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Is it time to franchise your business opportunity

Is it Time to Franchise Your Business Opportunity?

Are you wanting to franchise your existing business opportunity? If so, then you will need to follow practical steps necessary to start the process of evaluating your business to find out if it would be possible to franchise. After you have decided on which route you wish to take, the next step is to produce a clear plan of action.

The first step is to analyze the unique selling point of your opportunity. Think about what makes your business different, and how is it better than your competitors businesses? Decide what the key factors of your business are, and also why would people buy into your concept? If you are able to name your unique selling points, then it is time to take the next step.

Now you need to make sure your name, logos, designs and systems are fully protected. This is where you can call in the help of an expert in trade mark protection. This is really important for any potential franchisees who will not want to risk money backing a business which does not yet have full trade mark protection.

The next step is to learn all about the franchise industry: how does it operate in your business category, and in your country? There are many websites which provide valuable information about franchising, so this shouldn’t be too difficult.

It is advisable to make contact with all of the businesses that are franchising a similar concept to yours. It is essential to gain deep insight into their processes, methods of communication and overall approach to the market place. Some ways of doing this would be to request their marketing materials and brochures and actually meet their representatives. You should also analyze their key strengths and weaknesses and evaluate how our own franchise will sit in the marketplace.

After completing the above steps, you should decide if your business opportunity is still viable for taking the franchise route to the market place. If the answer is yes, then it is now time to get some professional advice from a number of franchising experts.

A franchise agreement needs to be made, as well as operator’s manuals, brochures, online presentations and marketing programmes. A company that has a long history of advising new entrants to the franchise market will be invaluable at this point, and will ensure that your entrance to the franchise market is quicker, and that it runs smoothly.

Make contacts with the top lenders that specialize in funding, and secure terms and conditions for your potential franchisees. Negotiate the best rates and make sure that penalty clauses are kept to an absolute minimum.

After following all of the above advice, you should be ready to start your franchising business opportunity. It is essential that you take great care in choosing your franchises. The biggest mistake a franchise business can make is allowing anybody with money to buy their franchise. Each application should be treated as though it is an interview process and you should only choose the people who will treat your business with respect and manage your franchise successfully. Obtaining the best market price for your franchise and therefore rapid expansion is your desired outcome and to achieve this, you will want all of your franchisees to be successful.

Many new businesses enter the franchise market for first time and under-estimate the amount of hard work and effort involved before their first franchise is sold. If successful it can prove to be a very lucrative way of expanding your business in a short space of time, with a relatively short outlay.

How to run a successful internet business

How to Run a Successful Internet Business

With growing unemployment e-commerce has become an increasingly advantageous option for an employment. But the big question for everyone is the fact that how to run a successful e-commerce business with less efforts. First we must try to understand the meaning of this type of business. It basically involves the selling of products or even services to people visiting their sites. This may be anything right from a clothes store to electronic goods shop online. It may also sell some electronic books for the people who visit their sites. It is noted that this type of sales has increased incredibly in the past year and a half in United States alone.

There are simple instructions that can be followed by the enthusiasts and is moderately hard to follow.

The first step involves identifying a particular type of market with which you are going to target the interested people. The people who are interested in such kinds of product must also be studied. The best example to understand this would be that mothers who stay in home would be very much interested in online shopping for themselves and kids.

The next step would be to set the e commerce site. Make it as attractive and user friendly as possible by putting applications like shopping cart and organized way of finding products. It will also be helpful if there is an integrated mode of payment online through all the big credit cards as well as online money transactions.

After the site is fully done, start off the business by giving special festive offers that will attract many customers. Also give special discounts for the people who buy for the first time. There could also be a trend of giving special discounts when purchased on particular days of the week.

Also make sure that there is customer service from the site to the customer right from the starting of the process till the purchase is completed. Have some facility where the customers can post in their troubles and take efforts in rectifying it. You may also start a live chat session for the customers through which they can tell their troubles or ask you for suggestions.

Then, a specific marketing strategy must be developed so that the business can be advertised according to that. For advertising purposes, approach sites like the search engines and other popular sites where many people visit on daily basis. There are many schemes on this type of advertising, hence enquire before using it. You may also contact blog site owners to write about the site and increase the traffic.

Once the advertising part is done successfully, people will come flowing. The next thing to keep in mind is to keep your site updated with the latest goods. Therefore review it periodically to make sure there are no flaws in it. Also check if all the products displayed, are available in stores.

Hence from this article you can know how to run a successful e-commerce business.

Lessons in survival – a critical leadership skill

Lessons in Survival – a Critical Leadership Skill

To survive – to hang in there – to keep your head while all around you others are losing theirs – to stay in play – is a critical skill of leaders. Let’s face it – even the most astute, successful person will suffer setbacks, and surviving and overcoming those setbacks is the true measure of a leader.

To some, survival sounds like a skill for a loser. And, frankly, there are many who try to survive by holding back, by not taking risk, by getting as invisible as possible. Those are not the behaviors of leaders – they are not what survival means in this article – and they lead to failure.

