Accelerating Your Entrepreneurial Success with Networking

Networking is the accelerant you can use to set your entrepreneurial career aflame. It can do so much for your career, from letting you meet potential mentors to helping you find contacts and opportunities for your start-up. The problem you likely share with many people is simply not knowing where to start.

1.      Approach Networking with the Right Mindset

The problem with most people is that they approach networking as work. Don’t approach networking thinking that it’s all about how many business cards you can get or hand out. Look at it as a way to develop genuine relationships with the people involved in your industry. Treat people as possible friends and not just potential assets.

Become friends with the people you meet. They are going to help take you and your business to the next level. These people deserve your respect and to be treated as more than just assets.

2.      Have a Goal

Don’t just network — network with a goal in mind. Have something you want to happen, a goal you can work towards, before you step into a networking event. Think about where you want to be in five years, where the start-up should be. Write it down. Write down what you need to get done in a year to get closer to your goals. Then write down what you need to get done in three months to get closer to your goals.

Look at each of those goals and figure out who can help you achieve them. Do you need a better accountant to help you get the resources you need? Do you need a mentor to teach you a couple of key skills that will allow you to succeed? If you’re having trouble deciding whom you need, simply figure out what you lack and who can fill that hole.

3.      Learn How to Connect with People

Knowing how to connect with people is an important skill to have as an entrepreneur. It’s not just for networking, it’s for what happens afterwards. You don’t just make a new friend and then never interact with them. Relationships are ongoing and require maintenance. You need to learn to connect and keep on connecting with the people who will help you succeed.

Ask the right questions. Asking better questions leads to better answers, which results in memorable conversations. Ask difficult questions, such as how they expect to achieve their goals considering the kind of opposition they face.

How will you know which questions to ask? Pay attention, not just to what they’re saying, but how they’re saying it. Learn more about the convention you’re attending and the industries that will be represented, so you’ll have something to contribute to the discussion.

4.      Connect People to Each Other

One of the best ways to accelerate the growth of your network as an entrepreneur is to serve as a bridge. Someday you’re going to meet someone who needs something you cannot provide — but you’ll know someone who can help. Take the time to introduce them to each other. At best, they’ll appreciate the effort and then be more inclined to help you find people who can help you solve your problems. At worst, you’ve helped out a couple of your friends. After a few months, follow-up on your connection and find out if you actually helped them.

It is important to note here that you shouldn’t keep score. Do it because you want to help out.

Networking can help you accelerate the success of your start-up and your career as an entrepreneur. It can help spread word about your business and about your skills as an entrepreneur. Talk to people. Connect people with each other. Learn how you can create and nurture relationships with others. You’ll find yourself surrounded with interesting people and your start-up going places you never thought it would.

FranServe: Get To Know The Fast-Growing Firm

FranServe is currently one of the largest and fastest growing franchise marketing, consulting and development firms in the franchising industry. With over 250 active affiliated consultants located throughout the US, Canada and Internationally, FranServe’s consultants are discussing franchise opportunities with thousands of potential franchise buyers each month. FranServe boasts a corporate team of industry experts with over 100 years of combined experience in the franchise industry.

FranServe’s Mission
FranServe seeks to “help others achieve their dreams of business ownership through franchising. [Their] professional consultants work with prospects every day that are in the market for a career change and who desire business ownership opportunities. They assist clients in identifying and exploring ideal franchise opportunities that meet each candidate’s professional and personal goals as well as helping them access the capital to own and operate that franchise.”

FranServe consultants are among the best in the industry. All FranServe consultants receive extensive training and support. With a wide range of marketing strategies, FranServe provides consultants with prospective franchise buyers to determine financial qualifications, strengths, goals, market demographics, desired lifestyle and more to help identify and explore potential franchise opportunities.

Interested in learning more? Check out http://franserve.com/

Franchise Profile: OxyMagic Carpet Cleaning

OxyMagic carpet cleaners provide excellent carpet cleaning services.  Each carpet cleaning franchise is individually owned and operated by people that are passionate about clean carpets.  Throughout the lifetime of your carpet, the fibers are subjected to the day to day under-foot grind of typical household spills, dirt, children, pets and after a while it can all take its toll. OxyMagic uses the power of oxygen to clean a wider spectrum of soils that other cleaners may not get out. With the OxyMagic system, average dry time is reduced to 30 to 90 minutes, which eliminates the chance for old stains to return and for mold and mildew to form.

