Why Didn’t I Think of That? 10 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Franchise

Looking to start a new venture in the franchising world? Remember “Ask Why Before You Buy!

What we mean by this is, before buying a new franchise, there are several things you should ask the franchisor.  These questions can give you a lot of insight into what you can expect as part of this franchise. 

1. What initial services do you offer? This will let you know the level of involvement you can expect from the franchisor to help you get your new franchise off the ground.  

2. What assistance do you provide in obtaining finance?  Starting a franchise can be expensive, so knowing whether or not you can expect some help from the franchisor is important.  

3. What help will I receive in arranging local advertising and promotions? Are there standard promotions (radio spots, print ads, etc.) available for my use?  Advertising can be a big upfront expense, so it is important to know if you will need to budget for your own advertising campaign or the franchisor offers assistance in this area.   

4. Can you give me specific examples of problems that your franchisees have faced and how you have been able to help them? This question will help you find out how the franchisor supports franchisees. The franchisor should be able to provide examples about how a franchisee in need was helped.  

5. What can you tell me about some of your franchisees that have been very successful?  What about those who have not had great success?  Knowing what has worked in the past (and what hasn’t) will be very beneficial in developing your business plan.  

6. What kind insurance must I have? Do you have an arrangement with a broker or a company offering special rates?  Again, this is another expense that you may have to include in your budget.  

7. Do you provide ongoing training in the form of workshops, conferences, seminars, regional meetings, refresher or advanced courses?  Knowing that your franchisor will continually be offering support and guidance can put you at ease when you are starting a new franchise.  

8. What is the day-to-day business like for your franchise? This important, often overlooked, question will let you know what you can expect on a daily basis as a franchisee.  

9. What employee characteristics are typically found among employees at one of your franchises?  Employees are often the face of a business, so knowing what characteristics to expect could be important to your decision.  

10. What are relationships like between the franchisees Knowing if there is a familial feeling among the franchisees or heavy competition is an important dynamic to understand before becoming a part of a franchise. 

Starting your own business is exhilarating in itself, but it’s even better when you have an experienced support team by your side that has been there before, knows the many different aspects of the small business landscape, and can offer guidance every step of the way. 

That’s the High Touch High Tech (ht2) franchise advantage!

High Touch High Tech is a brand with global exposure and appeal; a dependable, rewarding and profitable home-based franchise opportunity. Our franchisees provide a variety of fun, entertaining and educational science experiences to children in schools, preschools, camps, libraries, community centers, and private homes; ultimately, wherever children are found in their communities. These highly sought-after innovative and engaging educational programs are easy to deliver.

We offer you a unique opportunity to build a successful business while contributing to your community. Get started today with your franchise by teaching science fun to children. Our services are in high demand. Teachers, parents, school administrators, businesses and government have vested interests in enriching children’s science experiences. High Touch High Tech franchisees realize the benefits of providing programs that make science fun, and accessible.

Why reinvent the wheel when High Touch High Tech has a proven track record and a recognized brand? Take our successful concept and combine it with your talents to inspire the scientists of tomorrow. Get started by going to http://sciencemadefunfranchise.net/.

4 Factors to Consider When Selecting a Franchise

Understanding the facts and guiding criteria to identify the right business type and brand!

 

There are many good reasons to pursue your dream of owning a successful franchise. For starters when you buy a franchise, the idea and the process of running this business have already been proven. However, owning a franchise doesn’t guarantee success, but it does minimize the risk. 

After understanding the facts, and looking at the guidelines, responsibilities and obligations of franchising, aspiring franchises need to do a self assessment to determine whether this form of entrepreneurship is for them or not, suggests Kevin B. Hicks, a partner with Blackman & Associates, a franchise consulting firm with offices in New York and Atlanta, which provides advisory and acquisition services for individuals and companies. Blackman & Associates identify viable and lucrative franchise opportunities for both startups and existing businesses.

Whether it is a food concept or business service concept, there is a litmus test and guiding criteria you can use to select a business type and brand. Hicks, who has also been a multiple unit owner of several food franchise concepts, shares four minimum factors one should consider in choosing a franchisor’s brand that is right for you.

 

1. Skill: There are some franchises in specific professions or where certain skill sets increase the prospect for success, says Hicks. For example, a mechanic and Midas Muffler; an educator and High Touch High Tech;  a real estate agent and a ReMax or Century 21 office. If you are outgoing, affable, and service oriented, you may do well with a food concept, Hicks says. “If you are good with math, you may do well in a Jackson Hewitt or Liberty Tax Service franchise.”

