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Spring Clean Your Business In Preparation to Sell

There are numerous reasons why you may want to sell your business. It might simply be that you want to move onto something new. You may have decided to retire. Or you might think the future of your company is better served by new investment or different management. This is particularly relevant in areas such as franchise resales.

Selling a business, of course, is one thing. Actually getting it right is another thing entirely. If you want to sell your business for a good profit, then first you need to make sure it is worth it.

Is it the Right Time?

There’s often an optimum time to sell a business. It’s worth getting professional advice about the true worth of your company – a third party review of your assets and processes can not only be very revealing it can also give you a pathway to putting in the changes that increase your attractiveness to potential buyers and improve your ability to obtain a higher asking price.

One thing you need to ask is whether it’s the right time for you as a business owner. This is a judgement call but one which is quite important in the whole equation. The other issue to consider is if the industry conditions are good for getting a strong sale.

Get Your Books in Order

No business or individual buyer worth their salt will consider your company if the accounts are not transparent. Most will want to look at least the last three years of books and this needs to be formally laid out for them. The better your books look, the more likely you are to create a favourable impression. A review of your accounting procedures could well highlight areas where you could improve and make your business appear more attractive.

Keeping Your Business Clean

Any potential buyer will want to know that there are few, if any, underlying problems that might have to be handled in the future. Again this comes from having transparency about how you and possible franchisees conduct your business. That includes all written documentation concerning any contractual arrangements. It will also include details of any other relationships such as property leases and supplier information.

Is Your Business Growing?

Potential buyers aren’t going to be interested in a business that is stagnating. If you are too dependent on one particular customer or there isn’t the option to expand that makes an increase in profits realistic, then you may find that interested parties are few and far between. Another problem could be how much the business depends on you as an individual. This can be off putting because you are soon going to be exiting the scene. Putting in the processes that address this prior to going for sale can make a big difference to how attractive your business is and that often means handing over responsibility to your best employees.

In essence, potential buyers will look at:

  • Your track record and the potential for future development.
  • Your brand and how it fits into the market place.
  • The experience of staff currently on board.
  • The marketing support you provide to enable your franchisees to succeed.

Giving a shout out about how your business has a good track record and is set for expansion will appeal to potential buyers. When there is a prime opportunity to expand, buyers will not only be able to find new and exciting markets but also access services like bank loans to push their growth model forward.

How your business looks and it’s potential for the future is what largely determines the price that you will eventually be paid. Having the right team in place to make sure that your franchise resale looks as good as it can is important. For most business owners, getting an outside, professional review of the franchise and how much it is truly worth is the first place to start.

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Your Favourite Store Could Well be a Franchise

Most people don’t realise the brand name shop they are walking into is actually a franchise. It’s become a more popular way of operating a business model in recent years but has actually been around for centuries.

From MacDonald’s burgers and Subway sandwiches to your local opticians or favourite pub chain, many companies use the franchise process to expand their brand at a lower cost than normal. In the process, they provide great opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to run their own business.

The key to a franchise is that you get a licence to use a particular company’s brand and trade openly under their name. For instance, if you decide to take on a Domino’s Pizza franchise, you are allowed to use all their branding, products and sales processes and essentially operate as one of their outlets although you are a business owner in your own right.

To do this, of course, you need to invest your own money in the business. How much will depend on the franchise opportunity being offered. In return, you get access to support and the supplies you need to run the business successfully, as well as ongoing training to develop your entrepreneurial skills.

People choose to take on a franchise because there is less risk compared to starting a business from the ground up. You are involved with a brand that already has a track record and has shown its potential to succeed. There is normally an upfront cost to pay and then ongoing payments for things such as stock as well as employee wages to cover. Some budding entrepreneurs use running a franchise as a stepping stone to finally developing their own business idea.

Some of the most popular franchise opportunities today come through easily recognisable household names. These include fast food companies such as KFC and Pizza Hut, gym services like Premier Sport and Anytime Fitness and car hire businesses like Europcar. But it’s not just big names that are involved in franchising. There are literally hundreds of franchise opportunities available across a range of different industries, companies with a proven track record who are now looking to expand.

Taking on a franchise is, like any business development, a pretty big undertaking even if it does have less risk associated with it. It’s not just the initial investment in the franchise but a case of choosing the right fit which works for you as an individual. Most franchisees look for people with the potential to expand their brand – they are often willing to give you the training and support you need as long as you meet their profile.

It’s not simply a question of finding entrepreneurs who have the money to invest. After all, there is a brand and a reputation to protect so franchisors want someone coming on board who is more likely to succeed than not. In other words, they want a business owner who will enhance their reputation, not damage it.

The Franchise Professionals have an ILM recognised seminar specifically designed to enable you to find out more about becoming a business owner as a franchisee. click her to find out more

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Can you earn your current corporate salary from day one of starting a business?

Something that I seem to come up against all the time is people coming out of corporate employment and want to be their own boss but still earn their corporate salary.

 

So, is that even possible? the answer is yes of course it is. However, you are going to need to have pretty deep pockets to earn a big salary from day one.  Let’s say you earn 100k now and you want to earn that by starting your own business, the best way to start is by buying an existing one. This then gives you a head start by already having customers and cash flow from day one.

 

Now that doesn’t have to be a franchise, it can be a stand-alone business, however we all know the benefits of buying a franchise!! especially when you are coming out of a corporate environment. So what better way to buy a business than to buy a franchise resale. Not just an existing business with customers and cash flow from day one but the support, knowledge & expertise of a franchisor who knows how to grow a business quickly.

 

A big myth that I’d like to dispel here and now is that franchise Resales are failing businesses, it’s not true, like any business franchises can and do fail, but there are so many other reasons for selling any business including a franchise.

 

So back to my main point; if you want a business that will earn you 100k, then you really need to be looking at the purchase price and the profit margin. There is no easy answer to this, it’s not easy to say what the profit margins should be because different sectors and even businesses in the same sector will vary because the overheads and the costs of sales will vary.

 

So actually, you might need to invest 800k in a business to earn 100k. You need to do your due diligence on the business to find out what it’s making.   On the point of due diligence, it’s worth pointing our here that people tend to wake up in the mornings and decide to sell their business with very little preparation. The accounts might look bad, because they have employed a good accountant to keep their tax liability down.  So, you might only need a business that is £300k. Are you catching my drift?

 

We all know a business is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. So, you want to earn your 100k? you have come out of the corporate world with a nice pay off or have some savings and you have £30k cash to spend.  What do you do? A bank could lend up to 70% depending on the Brand and your individual credit rating. So, with 30k cash, the bank will lend you 70k, you have to take into account working capital and any extra fees a franchisor will charge on top of the business selling price. So based on what I have said about profit margins that means you will have an income of around 25-33k in your first year. So ask yourself, do I need to earn £100k in the beginning or will a lower income suffice to begin with if it gives you a better work life balance? of course this is a guesstimate and not based on anything in particular, but I hope it’s given you some quick food for thought when you are looking at the earnings aspect of buying a business.

Michael

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The Advantages of Attending a Franchise Event

Whether you are thinking of investing in a franchise or are running one already, attending a franchise event can be a great way of meeting like-minded people, getting to know your subject better and exploring new and exciting opportunities.

  1. You Get to Talk to the Experts

You can get all the advice in the world but if it doesn’t come from the experts, how much use is it? At franchise exhibitions, you can be sure that the people you are talking to are all running successful, profitable franchises. At the bigger events like the bfa exhibitions you can meet a range of experts from all sectors, across all industries and get the right information you need to make more informed decisions.

  1. Franchise Clinics

Franchise events generally involve walk-in clinics where you can get specific advice about how to go about investing as well as how to get involved with the best franchise. That can mean getting the heads up on things like financing, choosing the right franchise that fits your skill set and the pitfalls to avoid if you want to be successful.

  1. Seminars and Real Life Experience

Franchise events also hold seminars on specific issues relating to the industry, all of which can be very useful to the budding franchisee. You get to listen to real-life stories that can help build your confidence and point you in the right direction. With guest speakers who are at the top of their game, you also get the opportunity to quiz them about all aspects of investing in a franchise.

  1. Learn About the Latest Developments

Whether it’s help with funding or finding out what’s hot and what’s not, a visit to a franchise event can help you discover a whole lot of information you can’t find anywhere else. Like most industries, franchising doesn’t stand still and there are always innovations and new ways of thinking coming to the fore. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening, then these are the events to attend.

  1. A Great Place to Network

Not only are there plenty of experts at a franchise exhibition, you’ll be able to talk with and get to know other people who are thinking about investing. These can be individuals from all walks of life and with a variety of interests who can help you make up your mind which direction you are going to take.

For those offering a franchise, an event such as this also provides the opportunity to meet and get to know potential high quality franchisees. It’s an opportunity for them to show why they think their brand is suitable for investing in and what potential franchisees can get out of a partnership with them.

The next big one, the National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham, starts on 30th September and runs through to 1st October 2016. All the exhibitors are quality accredited franchise brands and there are some big names amongst them, including McDonalds.

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The Benefits of Buying a Franchise

There are many people who dream of being their own boss and running a business. Go online and you’ll find plenty of stories of entrepreneurial success – simple ideas that have taken off and made their creators successful. It’s a big move though. Going out on your own is fraught with dangers, however, even in today’s hi-tech world where we have so many business tools available.

Buying a franchise is one option that many budding entrepreneurs consider as an alternative. It provides a way of running your own business with an already proven product. You also get the support you need which, while it doesn’t guarantee success, gives you a good chance of making it if you put in the work and have the right attitude.

A Ready Made Business Model

Choose the right franchise to buy into, and you have a business with a proven track record, a strong, recognised brand and a loyal customer base. It gives you a big leg up compared to starting a business of your own from scratch and the effort you need to put in to get traction in a competitive market place. The way business is done in a franchise has already been mapped out for you including the look and feel of the product and how it is marketed to customers.

Training and Support

One of the key factors in going it alone is learning the skills and developing the business acumen that lead to success. For many new entrepreneurs with start-ups this can be an extremely sharp development curve and mistakes can often be costly – that’s why a large number of new business fail within their first year.

A good franchise opportunity comes with the right training and support that is tailored to your needs. They’ll be able to identify where you need to develop your skills and provide the kind of help that many start-up entrepreneurs can only dream of. With all that experience and assistance to fall back on there’s obviously more chance of success with a franchise. Don’t forget, a good franchisor will only choose those people who have the potential to help grow and promote the company – it’s not just a simple question of attracting people who are willing to pay to use their brand. That’s not in their interest.

Lower Risk, Great Returns

Because you’re buying into a proven product or service, the risks of failure are certainly lower. If you have the right drive and determination and pick the appropriate franchise that matches your entrepreneurial character, then you should rightly expect to succeed.  In return you get the independence that you would expect from running a small business with the financial benefits which go with that. You might also find it easier to get finance to run a proven franchise rather than one that is being started from the ground up.

You don’t need to have experience of running a business yourself to own a franchise and it gives you the chance to learn and develop your entrepreneurial skills ‘on the job’ as it were. What franchise companies are often looking for is the determination and ability to succeed rather than a proven entrepreneurial track record per se. That’s what makes it an ideal place to start for people who want to step out into the business world and blaze their own trail.