OxyMagic’s NaturesWay® cleaning solution and process provides a healthier home environment from common household contaminates. OxyMagic feels that its responsibility is to the environment, and to its customers. The company’s first  thought is to safe guard the environment while maintaining the highest quality of cleaning for our customer’s carpets, rugs, and upholstery. The company only uses safe solutions and strives to maintain a reasonable price for a superior service to its customers.

OxyMagic is also dedicated to its Franchise owners and are looking to expand within the franchising industry.

Franchise Opportunity
You now have the opportunity to own your own business in an affordable franchise featuring this EXCLUSIVE carpet cleaning system. If you’ve ever thought about owning an affordable franchise with the backing of a long-standing nationwide company there will never be a better time than RIGHT NOW!   Because of our exclusive Oxygenated Carpet Cleaning System…

You can own…
Your own Oxymagic Franchise and have a protected market to grow a database of good profitable repeat customers. By using OxyMagic’s “working on your business model” you will find out how easy it is to have one, two or even three carpet techs working for you everyday while you enjoy the financial freedom to live your dreams.

Which Means…
You own a rewarding business and not a job. This also means that you can get in on the Oxymagic ground floor opportunity.
• See for yourself the power behind our marketing niche and unique selling proposition to your potential clients.
• See for yourself the income building potential of repeatable residential cash business.
• Get fully trained on our unique Oxygenated Extraction Carpet Cleaning System.
• Leave with a vast wealth of knowledge and proven model to build your own Oxymagic business in your city.

Interested in learning more? Check them out over on our site here!

How to Embrace Change

Whether you are a current franchisee, a future franchisee, or even just a fan of our blog, chances are that you have experienced major changes in your workplace. Changes can cause great anxiety, especially if you are forced to adjust the way you have always approached a situation. Changes in process are often the best way to enhance productivity in business, yet the transition can prove to be troublesome.

We wanted to take this week’s post to discuss dealing with change and the growth contained in the process of change. Most of us operate under the illusion that life remains constant, but in reality, it is always changing. Your business, if it’s growing, is always changing, too.

Based on a study by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), the number one issue facing senior leadership today is “dealing with complex challenges.” Furthermore, studies say that the number one most important competency in shortest supply today is dealing with change. The CCL defines challenges as problems that:

  1. Lack a clearly defined solution
  2. Remain beyond an individual’s or single group’s ability to overcome
  3. Have significant strategic, cultural, environmental, and marketplace impact
  4. Create a paradox of reflection and action
  5. Render traditional solutions ineffective
  6. Demand flexibility and agility as challenges shift seemingly overnight

Being open to change and the lessons within change is no small task. Positive change requires letting go of old patterns and taking a fresh approach. In business, and in life, we must go beyond our preconceived ideas. We have to embrace, rather than resist, the change.

Change in an organization calls for a great deal of communication, specifically from the leaders in the group. What are some important lessons that you have learned about change from your business? Leave comments below!

Perks of Being a Gymboree Franchisee!

For over 30 years, Gymboree Play & Music’s carefully crafted programs have been helping both parents and children to grow young minds. The company has continually developed classes and program content to incorporate cutting edge learning and fitness activities. They strive to bring fun, creativity and friendship to both customers and franchisees alike.

There are more than 700 Gymboree franchises in over 40 countries. As the creator and leader in interactive children’s play, music, art and development programs, Gymboree Play & Music built a business system with an unequalled reputation. The company’s unique approach has created a loyal customer base that continues to grow worldwide. Gymboree franchisees also have the advantage of being part of a rapidly growing Gymboree brand. Gymboree is quickly expanding in U.S. markets and opening new franchises all over the world.  Some existing locations are also for sale.

Want the details?

Key markets are available in the US and internationally.

Gymboree Play & Music Center
Franchise Fee: $45,000
Royalty: 6% of gross receipts
Estimated total investment: $126,000-$270,950

Gymboree Metro Play Center
Franchise Fee: $25,000
Royalty: 6% of gross receipts
Estimated total investment: $77,000- $178,350
If you are interested in learning more, contact us here.

Franchise Profile: Taste Buds Kitchen

Have you been to your local Taste Buds Kitchen yet? Taste Buds Kitchen specializes in fresh and unique cooking events. The franchise has a mission to be the top culinary entertainment experience for kids and families by engaging and delighting budding chefs.

What began as a few holiday baking classes and cupcake making birthday parties, quickly evolved into much more. TBK’s culinary adventures includes an ever-growing variety of classes, parties, camps and special events that combine a well-balanced mix of engaging recipes, both savory and sweet, as we take to the kitchen to sprout taste buds and a good time for all ages.

Taste Buds Kitchen is proclaimed the “Best Kids Cooking Class” by New York Magazine and featured as the must try activity by CBS, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, Fox, The New York Times, Hampton Magazine and more.

