Franchise Guru Blog

Burned Out? Quit Corporate Job

As 2021 winds down and we enter the holiday season, I hope you share the sentiment that there is much to be thankful for, despite another wacky year. We are engaging in person events and those hugs and handshakes are so welcome. 

Have you set new goals for the upcoming year? 

I have.  Although I admit I am building out a lot of “what if” thinking so I can be even more nimble. Now, more than ever, people are reassessing what work satisfaction means. According to the research done by McKinsey & Co, 76% of American workers are suffering burnout. More than half naming Covid-19 as a major contributing factor, though it was on the rise even before the pandemic.

“Both employers and employees are near the breaking point…”

“Employers are struggling to find workers, and employees are stressed at work,” says Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting. “Unfortunately, the workforce situation likely will worsen before it gets better, with one-third of the workforce planning to leave their job soon. The so-called Great Resignation means that employers must start a Great Re-Evaluation, re-thinking everything from their culture to how work gets done.”

The root causes being blamed on burnout are unreasonable workloads, lack of communication, lack of work-life balance, and not enough time to do the job. Burnout was an issue before the sea change of 2020, and now it has boiled over to an unsustainable situation.

There is an alternative to the status quo of working in corporate America for those who find themselves in this situation. The pandemic has opened people’s eyes to life outside the office. Employees know they are more productive with more freedom to work at their will. Add to that the desire to generate more income and you can see why franchise ownership has skyrocketed in 2021. If you want financial freedom, work-life balance, and purpose-driven work in 2022, then franchising may be an excellent option to consider. Questions?  Let’s talk!

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Is Seasonal Franchise Right For You?

Another school year is in full swing, and another summer is long gone. For some business owners, that means their season is winding down, too. Seasonal franchises have some real pros and a few things to consider before you dive in head-first. 

Seasonal businesses are those that are typically operational only during a short timeframe during the year, like landscaping, holiday lights, and taxes. Some are profitable enough that you only need to operate a few months out of the year and take the rest of the year off. While that sounds great, your team better be ready to hustle in season. 

Some entrepreneurs recognize the benefit of complimentary seasonal franchises that operate in different seasons. For example, a painting company could hang holiday lights, or a landscape company could plow snow. This provides year-round work for employees and fewer peaks and valleys for the franchisee. 

If you want to take off the summers or the winters as a franchisee, a seasonal business may be a good option to consider.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have November through March to spend the holidays with family, while marketing kicks into gear to generate immediate revenue when the season starts?  Equally so, tutoring winds down during the summer months, allowing for full-on fun with the family.

Let’s talk about your options and preferences… this is your time to choose! Click here to schedule a conversation.



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Things to Consider Before Buying a Franchise

Owning a Franchise is not a “one size fits all” type of scenario. Everyone has a unique set of skills and tools for running a business, as well as unique financial conditions and family life.  A franchise can be a great job replacement, or a diversification strategy, but no franchise is the right fit for all.

A growing percentage of franchise owners want to own a business with the goal of keeping their career focus while hiring a manager to operate their business on a daily basis. This means the owner has a semi-absentee role as overseer of execution of a proven strategy, which allows them to hire “industry experts” who have the specific training and experience. This freedom allows the owner (you) the ability to grow other business ventures. They utilized the franchise model to open a business with guard rails and a play book, in order to achieve their Goals and Dreams, while keeping the integrity of outside income.

The growth and demonstrated success of these Investor/Executive franchise business models exists alongside the equally proven model of the Owner-Operator franchises.  Some owners are a great fit for the Technician role, and want a business that they are excited to run every day.  It may surprise you how many industries are represented in franchising, and really the options are endless.  That said, no two owners are exactly alike, and that is why, as franchise concepts evolve, they come to know what personality prototypes and skill sets will be most successful as they expand their footprint. 