An example of survival and leadership:

A client had a business unit that was doing badly. Unprofitable, losing customers, over budget. The business unit leader had been in the job for six months – not long enough to have created the mess, but long enough to be held accountable for it. Her predecessor had held the job for ten years – and then retired with honors. There were many days when she felt like giving up. She felt that she was more a victim than anything else. She had been a top performer in every other assignment given her. She felt she had gone from the top 5 percent in her company to being perceived as a loser by former colleagues. Everyone likes a winner – no one wants to be associated with what looks like a loser. No one was going to rescue her from this situation – she was either going to sink or swim.

She felt she had four choices:

1 – She could quit and find another employer – she was highly regarded in the market.

2 – She could stay and look at who to blame. She could try to cash in on her former accomplishments and get a transfer – or not be held accountable – or be given lots of slack.

3- She could let the situation tear her down, wallow in self pity and blame fate, and turn into a part of the problem – rather than be part of the solution.

4 – She could do what she had to do to survive the situation – stay afloat, give herself a timetable, work to improve performance, and then decide where her future lay.

She chose the last alternative. She reviewed it with her boss – he agreed with her. For the first time in her career she was faced with stabilizing a losing business, rather than growing a winning one. What a difference! Going from winning as a strategy to surviving – as a strategy – at least as a first step strategy.

She shared her survival strategy with her staff – and watched their reactions. They ranged from acceptance to indifference. This unit was part of a much larger company, and some of her staff had friends in other parts of the organization that could “take care of them.” She let some people transfer to other parts of the business – got rid of some others – and brought in key people who saw their new positions as a chance to prove themselves.

She put together a “stop the bleeding” short term plan with goals and measures that could be quantified and tracked and reported on regularly. No “BHAGS” here ( Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals). Her boss gave his support -while keeping the situation at arm’s length. The plan was shared with the people in the business unit, and every person was expected to establish goals that contributed to the plan. Some did – some didn’t. The plan worked – at least to the extent that the bleeding stopped and the business returned to marginal profitability in six months. No celebrations were held – but the leader and her staff were pleased with their progress -they knew just how much had been accomplished – although no one else seemed to share their emotions.

As the six month plan unfolded, it became clear to her that some significant investments in capital and systems were going to be necessary if the business was to prosper – and there was some risk that, even with those investments, prosperity might not happen. The fight for capital was intense, and other, more successful business units got their share – and hers as well.

She gave it six more months. In that time, steady progress was made, customers were won back, and profitability continued to improve. At the same time, she sensed a growing impatience from her boss with the rate of progress – but no real help in the form of additional resources. At this point she was 18 months into her job, and while she had seen major progress, very little recognition of her accomplishments came her way. She gave it six more months.

At the end of two years in the assignment, when continued improvement went unrewarded, she resigned.

When asked about that experience five years later, she said it was by far the most valuable of her career. When pressed to identify what particularly valuable lessons she had taken from the experience that helped her be successful – and she had become very successful – she listed the following:

-You gotta pick your spots carefully. Every organization has top units and bad units. To decide to survive in a marginal unit with little upside is not very bright. Be sure the survival situation has an upside.

-The decision to fight through a tough situation, and take the risk of surviving, must be a conscious one. And once it’s made, all effort must be directed forward. It’s easy in these situations to adopt a “why me” or victim attitude – and that is fatal. Managing, defining and communicating expectations in a survival situation are absolutely critical skills – more than in a highly successful business. Pressure from above to see progress can lead to commitments being made that simply cannot be kept. And intentions sound good at the beginning of a reporting period – but only results matter. “Hockey stick” forecasts and plans – where all the good news is forecast to occur near the end of the measurement period – are always greeted with suspicion.

-Tolerance for mistakes is much lower in survival situations. And negative outcomes that would be ignored in a successful business are magnified and used as examples of just how bad things are – while good news is received with skepticism. Protecting and insulating the people committed to making it work from harsh criticism and judgment is a major task for the survival leader.

-A survival leader must have a core group of optimistic believers who are committed to making it work.

-Stay in close contact with the Boss – absolutely no surprises are allowed.

- Keep people focused on improvement through widely communicated goals they can share and buy into.

-Don’t let people see discouragement at bad news – and there is always bad news in survival situations. Negative emotions will be multiplied 100 times by those that observe them.

- Survival mode must be a temporary situation – it’s easy to slip into a survival mind set and make it a long term behavior.

- Survival – both personal and organizational – is often thankless. While in survival mode leaders have to see the value of their contribution themselves. Often, there is very little positive recognition given to survival.

- The worst thing a survival leader can do is to stay in place and let the situation grind them down. When the best shot has been given, and it remains apparent that that isn’t enough, move on – that’s always a choice – always. Know when to hold, and know when to fold.

- In the stress of survival situations, it’s easy to personalize all kinds of things. Don’t. The ability to see things for what they are – no more or no less – is a necessary ability. Trying to ascribe motive, or waste time on hidden meanings are great ways to lose control and perspective.

These Lessons In Survival were learned the hard way. That’s the only way to learn. If you see yourself or your organization in survival mode – use these Lessons to inventory what and how you can apply them to get through it better, quicker and more successfully.