2. Interests: There are franchises that present opportunities for individuals to pursue their personal passion or interests. Cooking and food service (Subway, T.G.I Friday’s), cleaning (Coverall, Molly Maid), fitness (Anytime Fitness, Curves), hair styling (Supercuts), floral arranging (1-800-Flowers), massage therapy (Massage Envy), traveling (Travel Advisors), pets (Petland), real estate (Hilton hotels), staffing services (Express Personnel), health or nutrition (GNC) or child related (High Touch High Tech Science Made Fun)

3. Need: One of the most desirable features of franchising is that these businesses provide a high quality standard of goods and services. Hicks notes that in many lower income communities there is a lack of quality goods and services. For example, he cites an area in Southeast Washington, DC. “Through the advocacy of my firm and that of a corporate support manager at IHOP, Nicole Durham-Mallory, IHOP approved a Black franchisee (a professional athlete and police officer) who opened a new restaurant in the district of the current Councilman and former DC Mayor Marion Berry, an area where there had not been a new sit down restaurant for twenty years. Because of the support of CouncilmanBerry and the success of that restaurant, two other family style franchise brand restaurants are slated to open in the area in the next twelve months.

Hicks points out that service/gas stations, convenience stores, car repair shops, computer repair shops, and enrichment centers are examples of much needed franchise services in lower income communities. As well as After School & educational service providers such as those tied to the ever-growing STEM movement like High Touch High Tech-Science Made Fun. Moreover, many of these areas are now becoming gentrified, with new residents in need of service brands that they are accustomed to such as dry cleaners (Tide, 1-800-DryClean), shoe shine shops (Heel Quik), mail box and packaging services (UPS Stores), housekeeping services (Molly Maids, Home Helpers), and exterminator services (Terminix).

“So, part of your franchise selection should include researching what goods and services are needed in area neighborhoods,” adds Hicks. If there are many kids in the neighborhood, you may consider a child related franchise such as High Touch High Tech – Science Made Fun

4. Earning Potential: Another key consideration when selecting a franchise, much like any other investment, is how much you would like to make monetarily. Different franchises have different earning potential. “If you are just looking to supplement your household income, then maybe you pursue a cleaning, tax, or daycare concept, a home based or part time franchise businesses,” Hicks explains. “If you are looking to replace a salary, then you may want to look at other concepts that provide greater income.”

How do you determine what a franchise makes? Several methods to do so are earnings claim statements that can be found in franchisor’s disclosure documents, interviews/conversations with current franchisees, and discussion boards.   

To explore franchise opportunities across segments (food, service, education, etc.) as well as get background information, visit the International Franchise Association‘s website. The IFA’s Franchise Opportunities Directory  is a database of more than 1,100 franchise systems searchable by industry, keyword, start up cash, total investment, and other criteria.


To learn more about fun business opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

Simple Steps to Effective Marketing

A favorite adage of my college journalism professor was this: “Assume the reader knows nothing, but don’t assume the reader is stupid.” In other words, deconstruct the complex to make it easily understood, but don’t dumb it down. In my years since school, I’ve realized the wisdom of that approach applies not just to journalism, but to business & marketing too.

Products and services can be complex. Your job as a marketer is, in part, to make the seemingly impenetrable easily understood, to lose the corporate terminology and convey your business’s value in human, accessible terms. Human terms may stir up passion on the part of the reader. So be genuine! Perhaps it is the story about how the business began?

High Touch High Tech – Our Story

Businesses that develop buyer personas for their products or services exemplify the “keep it simple” mantra. A buyer persona is a representation of the type of consumer you believe will be interested in what your company is selling. The idea is to address customers’ wants and needs directly–speaking to their specific pain points from their specific points of view. More broadly, it can be handy to envision intended prospects as people who–like my college prof–demand clarity and simplicity. This will help you to market effectively.

Here’s a checklist of how to keep it simple, without getting stupid.

Speak your customer’s language. Former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt once said, “If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen [then you must speak German].”

How do your customers describe your products? What words do they use? Be sure to use the same ones. You might refer to your online educational program as “professional services development,” but if your prospects are searching for “training” or “virtual seminars,” they won’t be able to find you.

If you can’t directly survey the people you are trying to reach, you can gain insight into their language online: Read the same publications or blogs they do; listen in on conversations on facebook,  twitter, LinkedIn; and use keyword research tools (like Google AdWords or Keyword Discovery) to see exactly what terms people are using in searches.

High Touch High Tech Marketing

Solve problems. Consider the world from your prospects’ point of view: How does what you sell improve their lives? Shoulder their burdens? Ease their pain?