Franchise Opportunity

Taste Buds Kitchen provides a great opportunity to own a business that is exciting AND delicious. By joining the Taste Buds Kitchen family, you can capitalize on the popularity of their concept by opening a Kids Kitchen in your community.

The Kitchen
Taste Buds Kitchen is an amazing Kitchen Studio designed and built just for kids.  Tables and chairs adjust for kids and adults of all ages and kitchen utensils are located on lower shelves so that the kids can reach and take part in the whole kitchen experience alongside chef instructors.

With your franchise you will receive a design and construction specification that will give you all the details on how to build your own Taste Buds Kitchen!

You’re in Good Hands

TBK has designed a system to assist their franchisees from the day they sign the franchise agreement through their pre-opening, grand opening, and through the life of the business. Training is held at the corporate kitchen in New York City. The program includes both time in the kitchen and hands on training in important areas such as marketing and sales, administration, operations, customer service, human resources and, most importantly, cupcake decorating.  To assist in creating an environment of success, TBK will provide assistance and sometimes have final approval on the following items Site Selection, Accounting Software and Systems, Content development, Advertising and promotion, Marketing strategies, and Ongoing Branding.

Interested in learning more? Check out http://franchiseclique.com/franchise/Taste-Buds-Kitchen

 

Diversifying the Businesses You Own

Many feel that if managed properly, owning a diverse set of businesses can help insulate against business peaks and troughs in the market. Many wealth planners will generally present diversification models to allow the purchase of multiple asset classes such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Diversification in the franchise industry is different. Franchisees can diversify within a particular industry by acquiring different brands.  Diversifying within the same industry, such as the buying several different restaurant brands, still allows the franchisee to apply the same basic infrastructure to their business.

This strategy of franchising helps spread the risk from a franchisee’s perspective. If the demography of existing brands and new brands are vastly different, there becomes an opportunity to cross-market both products and knowledge. Aziz Hashim, the president and CEO of NRD Holdings, LLC, highlights a smart way to diversify in his recent piece in Franchising World about this topic, stating that “The most effective way to execute a diversification strategy is to identify opportunities in new sectors where the operational complexity is generally lower than the existing operations so as to not dilute the franchisee’s time and focus, where at least some existing infrastructure can be leveraged and ideally where there are natural synergies through complementary service offerings and similar demographic.” Complementary service offerings can play a key role in expanding your opportunities and create growth.

Do you own a diverse set of businesses? We would love to hear feedback from you!

Marketing to the “20-Somethings” of the World

I have been reading recently about a hot topic in marketing and advertising – targeting the Millennial generation. Who is the Millennial generation, you may ask? While there has been some debate over when the generation starts and stops, generally, it is considered those born between 1977 and 1995. Larger than the baby boomers’ 76 million, there are an estimated 80 million Millennials in this group of 18 to 34 year olds.

So from a marketing perspective, how do we target this generation of people ranging from college students to young parents? First off, we must recognize that most Millennials are technology dependent. There are several tips that Susan Glosby from FIT4MOM offered in this past month’s issue of Franchising World magazine offers some advice.

1. Offer ease of access to your information

Most Millennials use their smartphones and other similar electronic devices to access webpages. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and is easy to read for those accessing info via a smartphone. Additionally, make sure you have all the information people are seeking on your site – contact information, sales information, costs of goods – if they can’t find it quickly, they may take their business elsewhere.

2. A sense of involvement and purpose

Millennials are said to care about the purpose and identity of the brands they support more than generations of the past. What does your brand do to make the world a better place? This generation wants to know. Do you promote local volunteering with your franchisees and employees? Do you help educate your community? Do you donate to certain causes as a company? They want to know those things, and are more likely to be a repeat customer if your ideals are in line with their own.

3. Peer value

Use social media to provide peer endorsements! Millennials have the sense that when using technology, they are never truly alone – their peers are always with them. Having Instagram tags, a Facebook page, a twitter account, allows this generation to easily do some of the advertising for you among their friends.

 

What other ways can we appeal to our 20-somethings? Leave your marketing tips in the comments below!

Franchise Profile: Baskin Robbins

Are you looking for a cool franchising opportunity?

Named “#1 Ice Cream & Frozen Treat Franchise” by Entrepreneur Magazine, Baskin-Robbins is the world’s largest chain of ice cream shops. Baskin Robbins has developed over the years to  offer ice cream and frozen desserts with creative cones, unique cakes, specialty desserts, frozen beverages and take-home treats. They also offer BRight Choices®, a line of better-for-you options including fat-free, dairy-free, no sugar added and light ice creams.

