By John Mendel, Mr. Rooter® Franchise Consultant
When we were in school I always remember the teachers and professors saying to students, “Don’t plagiarize when you do your research papers! Or you will get a big fat “F”!”
It was a painful process coming up with those original thoughts and comments. Obviously, it was a necessary thing we had to do as it taught us the discipline to read and understand what was being written, while at the same time causing us to learn how to compose something on our own. More importantly, it gave due credit to the authors and writers that wrote the material in the first place.
However, once I left school, one of the first things I learned was that it was actually a compliment to “plagiarize” procedures and policies from other individuals and organizations within your company and/or organization. It is really amazing how much knowledge and information is really available at your fingertips. You don’t need to do too much work except to listen to individuals that developed the process, then figure out how to use and apply that procedure to your organization.
There is really not much out there in the business world that has not already been done. Yet, I am constantly amazed at why we do not know how to ask or even want to reach out to get that advice. Please note, I myself have fallen into that category at times; however, I have learned to ask. There is no such thing as a “dumb question” – it is only those questions that are NOT asked that are dumb.
While I was in both the Navy, Pepsi and Cott Beverages, we lived and died by checklists and procedures. If we did not follow them properly we did not produce soda in the most efficient manner, and in the Navy, not following the rules may well get a young sailor hurt or killed. So I learned very quickly to take all the procedures that worked well and applied them to my organization.
I have found that Mr. Rooter has the same wealth of knowledge and information at everyone’s fingertips and it is called “Brand Networking.” This includes franchisees helping one another via the phone, the Forum, FranConnect, Regional Conferences, SWAT and at Reunion.
For example, during a Southwest Regional in Scottsdale, Ariz., the sharing of information and good practices was truly evident. Specifically, Charlie Hallan, accomplished Mr. Rooter franchisee, presented a fantastic session about “excavation”, and Tim Roth discussed how he developed his team via a well-balanced training structure on how to implement and utilize plumbing checkups to provide that truly value-added customer service that has ultimately increased his growth. This is the power of a franchise network. Although each Mr. Rooter franchise is independently owned and operated, they are not competitors, but a group of professionals that call on each other for expertise and advice.
So in short, as part of a franchise, it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. It is probably already out there and in place. That’s why Mr. Rooter franchisees ask and use the network for help and also share their advice with others!
The Dwyer Group® offers franchise opportunities in seven industries that are designed for the first time business owner as well as experienced and preexisting businesses. Our franchise opportunities include: HVAC, Glass, Lawn Care and Landscaping, Appliance Repair, Electrical Maintenance, Plumbing, and Restoration. With expert assistance and coaching to help you maintain steady business.
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By Edward Proulx, ProParts Direct
Regardless what industry you serve, downtime, the inability to provide your service, can make or break your business. The immediate impact of downtime is always evident – the pizza oven at your shop breaks one afternoon and you lose 10 sales. A thunderstorm knocks out power at your office and you miss a handful of service call requests. Most industries go to great lengths to mitigate risk and avoid downtime, but for some, it’s part of the job.
Professional Landscapers are one example. Lawnmowers, saws, and snow removal equipment are pushed to their limit during each use. That is, until one of your landscape crews has a mower or trimmer go down. In this example, the crew heads back to the shop for repair, a few jobs get pushed back. Simple, right? Not so fast.
Immediate Financial Impact
- Cost of new part and overnight shipping.
- Lost time spent diagnosing and physically repairing the issue.
- Lost revenue due to lost time. Your landscape crew is not cutting and earning; they are waiting.
True Cost of Downtime
- Customers who pay for a professional expect great work, no excuses. Landscaper says: “I broke a belt, I’ll return in 2 days.” Customer hears: “Call someone else who can get the job done right.”
- $6000 buys a nice enclosed trailer and huge billboard… that nobody sees when it is parked at the shop waiting for a repair.
