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Entrepreneurship: Get Past the Fear
By Dan Citrenbaum
You know the line about luck happening when opportunity meets preparation. Turns out that bit of wisdom goes all the way back to the ancient Romans, to Seneca, the philosopher and statesman.
Seneca said lots of wise things, but, nowadays, luck too often becomes a handy explanation for why others succeed. You chalk it up to luck and go on wondering why you can’t be lucky, too. Turns out that the only thing lucky about success is the realization that it requires a great deal of preparation and hard work.
So when it comes to feeling fear about putting yourself and your money on the line in a new business, remember, the more you know, the better prepared you are and the more you can reduce your risk.
That’s the beauty of a great franchise system — you can find out everything you need to know before you put a dime of your money on the line. You can learn how much money you will need and how long it might take before you start earning a profit — so you can be sufficiently capitalized for the long run.
To make a good selection requires excellent preparation, from reading background materials to conducting interviews. You also want to consult with the experts: an accountant, a franchise attorney and a franchise coach.
Your preparation should include:
Reading the Franchise Disclosure Document
The Federal Trade Commission requires every franchisor to disclose a list of 23 items to potential franchisees, and the document must be written in plain language. You will find a panoply of information from litigation history, how much your initial outlay will be and the type of training and support that will be provided.
Franchisees, having been in your shoes, have every incentive to tell it to you straight. Would they purchase this franchise again? Are they making money? Have the training, support and franchise system been everything they hoped for?
Meeting with executives of the franchisor
You will meet and speak with multiple executives from those franchises under serious consideration. Assess their competence, their accessibility and the quality of their team. Do you like them? Would you be comfortable working with them over the long term?
When you’re done, you should know:
* How established is the franchise system?
* How good is the franchisor’s support and training?
* What will your total financial outlay be?
* What exactly is involved with the franchise system; Can you comfortably follow it?
* What restrictions and/or rules does the franchisor impose?
* Are most franchisees making a good living and pleased with the franchise?
The process may take a few months, but only by doing your research can you create the conditions to make the perfect match to a franchise that works for you. Your research helps you create an opportunity for success.
About the author