When we work together, my goal is to help you assess your preferences, skill sets, aptitude, financial capacity, risk profile, and personal goals.  Maybe your management style is to delegate responsibility to skilled and capable employees.  You would be suited to invest less time in the business, and more time ON building your empire.  Others want something simple, fewer moving parts, and will replace their income from a past job by following the recipe and executing a solid system.  It really depends on you, and how you want to spend your time to become financially rewarded, successful, and happy. 

Thanks to the myriad of franchise business models available, there is likely a potential option available to you that will meet your unique requirements. The key is being open minded, willing to try on different roles and responsibilities, until we land on the right one for your personal and professional success. 

Let’s talk, and I will listen to what matters to you.  Together we will research affordable, essential, successful companies, so that the best business for you is truly allowing you to fulfill the ownership role that you will be happy with for years to come. Click here to schedule a meeting.

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How to Find an Essential Franchise

Has the Covid-19 pandemic reminded us of any fundamental best practices beyond “wash your hands”? Indeed it has, and I have an important one for you this month!

People searching for a business ownership investment who have been focusing on essential business are taking to heart the adage “do your homework!” By creating a checklist of the supply and demand fundamentals of the industry, and the underlying need of the specific business solution you are interested in… you will find an answer to the “essential” question.

A recent Forbes article suggested this: find an industry with decades of historical supply and demand and then look for a company that has added state-of-the-art technology to the problem/solution being offered to today’s customer. This sound strategy is a formula for finding a winning business investment that will provide decades of revenue and reward.

A great resource for making an informed business decision on any franchise is to research the trade associations of their industry. As a vocal advocate for the franchising model, and you are on this distribution list because you are considering franchise ownership, I recommend that you spend some time at www.franchise.org. The franchise industry is projected to contribute $494 billion to U.S. GDP in 2020, with over 785,000 establishments, employing over 8.67 million people. Franchising is big business!

While local, state and national government officials struggle to define exactly what an “essential business” is for pandemic purposes, you won’t have to struggle to understand the definition of “essential” if you do your homework and check the underlying supply and demand factors when deciding to become a small business owner. If you want to know more about essential franchises,  click here to schedule a conversation with me. 

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FRANCHISE FOR COVID BUSINESS SUCCESS

Since the start of COVID, which technically began in March 2020, franchise success stories continue to emerge. It is clear that a new category of business description emerged that I call “pandemic-proof.” I used to think that a really solid concept was recession-proof and Amazon resistant, but that clearly isn’t enough.

As a business owner of both franchise and independent opportunities, I immediately felt the pain of the pandemic. One of my investments is a character company, providing on-site entertainment for business and family parties. Anyone holding an in-person event these days? Another past investment was in five locations of Great Clips, a haircare franchise. Again, doors closed. Another one of my companies was deemed “Essential” by the US Government, but Illinois and Wisconsin disagreed and our employees were prevented from working. I know PPP, PPE, and EIDL inside and out!

So where is the Silver Lining?

Now that most municipalities have reopened for business, there are amazing success stories emerging. If you want sexy and hot, get ready. You’ll have to rejigger your thinking to “making money” is sexy.

Here are some of the industries that were already stable and are growing, or growing substantially, during this pandemic:
• Cost Savings for cash-strapped people, like expense reduction of utilities; insulating houses and windows
• Insurance Claims: think Mother Nature storm-related roof, siding or gutter damage; trees down; water damage, etc.
• Human Testing: it used to be random drug testing for work, now it’s COVID testing and antibodies
• Tutoring and Enrichment: young and older, now that in-person education and activities have gone virtual
• Pet care and pet supplies: a lot of dogs were adopted during COVID!
• Junk Removal, Moving, and Storage: for people who cleaned house, or had to downsize
• Home Renovation and Repair: plumbing, electric, HVAC, window treatment, carpeting/flooring
• Outsourcing labor: back-office support has gone virtual; contract and temporary jobs are up.
• Fitness: have you gained the COVID-19? Virtual classes are very effective and memberships are stable.