- Failing to prepare says a lot about your business. Not having pride in your work is reflected through your employees and ultimately customers. If you don’t take your work, seriously neither will your customers. Eventually the phone stops ringing and you will never know how many sales you are missing. A reputation is the hardest thing to repair.
In the world of professional landscape, the savvy business owner understands the impact of downtime. Spending the time, energy, and resources BEFORE problems arise, is the only way to combat downtime. What are the common replacement parts? Consumables? Seasonal repairs? Buying in bulk one or two times each year may seem expensive at the time, but having a replacement part in hand at the time of the break makes all the difference. No shipping costs, no wasted time, and many large parts distributors offer great price breaks on bulk orders.
Preparation is easy and it makes all the difference in the world. Get started by taking inventory of all your equipment. What are the common replacement parts? Where are your machines in their life cycle?
Preseason buys, parts specials, and bulk orders offer HUGE price breaks. Buying “as needed” not only costs more, but after shipping, you can be paying nearly double.
ProParts Direct, is a leading online parts and equipment supplier for the lawn and garden industry. ProParts Direct has been serving commercial landscapers and home owners for over 25 years. ProParts Direct is also a participant in ProTradeNet®, the preferred vendor network The Dwyer Group® offers to its franchisees.
What began as dream for Joe and Linda LoShciavo, is now a reality beyond what they could have expected. One year ago, Joe and Linda LoSchiavo were the recipients of the Public Protectors Franchise Advantage (PPFA) Award given out by The Dwyer Group®. Today, the couple has turned their award into a thriving appliance repair business in Southern Connecticut as a Mr. Appliance® franchise.
“Linda and I were both retired. I don’t know what happened, really. My personality is that I don’t sit still too often,” said Joe.
After seeing Mr. Appliance on the CBS reality show “Undercover Boss” in 2012, Joe decided to look into opening a franchise with the company. Coincidently, The Dwyer Group launched the PPFA program that same year to recognize the contributions law enforcement and fire rescue members have made to society. Through their special PPFA Award, which waived the franchise fee, the LoSchiavos were able to create and build a business of their own after decades of service to their community.
“We’ve always had the entrepreneurial spirit. We’ve taken what we know and applied it to the business. We also decided we weren’t going o reinvent the wheel. With The Dwyer Group, they have a plan laid out for you, and if you follow the plan there’s no guesswork,” said Joe.
It takes about 2-4 months for franchisees to go through Mr. Appliance training and set-up a new business. In April 2013, Joe and Linda opened their doors to the public. Early on, Joe saw a need for professional appliance repair in his local market and a need for superior customer service to residential and commercial clients. The LoSchiavos have been in business about eight months now, and they are seeing results.
“ What we’re finding about Mr. Appliance when we go to customers’ homes is that people aren’t accustomed to the level of service we are giving them— the booties, the email the night before, the follow-up phone call, the fact that we show up when we say we will,” said Joe. “We follow everything the Mr. Appliance training has given us, and I’m amazed. Our customers are amazed. We’re finding out that people really like what we are doing.”
Linda and Joe manage the office for now, but by the end of next year they plan to turn the operation over to their son. Both find it rewarding to own a true family business. By the end of 2014, the LoSchiavos plan to have three trucks and three technicians on the road.
“It’s very rewarding to hear that the customer is so happy with us. So far, much of our business has been repeat customers and referrals,” Linda said.
Through Mr. Appliance and The Dwyer Group’s PPFA program, the LoSchiavos were able to embark on an exciting second career as franchise owners. After careers serving in challenging and life-threatening situations, many firefighters and law enforcement officers have opted to retire early or choose to leave the service for personal lifestyle reasons. However, like the LoSchiavos, many choose to continue using their leadership expertise through business ownership.
The PPFA program awards a 20 percent discount on the initial franchise fee for a base territory—100,000 population—for qualified candidates looking to open a franchise within The Dwyer Group’s family of brands: Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Rooter®, Rainbow International®, and The Grounds Guys®.
