, Vice President and General Manager of Bin There Dump That, to talk more about what the company looks for in potential franchisees, where he sees the franchise headed and what he considers the franchise’s “secret sauce.”


What’s special about the franchise?

The beauty of Bin There Dump That is the simplicity of the model. We are not splitting atoms here! That said, this is “simple” but not “easy.” To be successful takes hard work and adherence to the proven business model. We have ironed out all the kinks and know what works and what doesn’t. Our secret sauce is really in how we create a fantastic customer experience that is very unique for the dumpster industry. We also have a tried and true sales and marketing strategy that really beats down the competition.

RELATED: 20 CHEAP FRANCHISES TO START UNDER $20,000

What is the idea behind the franchise?

Provide an exceptional “Residential Friendly” customer service experience in an industry in which that doesn’t exist except with us!

Who is Bin There Dump That’s target demographic?

Our customers are split about 50/50 between homeowners doing a project themselves and contractors doing a project at someone’s home. Everyone who needs to get rid of trash, junk and construction waste needs us!

Where do you see the franchise in five years?

In 2015, we expect to reach 100 franchise territories across North America. In five years, we expect to be at 300 territories and we expect each territory to be supporting an average of three trucks.

Want to learn more about financing your franchise opportunity? Download Bin There Dump That’s FREE financial guide.

What is your background?

I have an entrepreneurial background, having built operated and sold five different small businesses in my career. I started my business career as a sales executive with Xerox back in the late 80s and the things I learned at Xerox about sales and marketing are still the things I use in business today. I’ve been an independent business owner and a franchise owner, before moving firmly onto the franchisor side about 10 years ago.

What motivates you to keep going?

I absolutely love that I have the ability to be successful in my own career while helping others be successful small business owners. It is incredibly fulfilling for me.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

The one thing I’d do is keep some of my businesses instead of selling to cash out. I think I’d be better off in the long run in that case.

Please tell us your secret to success…

I surround myself with “good hearted” people!

What is the worst job you have ever had and what did you learn from it?

I can’t really say that I had a worst job. I try to be as positive as possible in every role I’ve ever had.

What is one thing that really excites you?

I get excited by a lot of stuff, but the one thing that really makes me happy is when we have a franchise operator who follows the model, works hard and has great success. One of my favorite times of the year is when we have our yearly Franchise Conference. It gives me a chance to meet all our franchise operators and hear all the wonderful success stories first hand.

Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?

My own personal experience has taught me that the best tagline of all time was by Nike a number of years ago. “Just do it!” I think people often limit themselves when they don’t have to. Sometimes it’s just a matter of pulling the trigger. What’s holding you back from achieving your dreams? Just Do It!

Where can people get more information on Bin There Dump That franchise opportunities?

Visit the website here.

Where can people find Bin There Dump That on social media?

RELATED: HOW TO BUY A FRANCHISE

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