Reasons to Invest

  • Simplistic operations with convenient operating hours
  • Multiple revenue streams – in-store, take home, cakes and beverages
  • 95% brand awareness with a multi-million dollar national advertising program
  • Flexible real estate options
  • First-rate product innovation and new product pipeline
  • World-class training and support

Baskin Robbins can be opened in a traditional storefront with a floor plan usually between 800-1,500 square feet, or in non-traditional venues such as gas and convenient stores, universities, airports, mall food courts, and stadiums. To learn more about Baskin Robbins and available franchising opportunities, check out Baskin Robbins over on Franchise Clique.

Traditional Media and Content Marketing

It probably comes as no surprise that the printed newspaper and magazine industries are shrinking. Less and less people are reading printed articles, and more and more are turning to online media for their news. It is interesting to learn in recent studies that the trust of your targeted audience may be diminishing as well. Recently in a Gawker.com article, an executive from Chipotle said that Millennials “are skeptical of brands that perpetuate themselves.”

There is a decreasing number of future customers who have no desire to see commercials or ads that they don’t believe are true. Traditional marketing strategies as a whole just don’t seem to be getting the job done anymore when it comes to younger generations. With social media, we are bombarded daily with a surplus of news, opinions, and advertisements. The key to successful public relations strategies now is understanding what to share and how to share it.

Which leads to content marketing.  Content marketing is created when a company develops its own content in the form of articles, blogs, or videos featuring the business. The content must be professional, honest, and not self-serving. Bloggers, specifically, are becoming increasingly credible and popular influencers and can help drive products while not appearing as self-promoting as other forms of advertising.

What is your business doing to reach you target audience? Leave comments below!

How Creative Initiatives Can Fuel Growth

Through challenging economic times, franchisors have developed new ways to fuel growth and development in their business. When it comes to finding qualified, well-funded prospects for franchising, usually portals, franchise consultants, and advertising & networking all are strong factors in growing a franchise. Lead-generation sites, like Franchise Clique, play a huge role in connecting qualified clients to franchisors and consultants. Beyond these necessary tactics, franchisors are branching out further, and bringing creative ideas to development.

From the patterns I’ve observed, this is happening in several ways. Parent companies of franchising brands are now taking new approaches to their stores – in locations that offer opportunities for food-court style eating, such as hospitals, malls, and airports where normally one brand would be placed in a store, developers are bringing three or four of their brands to the same location. Both dual-brand storefronts and co-branded store partnerships are certainly on the rise in the franchising market. Providing two goods or services in one location offers customers more of a variety, and targets a wider range of customers altogether.

In addition to multi-brand locations, I continue to see a growth in social enterprise within the franchise industry. Non-profit organizations such as Affordable Homes of South Texas, Inc., Dale Rogers Training Center, and the National Christian Foundation are all teaming up with major franchises like Great Clips, Papa Murphy’s, and Blimpie, bringing franchisee profits straight to these organizations.

These partnerships are doing well because they solve fundamental issues that both franchisors and non-profits face. On one hand, franchisors benefit because they are launching a new location, which is owned and managed by a non-profit group that possesses strong and favorable community reputation, while on the other,  the non-profit benefits because it is buying into proven concepts and corporate office teams who are invested in their success. It truly is a win-win.

What are other ways you have seen franchisors creatively fuel growth? Leave your comments below!

Three Tips for Growth in a Sluggish Economy

  1. LEADERSHIP IS PRICELESS.
    Any growing business needs a strong leader. This holds true especially when a business is struggling. Senior management should play on the strengths of other team members to reinvent old ways and pull from outside sources to evaluate what is and what is not working. As a leader, it’s important to be transparent and honest about the financial stability of the system, yet remain optimistic that positive changes can be made to face economic conditions head on.

2. ACT LOCALLY
National and global goals are certainly something to aspire to; however, market share is won at the local level. A successful and motivated franchisor helps franchisees get active with local businesses, schools, and charitable       organizations. Having a strong brand in a local market can build reputation and lead to potential growth opportunities.

3. LOYALTY IS EVERYTHING
Customer loyalty is crucial during tough financial times. Along with a high-quality product, it is just as necessary to give your customers an awesome experience, consistently. To provide loyalty incentives to your customers is a win, win. For example, this year, the Marco’s Pizza franchise received more than 27 percent of new restaurant applications from Marco’s Pizza customers. Additionally, 30 percent of applications came from referrals of existing owners who sought to share franchise opportunities with ambitious entrepreneurs.

Thanks to Franchising World Magazine‘s January issue for some of this week’s content! Check out more here!