By Heather Conley-Spangler, Franchise Phones
In the service industry there is no room for missed opportunity. A live answer is essential to the bottom line and to keeping a business fully engaged with current customers and future prospects. So how can a small business owner manage their calls, keep their customers happy and stay on budget? One solution could be a Call Queue.
Why a Call Queue?
A Call Queue is a feature rich option and industry best practice shared among leading franchises that helps businesses thrive in a highly competitive marketplace. A lost call is lost revenue, which is why no call should ever go unanswered. With a Call Queue, even during the busiest of times, callers can be placed on hold and hear a personalized greeting announcing special services or promotions. If all phone lines are in use, customers can hear a specific notice in regards to their hold time or placement. For example, “There are three callers ahead of you.”
Having a Call Queue can help you track your marketing dollars. At Franchise Phones we offer Call Queue system that identifies inbound calls by the phone number dialed. When looking into phone service companies, also be sure to look at reporting features. It may help to have a nightly report of calls emailed directly to you or one of your staff.
A reporting feature that allows you to track calls in and out of the Call Queue is important. For instance, Franchise Phones has a Real Time dashboard that indicates what calls were handled by which agent, call duration, and call source. Agents can manually log into or out of our system. This allows them to automatically ring a phone after a specific amount of time, which is particularly helpful during high call volume times.
For those organizations with multiple brands, there are multiple Message on Hold options. A unique message for every brand owned and operated can be established. If a caller can’t hold, they have an option at any time to redirect to a live answer or voicemail. Thus, the concern for a missed sales or service opportunity is eradicated.
A Call Queue can also give your business the flexibility to take a call from anywhere. Inclement weather or a power outage can always raise a concern. At Franchise Phones, we offer the option of Auto-Failover which allows all calls to be re-routed to one or more phone numbers.
Finding ways to set a business apart from a competitor can be time consuming and costly. A Call Queue not only creates a market place edge, but it projects a professional image that steps-up the level of customer service from ordinary to extraordinary.
FranchisePhones, powered by Clarity, is the leading provider of hosted VoIP PBX solutions in North America. FranchisePhones is an easy and safe choice for franchise owners with Clarity’s Business-Class Quality and Reliability, the largest coverage area in the U.S. and Canada, and Customer Support dedicated to franchise success. FranchisePhones is the 2011 and 2012 ProTradeNet® Vendor of the Year and part of the preferred vendor network The Dwyer Group® offers to its franchisees.
“If I change my name, I’ll lose all of my customers. I’ll have to start my business all over again from scratch.”
Choosing to franchise can be a tough decision for a small business owner who has a well established name in his or her community. The owner fears that once the business adopts a new name and a new look, this could alienate or confuse a client base that has taken years to build.
Naturally, the business owner wouldn’t want his efforts to be all for not should he take on a franchise, and neither is that in the interest of the franchisor. The franchisor should provide the training and expertise necessary in assisting the business owner in rebranding.
“When a new franchisee comes into the system, we emphasize that maintaining communication with the business’ existing client base is critically important. Also, when an existing business transitions to the franchise brand, we encourage the business owner to play up the positives to their clients, such as being part of a national network, advanced training and more efficient systems,” said Rainbow International® Sure Start Coordinator Craig Gjelsten.
4 Areas of Change
The time it takes to make the complete transformation will depend on the agreement between the franchisor and the franchisee, the size and structure of the existing business, and the training process. The Dwyer Group® recommends new franchisees allow about three months to transition to one of their brands. Below are five basic categories where business owners may expect to make the most changes in their existing business and how those changes could affect the customer.
1. Marketing Rebranding – Rebranding is the first step in the transition process and it occurs rather quickly. The franchisor is prepared with all the needed marketing materials such as van wraps, brochures, ads and templates for your location’s website. Technology allows the business’ existing phone number, email address and website to be redirected to new ones under the franchisee’s name.
2. Equipment/Technology – Depending on the existing business, it may need additional equipment and training. Often times, a new franchisee will expand its repertoire of services under the brand. Existing customers can take advantage of additional services from the people they’ve come to know and trust.