Remember, your value is not in what you do–your value is in what you do for others. So, don’t just talk about your product’s features; rather, talk about what those features can accomplish for your customers. That seems simple enough. (In fact, it’s marketing 101.) But for entrepreneurs who live and breathe their businesses, it can be tricky to view the world via a customer-centric perspective.

Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, preaches that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. So consider how that perspective might alter your explanation of your goods. For example, at High Touch High Tech what we sell is a service that provides hands-on science experiences for kids. But why we sell it is to stimulate the imagination and curiosity of children in science, so that they may develop a lifelong love for science.  With this new passion for science the children are more likely to enter careers in the sciences, engineering, medicine, etc.

High Touch High Tech Mission Statement


Make the customer the hero of your story. The best marketing has a human element to it. Your customers are people, which means they will relate better to your story if it’s somehow about them. Said another way: The more you align yourself with your customers, the more likely you will be to win their hearts (and their business!). Even if you sell something mundane (e.g., toasters) or seemingly intangible (e.g., back-end technology), put the focus on how it can touch people’s lives.

Why High Touch High Tech

Anticipate needs. Higher-ticket purchases can have a very long sales journey–sometimes as long as 18 to 24 months. In such a scenario, your buyer may already be 50 to 85 percent of the way toward a decision when he or she gets in touch with a sales rep, according to some estimates. That means you’ll want to anticipate his or her questions and answer them ahead of time, through the content you create (blog posts, FAQs, e-books, white papers, etc.).

Create marketing content that is honest, empathetic to the needs and wants of customers and seeded with utility. Your marketing content is on the front lines, playing the role a sales rep might have played in the pre-digital era.

So give these rules a go, because doing so can help you market more effectively, which calls to mind another fundamental rule of journalism, and of marketing, and perhaps of life itself: “No one will complain because you made something too easy to understand.”

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.

The Five Broad Strokes of Marketing

A lot of marketing theory confuses people because it’s more complicated than it has to be. While wondrous new technologies can help you in your mission of raising your profits, marketers don’t let those technologies blur that mission. Keeping it simple is a powerful competitive advantage when it comes to speed and profitability.

The seller is happy when the buyer is happy. So make as many buyers happy as you can. That requires quality and service, but that’s why you’re here — and it’s not complicated. It starts out with a defined marketing strategy.

 

The entire process is made up of five broad strokes. Take those strokes and add as many bells, whistles, systems, technologies, apps and economic doodads as you want — but be sure that all five broad strokes are taken. Do that and you’ll never think that marketing has to be anything that Simple Simon couldn’t handle with his right hand tied behind him.

 

1. Listen to find a problem you can solve. The first broad stroke doesn’t require any of your hands — only your ears. The first broad stroke is your ability to listen. Be alert for problems. Be alert in social situations and the social media. Be alert in the attention you pay to the mass media. Are people talking about problems they have, problems that need solving?

Zero in on the problems that don’t yet have solutions. Pick a problem that you can solve. That’s how you respond to opportunity.

2. Pricing the solution. The second broad stroke is determining how much it will cost you to solve that problem. Maybe you can solve it with information and with service. If not, how much will it cost you to make it or buy it? Be very careful with this step, as with all the broad strokes, to overlook nothing. Broad strokes tend to magnify errors, so you don’t want to make even the most minor mistake.

3. Marketing. When you tally the costs of producing your offering, don’t overlook the costs of marketing it. And don’t overlook the necessity to market it.

If you build a better mousetrap, the world won’t beat a path to your door unless they know about that mousetrap. They learn about it from your marketing.

If you’ve come up with a truly nifty solution, the marketing for it will catch wind and fan out to others who have long been searching for a solution. It’s nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you market.

It is now well understood why people patronize the businesses that they do. It’s known that they favor products and services that they trust, a human characteristic that has given rise to a phenomenon called “branding.” Branding helps people trust you. One of the jobs of a marketer is to convince customers to trust his or her offering.

Of course, quality is one of the factors that earn trust. And that’s why it’s part of the third broad stroke. Another factor that gains gobs of trust — and gives the little guy an edge over the big guy — is the ability to service what he sells. Don’t forget that one of your sacred goals is make your customers happy. Terrific service does just that.

4. Service what you sell. Terrific service is not necessarily free for you to provide. And yes, it does require effort. In particular, it requires a person who wants to deliver it and doesn’t do it just because he’s supposed to.

Factor in the cost of service right along with the cost of marketing and cost of goods. But be sure you are engaged in a business that you find worthwhile, or that you are passionate or enthusiastic about. Don’t forget enthusiasm is contagious!

5. Earn profits. The fifth broad stroke is what marketing should be all about. Not sales. Not store traffic. Not turnover. Not responses to an offer. