Some of the best advice I can give to you if you’re looking to someday own a franchise business is to look at industries that are growing. The pet industry is one of them, and I have the stats to prove it. The pet industry is huge....and it continues to grow, with or without a strong economy. Not many industries can claim to do that. But, is that reason enough for you to consider owning a business in the pet industry? Pet Industry Statistics Take a look at how much money U.S. pet owners spend on their pets, year in and year...
If you don’t plan your business because you don’t need a formal business plan document for a loan application or investors, you’re missing out. Planning is a tool for steering and managing your business – something that benefits all businesses, whether they need the formal document or not. That fear and doubt so many business owners have (are you one of them?) is associated with several dangerous myths about business planning. So I want to dispel those myths with this post. 1. It’s about the management, not the...
Employees are one of your biggest assets, even though they don’t appear on your balance sheet. They help you operate your business and are the faces of your company brand. But employees can also be a big liability if they steal from you. What can you do to protect yourself? Acknowledge the problem *Recent statistics found that companies lose 5% of their revenues each year to employee fraud. Companies with fewer than 100 employees had 28% higher fraud losses than larger companies. Fraud can take many forms, including outright theft of...
You’ve probably heard the adage that “keeping an old customer is cheaper than converting a new one.” But just how much cheaper is it? According to survey data presented in the new SCORE Infographic out this month, securing a new customer is six to seven times more expensive than keeping an existing one. And loyal customers are worth up to 10 times the amount of their first purchase! Given these findings, it becomes obvious that customer loyalty is a worthwhile goal for your business to aspire, not only for marketing and...
When you apply for a new credit line or request a credit limit increase for your business, suppliers, creditors and lenders want to see how your company has handled its existing credit obligations in the past. This enables them to determine if they should approve your request and to help determine what terms they should offer. Lenders often use business credit scores to help them assess the level of risk a company presents. Business credit scores are calculated based on the information in a company’s credit report. In most cases, higher...
Does your small business have a marketing plan? A study by Marketo shows that companies with a documented marketing plan are more likely to be satisfied with their marketing efforts. As you might expect, however, smaller companies are less likely than large ones to have marketing plans. Overall, slightly more than one-third of the companies polled don’t have a marketing plan. But only 56 percent of small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) have one, while among companies with over 1,000 employees, 81 percent have one. Marketing plans...
It’s been years since I was making a real living off of business plan consulting (I migrated to business plan software instead), but I had an exchange last week that reminded me of one of the biggest problems – and most common misunderstandings – related to business plans. Not that you, in your situation, should never hire a business plan writer, consultant or coach. In some cases that’s a good idea. But let me explain that after I tell this story. One of my first engagements in business planning was as business plan...
When you need help to run your business, you have to decide whether to hire an employee or outsource the work to an independent contractor. For the most part, independent contractors are on their own when it comes to taxes, insurance, and retirement savings. In contrast, employees are largely your responsibility for these costs. You’re free to opt for the arrangement that works better for your business. But you can’t simply attach a label to a worker and make it stick; it all depends on the degree of control that you exercise. Here...
It’s easy to do. It’s easy to search for a franchise. Looking for a franchise...or even a couple of franchise opportunities to investigate isn’t hard. There’s no pressure. You’re just “looking.” It only starts to get difficult after you find one or two franchise concepts that actually make sense to you. I’m talking about franchises that you can “see” yourself owning. Let The Fun Begin A lot of things happen internally when you start to see franchise opportunities that you can...
With the summer season right around the corner, you may be considering hiring extra hands to help out in your business, perhaps some of the first employees you’ve taken on in your venture. Even if you’re a seasoned employer, it’s always advisable to take stock of how you’re doing as a manager and how you might be able to improve in ways that will benefit your business overall. Just in the nick of time, Daniel Kehrer, founder and managing director of BizBest Media Corp., offers “6 Tips and Tactics for Hiring...
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