3. Financial Restructuring – Many franchisors have software and reporting methods that relate specifically the franchise business system. These tools provide more detailed financial information for the owner to build a successful business. Additionally, part of the financial restructuring could also entail a change in the business’ pricing scheme. If so, it’s important that the business owner take time to explain the enhanced quality of service and value associated with this change.
4. Organizational Restructuring – Under a franchise brand, the systems are put in place to help the owner be more efficient and effective. This leaves the business owner time to strategically build his business.
Communication Is Key
Successful new franchisees communicate with their customers and set the customer’s expectations.
“One thing we are big on is communication. We find that most of our new franchisees have a close relationship with their customers. They are excited about the transformation taking place in their business and that gets their customers excited. Ultimately, we want to assist them in providing the best service they possibly can,” said The Grounds Guys® Sure Start Coordinator Steven West.
Before making the decision to purchase a franchise, the business owner should research the franchisor’s support mechanisms in place that help new franchisees convert their business. Although the business owners will make changes to their businesses when adopting a brand name, they aren’t starting over. A business owner brings to the table knowledge of his local market, business contacts, technicians and staff, experience working in the trade and a customer base. All of the areas of a business that the owner has worked hard to cultivate fit into a franchise model and are a valuable asset to the new franchisee.
Be sure to read about the #1 franchising myth and franchising myth#2. We’ll be continuing the Myths of Franchising series over the next few weeks, subscribe to the Morning Huddle blog to catch the next update.
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In small businesses and franchises, recruiting and hiring employees can be an overwhelming process, and sadly, many employers believe that good people are hard to find. However, the best people are everywhere working for dozens of other businesses; the hard part is recruiting them to work for you. After 37 years working in the franchise industry, Robert Tunmire, the executive vice president at The Dwyer Group®, has decades of first-hand experience recruiting the best employees for your business. In this article, Robert will share the importance of recruiting and the 7 keys recruiting the best people for your team.
What is recruiting, and why is it important?
When it comes to gaining new employees, Robert explains, “You don’t hire the best; you recruit them,” and recruiting is defined as, “creating an experience that causes people to want to be on your team.” When you compete with other businesses to draw customers, you create an experience or a product that is more attractive or of better quality than what your competitors have to offer, and it’s the same with recruiting the best employees.
When searching for the right employees, you’re competing with other businesses for the people who already have the qualities and skills that would make them a great addition to your team. The catch is that they are probably already working for someone else. So how can you draw them to your business?
According to Robert, there are seven keys to recruiting the best people:
Key #1: Do not prejudge someone. Learn to see people as they can be, not as they are.
Unfortunately, studies in psychology have shown that people naturally tend to judge others by first impressions. However, first impressions are very rarely accurate and can even cause interviewers and potential employers to miss the best qualities in a candidate simply because they made a bad impression. When considering a new employee, see who they can become if only given the right tools, training, and opportunity. Do you best to see beyond the first impression whether good or bad, and see the potential that they have to offer, even if they did not show up for the initial interview.
Robert claims that “some of the finest people that I have ever recruited did not show up for the first interview.” While we naturally tend to assume that someone who fails to show for an interview is unreliable, it might simply be a fear of failure or of change that causes the missed opportunity on the part of both the employee and the employer. So, the next time someone fails to come to an interview, reschedule the interview as soon as possible. Make your decision about the person only after you have had the chance to talk to them face-to-face.
Key#2: Recruiting is active, not passive. Always follow up.
When you find someone that you want to join your team, follow up as long as it takes to get them on your team. “The better they are, the more effort they’re going to take to get on your team,” says Robert. He remembers one of the best technicians that he ever hired took him almost a full year to recruit, but his persistence paid great dividends for years to come. Hiring great people takes time and persistence, but great people are worth the investment.
Key#3: Recruiting has to be done every single day.
