I went to a fascinating class yesterday about franchise agreements. Have you ever read one of these things? Oh my! If you've ever considered investing in a franchise, rule # 1 is: make sure you consult an attorney first!
Most people associate franchises with fast food enterprises, but franchises can be any type of business. Many children's day cares, gyms, chain shops and more are owned by franchisees. What exactly is a franchise?
In a very general sense, A franchise is a license to operate a business developed by someone else. The business is already developed in terms of the products and systems and hopefully, brand recognition. A franchisor has specific investment requirements for new franchisees and many times a particular net worth requirement. The franchisee then obtains documents outlining all of the regulations, fees, royalties and other requirements when opening a franchise. Many of these documents are over 100 pages long and contain very specific details about how the business is to be run by the franchisee. Before agreeing to buy in, make sure you have an attorney thoroughly review the document and explain any terms you don't understand. It's a great way to open a business with much of the mystery removed, but make sure you completely understand the fees and obligations involved.
It's over! Taxes are filed (should be) and refunds or payments are in the mail. What did you learn this tax season? Did you sit down with your accountant and map out next year's tax strategy? If not, why not?
Proper tax planning takes just that...planning. Sitting down with an accountant and maximizing your deductions at the beginning of the year can save you thousands. Plan ahead for next April 15th and make sure you have a clear strategy mapped out for the rest of the year.
Manayunk Roxborough Art Center located at 419 Green Lane (rear) in Philadelphia is offering a special humanities program, " Sarah E. Holmes - Talk on Copyrights & Trademarks" on Monday, April 21 from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Refreshments will be provided.
Are you making a product in your kitchen, basement or garage that you want to launch into stores? I'll give you the nuts and bolts of getting distribution in my upcoming presentation.
This Thursday at noon, sign up for my teleseminar on How to Get Your Products Into Stores. Please register in advance, I will email call-in information 24 hours ahead of time.
For many years, I'd say pretty much as long as I was an employee and not my own boss, I dreaded Sunday nights. I always had this pit in my stomach. It was dread. Dread of getting up and repeating the same routine week in and week out at a job I wasn't totally crazy about.
Despite all the stress and challenges of running my own business, I am totally at peace on Sundays. I don't dread Mondays and I'll tell you what, I'm not living the entire week waiting for Friday night and another weekend. I no longer live my day-to-day life waiting desperately for my next vacation. I do miss being able to leave for a vacation worry free because someone else would be picking up the slack while I was away, but the trade off of being at peace every day is worth it.
If you're dreading Monday on Sunday night and living for the weekends, it's time to ask yourself how you can change that. Is it by opening your own business? Getting a different job? Changing your hours? Whatever it is, live is too short to only live it on weekends.
I've had some frightening conversations lately with people who want to start a business. One of the most disturbing trends I've seen is people who are in essence starting their business backwards. That is, they refuse to protect themselves in the proper way because their business isn't "making any money yet." Let me tell you, liability doesn't wait for you to make money.
I get several calls a week from people who inquire about setting up an LLC or other entity to shield themselves from potential liability. Great idea, right? Except at the end of the conversation, the business owner tells me they're not going to set up an LLC or get business insurance yet because their business is not yet "making any money." Listen people, anyone that thinks they are going to start a business without spending any money should probably not start a business. Even a service-based business where you work from home is going to require some money. Certain business expenses should not wait until the business is profitable. If you are doing some due diligence or proof of concept and trying to determine if a business idea is viable, obviously don't start spending tons of money setting up corporate entities and buying insurance, but if you are in a business your liability exposure will not wait for you to make money.
Another great list from Business Insider about the best Blogs, Books and Conferences for Entrepreneurs.
Business conferences can add up quick if you're not careful. Ask prior attendees if they had a good experience before committing dollars to a new event, especially if travel is involved. What business books are you currently reading?
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way.