Own Your Own Business! Buy an existing one? Start your own? How about a franchise? nnet Of GreaterRichmond/Tidewater
Tom Lawrence • Val-Pak of Virginia franchisee 1975-1991 • President – Val-Pak Dealers Association 1986- 1991 • Vice President of Franchise Operations 1991 - 2003 Val-Pak Direct Marketing Systems • President – Frannet of Richmond 2003-present
Why are you interested in entrepreneurship opportunities NOW? SUCCESS FULFILLMENT BALANCE INDEPENDENCE CONTROL FINANCIAL SECURITY MONEY
Whatever your motivation, you have now decided that you really want to be a business owner. Right? But let me guess, you still have a little of
“Sure, I’d like to own my own business! But what about the risk?” Am I right?
Perception of Risk It is not just a perception. It is risky, so don’t forget that. If you are not scared, you don’t know enough!
Perception of Risk At first owning your own business can be scary, but if you succeed… • No one can take it away. • You can’t be downsized, transferred, laid off, or fired. • You can build a large or small business. • You can grow a business, ease off, or continue as YOU see fit. • And the longer you own a business, the safer it becomes.
Making it Safe • First, develop your goals: • Personal goals • Business goals • Plan your strategies: • Entry strategy • Long term strategy • Exit strategy
For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: “It might have been!” John Greenleaf Whittier
Small Business Facts There are advantages to buying an existing business: • Immediate cash flow • Actual results rather than projected results • Employees already trained and in place • Existing customers and referral business • Licenses and permits • Potential for some seller financing
Small Business Facts Disadvantages of buying a business: • May be difficult to find one, let alone the right one (Why is it for sale?) • Financial records may be suspect • Employees may leave with new ownership (or maybe the wrong employees) • Business may not have a good reputation
Small Business Facts There are advantages to starting a business from scratch • Begin at your own pace • No rules • Express your creativity • Might be less expensive • Flexibility
Small Business Facts Disadvantages of starting from scratch: • More difficult to finance • No customers • No training/support • No business systems/software
Small Business Facts There are advantages of buying a franchise • Proven, systematic approach to starting and staying in business • Experience • Training • Ongoing support • Marketing expertise • Support of other franchisees
Small Business Facts There are disadvantages of buying a franchise • Franchise Fees • Long-term commitment (5 – 10 years per Franchise Agreement) • On-going royalties • Loss of some control (The “Business Model”) • If you don’t perform, it can be taken away
How can you make business ownership work for you? • Start by creating a model of your perfect business. • Get help to create your model. • Identify the businesses that best fit your model. • Do the research to make sure which one is the right one for you.
Investigation Process Get professional help on your team • SCORE • Attorney • Accountant • Lender/SBA • Site locator
Finding the RIGHT ONE Take the time to do the research!
Finding the RIGHT ONE Listen only to those people who are in the business that you are investigating. Become your own expert! Don’t Get Ambushed!
Make sure you really know what you want Listen to what people tell you with an open mind. Expect to get nervous! Make sure you have enough money Ask every possible question Take time to do the research Secrets of Success
If you do not have a dream you are working for then you are working for someone else’s dream.
Tom Lawrence (804) 514-8409 firstname.lastname@example.org www.frannet.com