If you only recruit new employees when you need people, you are putting yourself in a dangerous position, and your employees know that you need them more than they need you. However, Robert claims, “You cannot be held hostage in your business without your consent.” So if you are actively recruiting the best people and have a list of potential employees, then employee turnover is simply a small inconvenience rather than a detrimental loss.
Key#4: Would you work for you?
Ask yourself these questions, “Are you a people builder, or are you a people user? Do you see people as a means to an end, or do you see your role with people as to help them accomplish their personal financial goals?” If you want your people to go above and beyond for you, you have to go above and beyond for them. Invest in your employees lives. Show them the respect that you as their boss have for their skills and for their goals.
Key#5: Is your business the place of choice to work in your industry in your community, yes or no?
When answering this question, consider what your business looks like, and what people see as soon as they walk up to and through your company’s doors. Is your work space clean and orderly? How do people speak? Are your employees smiling? Remember, you want potential employees to be impressed by the work environment and by the other members of the team so they will want to be a part of it.
Key#6: You can recruit anyone you want if you show them that they can accomplish their personal and financial goals by being on your team.
Make it a point to understand the motivations and goals which drive the people who work for you, and find ways to help them achieve personal success. The key is to show your employees that you are interested in their success. Here are two questions that you can ask to help you identify and understand the goals of your employees:
- What type of income do you want to have?
- Why is that amount important to you?
Key #7: Tell the whole story when you’re recruiting.
If you want the best people, you have to sell them on your company by giving details about how work is done behind the scenes. Letting someone know about your leadership styles, your expectations, what makes your company unique, and how your team works together can be one of the best ways to draw people into your company.
So, remember that the best people aren’t hard to find, just hard to recruit, and when you begin your recruiting process again, remember the 7 keys to recruiting the best people. For information regarding franchise opportunities in your area, contact The Dwyer Group by visiting our website at www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or by phone at 1(866)-656-1504 for more information.
For the small business owner, a website can be a great way to increase business and recruit new customers, but without proper management, websites can also become lost in the hordes of other businesses that are competing for the top spots on the Google search engine.
Last month, Google AdWords reported that the word “business” was Googled approximately 101,000,000 times. If your business is at the bottom of the Google search results page, well…you have some work to do. Think about it, when was the last time that you scrolled to the bottom of the page to find a link?
Thankfully, there are some basic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies that can help you raise your visibility when a potential customer is trying to find a product that you offer.
What is Search Engine Optimization? SEO is a type of digital marketing used to describe how accessible or visible a website is to the general populace. Think of SEO as the online version of television commercials or billboards. Simply by being seen and drawing attention to a product, they drive foot traffic into the store.
Your overall goal as a business owner when it comes to your website should be to drive traffic to your website by getting it to the top of the results list in local search engines. According to Paul Hagan, Director of Strategic Initiatives at The Dwyer Group®, there are two major Google algorithm updates that recently impacted where websites rank on the search engine listings: Panda and Penguin.
What is Panda?
Panda is a series of search algorithm updates used by Google to reward high-quality websites. The more you do right, the closer to the top a site moves on a Google results page. To be on good terms with the Panda updates, you should:
Create Lots of Content and Include Keywords: Using the most relevant keywords or phrases in your content is one of the fastest ways to increase your rankings. Try using Google AdWords to help determine what words would be the best to use in your SEO. Don’t forget your website description or title tags. Using the proper keywords in these areas can be just as if not more important to your site’s SEO.
Getting Your Link Out There: Search rankings are influenced by how many times a site is listed and linked to other sites on the web as well as how often your site links to the websites of other relevant material. Inter-site links are based on a point system, and the more reputable the other site is the more points that your site gets for being linked. So, don’t be selfish when it comes to sharing links and web content. Helping out other sites is equally as helpful to promoting your website, but there’s a catch…beware of the Penguin.
What is the Penguin? The Penguin is another Google search algorithm that punishes sites for cheating the system by using cheap SEO tricks. This can include sites with irrelevant links, unoriginal content, or content cloaking. For instance, link farms are sites which act as portals to an endless series of different sites. They serve no purpose other than to drive up SEO standings. If a site is reported on a link farm it will be demoted in the search engine rankings.