I run a monthly Franchise Business Owner Networking group that shares best practices. Now that we have moved into a Zoom Economy, I am fascinated to hear how technology has changed the business landscape, how comfortable these owners are leveraging virtual meetings to connect with new and existing customers, and how some of them may not need to go back to in-person meetings in order to remain successful. My owners talk about their Month Over Month, or Year Over Year, growth numbers. When I heard 700-800% year over year gains, I jumped for joy!

It is clear that COVID has NOT disrupted every business, but has strengthened many.

Curious to learn more? #taketheleap

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IS BUSINESS OWNERSHIP WITHIN REACH IN A POST-COVID WORLD?

As states are opening up as COVID subsides, and the riots and looting have stopped in most places, we have greater personal freedom and confidence to venture out and interact.  During lock-down, with periods of great inactivity, potential business owners spent a lot of time on the internet researching Plan B.  Plan B was defined by key-word searches for Business Ownership, Franchise Ownership, Starting A Business.  Initially there was a lot of caution, but there is a huge increase in “taking control” right now!

Franchise companies have demonstrated their ability to pivot, by creating innovative solutions for their franchise owners to satisfy consumer demand while addressing concern over infection/exposure.  There’s nothing like a Pandemic to challenge the old way of doing things and create new-and-improved adaptations.  The reality is that Franchise Companies are doing a much better job of identifying and migrating into the “new normal” than entrepreneurs can.  The reason for that is INFRASTRUCTURE. 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOING SOLO AND ALIGNING WITH A WINNING TEAM

Being an entrepreneur is exciting as you forge a path in a new direction, but it takes a toll you.  You have to handle all aspects of your business in the beginning, and react to bad news, plug the holes, find more suppliers or new customers, and adapt at every turning point just how you do business.  I work with a lot of these entrepreneurs through my Angel Investment Portfolio, and they can tell you the challenges their businesses face today.  Just three months ago, the economy was showing no sign of slowing down.  All business owners are trying to pivot into something that withstands COVID19.  This is a world-wide challenge, and I am sorry to see my solo friends struggling. 

On the flip side, solid franchise concepts have a leadership team in place to assure that each and every franchise owner receives innovative solutions, remains viable, understands new delivery methods and tests new revenue streams, and doesn’t have to do it all him/herself.  There is a fabric, a network of owners, some who are experiencing exactly the same thing, and others who seem insulated.  They have the benefit of sharing their experiences, asking each other for best practices, maintaining a quality experience for consumers of that brand. 

There are a lot of uncertainties, but what most business owners want to be sure about is that they will survive and thrive.  That their business is recession-resistant, or perhaps deemed to be an “essential” product or service.  Franchising is full of essential businesses, but how do you find them?  Leverage the experience of someone like me, with 30 years of investing and business success.  What’s more, I am not talking about food!

SO WHAT IS GOING TO STAND THE TEST OF TIME?

Essential is anything that must be done, or there will be dire consequences.  Think about your home, yard, and car, then add Mother Nature and Human Forgetfulness (and your home-owner’s policy): physical damage from storms, water leaks, HVAC that doesn’t work, locks that need to be unlocked.  These are B2C (Business to Consumer) services, and every home owner knows they need these services.  But equally essential are B2B (Business to Business) services that enable a small business to be recognized, liked, followed.  Services like marketing, social media messaging, back-office support… anything that allows the business owner to focus on the business, not just IN the business.

Everyday that we live with COVID19, reengagement brings new opportunities to be part of the rebuilding of our economy.  Consumers are spending money, and consumers are demanding better options to protect their health.  Wouldn’t it be fun to be a successful business owner, starting now?

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Meg Schmitz

Hello, I’m Meg Schmitz

I’ve helped hundreds of people just like you become franchise owners. I’m your entrepreneurial matchmaker, helping you achieve your goals of business ownership, financial security, and peace of mind.

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