Protect yourself with the Google Disavow. If you discover that your website is listed on a link farm, and you don’t want it to decrease your rankings report the link farm by using the Google Disavow tool. Reporting an unwanted link ensures that the link will not count against you if it is discovered by the penguin.
So, be proactive about your online marketing by taking advantage of the Panda updates to optimize your visibility, but don’t forget to protect your website from Penguin updates.
One of the benefits of owning a franchise is the variety of web development and SEO consulting services that can help you get started increasing exposure for your website. For more information regarding franchise opportunities in your area, contact The Dwyer Group by visiting our website at www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or by phone at 1(866)-656-1504 for more information.
One of the best ways to grow and expand your business is to have and maintain quality employees who are dedicated to helping your business succeed, and while a steady turnover rate is both natural and even healthy for many businesses, excessive employee turnover can be an expensive and time consuming waste of valuable resource especially for the small business owner. According to an article published by the International Franchising Association® written by franchise owner Harold Jackson, employee turnover can cost the small business owner anywhere between $700-$1,000 per employee.
Between uniforms, tools, and hours of training, each employee becomes an investment of both time and money that are lost as soon as an employee walks out of the door. Not to mention, any unhappy employee leaving on poor terms, can be counterproductive to your business and advertising. According the Global Development Learning Network, every dissatisfied customer expresses their frustration to anywhere between 9 and 15 people. However, the frustration of an employee can be even more detrimental to a business than a customer’s opinion in the eyes of prospective new customers. Therefore it is critical that when employees leave, they leave of good terms and not at an excessive rate.
So, how can small business owners avoid the costs associated with high turnover? According to Robert Tunmire, executive vice president at The Dwyer Group®, there are three main ways that the small business owner can reduce the amount of high employee turnover in their business.
Recruit the Right People:
Hiring the right people for the right position, the first time, is the first step in reducing employee turnover, and ultimately, it can save a business owner a substantial investment of both time and money in the long run. While it may be tempting to fill a position as soon as possible, business owners should carefully consider not only the candidate’s credentials and references but also their long-term potential in the company. Ultimately, supervisors should evaluate the fit of the potential employee with the personality of both the specific position that they are being considered for as well as the company that they will be representing.
When evaluating a potential candidate, consider asking yourself the following questions:
Does this individual exemplify the image that I want to promote in my company?
Will this employee be able to connect with other employees well?
Is this person a team player?
Fairly Compensate Your Talent:
Compensation and benefits plans are a consistent way to show and reinforce how employees are valued in a company. Forbes Magazine recently published an article entitled, “The Only Good Reason to Quit Your Job.” Topping the list of complaints that may encourage people to leave their positions included both feeling underpaid and undervalued. So when structuring payment and compensation plans, keep the following tips in mind. Compensation plans must be:
Simple- Complicated compensation plans are difficult to understand for both the employer and the employee causing errors and fostering distrust amongst staff, and a lack of trust can lead to increased levels of employee turnover no matter how much employees are paid.
Transparent- Be clear and honest about an employee’s paycheck. Allow your staff to easily see how you itemize any deductions or bonuses.
Motivate your staff:
Motivate your employees by implementing a fair a compensation plan.
As discussed earlier, paychecks and benefits are one tool to reaffirm an employee’s value to the company. Whether it be a technician or an office assistant, if an employee feels as though they are being undervalued through a low pay check or poor benefits it can influence their decision to search begin applying to other businesses.
Motivate your employees through team dynamics:
Motivate people using goals and small wins by establish monthly targets and focusing on beating your company’s previous records. When setting your company’s goals, both short and long-term, keep the following acronym in mind: S.M.A.R.T. All goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
Motivate employees by rewarding performance at every available opportunity. You should reward your employees in small ways throughout the year whenever possible. Rewards don’t have to be large or substantial, and they come in many amounts, shapes, and sizes. Free company paraphernalia such as T-shirts, coffee mugs, and mouse pads, can be more motivating to employees if regularly distributed throughout the year than even an annual bonus because they are consistent reminders of both future goals and past achievements.
So to be proactive about keeping your best employees, remember: recruit the right people, fairly compensate your talent, and motivate your staff.
To start applying these management tips to your new franchise in the near future, contact The Dwyer Group by visiting our website at www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com or by phone at 1(866)-656-1504 for more information.
PART TWO OF SIX: THE FINANCE QUANDARY
By DINA DWYER-OWENS
Most Americans desire to become financially independent and have a career that meets their personal and professional goals – but few have the discipline required to get there.
Although 54% of adults aged 18 to 34 want to start a business, only 8% currently own one, according to a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This means that half of the next generation are looking to entrepreneurship as a fulfilling and sustainable career choice, but have not been able to take the proverbial leap.
The number one barrier to starting a business cited by participants in the study was access to loans or credit. In today’s lending climate, business financing is available, but not to the extent that it was before the financial crisis. Increasingly, therefore, future business owners need to start planning and saving in advance to make sure that they are financially capable of securing financing and having capital available for startup costs.
Other top obstacles cited in the Kauffman study were the following:
- not knowing how to run a business
- not having the necessary skills or knowledge
- a lack of role models
The training and support that a franchise provides address all of these obstacles head-on.
My father, the late Don Dwyer, Sr., founded The Dwyer Group® of franchise companies with the vision of creating a business system that would help individual entrepreneurs reach specific goals in their personal and professional lives. Part of his personal system of success was called targeting. He had a saying, “Goal-setting is a win/lose proposition, while targeting is a win/win proposition. Targeting provides the flexibility of more than one way to be a winner.”
If you don’t create a targeted action plan now, life will get in the way of your dreams. Here are a few tips to help you save up for opening a business or franchise.
- Describe your targets in writing. Write down your target date for opening a business and the amount of money you would like to save. Think big, but conduct research so you can set a realistic target.
- Choose a target that excites and challenges you. When you research franchise and business opportunities, look for something that you have a passion for and that will stretch and challenge you as a person.
- Visualize your targets. Do you dream of a big house or vacation for your family? Print a picture of your dream and put it somewhere where you will see it.
- Never underestimate the power of a sticky note on the mirror with some motivational words.
As chief executive officer of The Dwyer Group, one of my greatest privileges is teaching incoming franchise owners – many of whom are veterans – how to reach personal and professional goals. Already opening a business, they have surmounted the obstacle of financing and are on to their next challenges – growth and financial independence! You can read some of their stories at www.vetfran.com or www.leadingtheserviceindustry.com.
FRANCHISE FINANCING RESOURCES
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Although not technically a lender itself, the SBA is still the best place to start for new business owners seeking financing. Learn more at www.sba.gov.
Community Banks and Credit Unions
In the wake of the financial crisis, small community banks and credit unions need new customers—and they’re targeting small business owners. Don’t forget to check with local institutions in addition to the big banks.
Many franchisors offer in-house financing to help their franchisees get their business off the ground. For example, our firm, The Dwyer Group, can finance up to 70% of the franchise fee in-house. Franchisors also maintain relationships with external lenders who can help prospective franchisees through the process.
Crowdfunding is online fundraising through a large number of micro-investments, often fuelled through social media. Although still in its infancy, crowdfunding is likely to pick up momentum in the next few years. Check out www.sprigster.com, a crowdfunding portal for veterans opening franchises.
Dina Dwyer-Owens is chairwoman and chief executive officer of The Dwyer Group, Inc. (www.dwyergroup.com), a holding company of seven service-based franchise organizations: Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, The Grounds Guys®, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Rooter® (Drain Doctor in the UK and Portugal), and Rainbow International®. The Dwyer Group is based in Waco, Texas.
This article appeared in the May ’13 issue of Search and Employ magazine, a publication of Recruit Military.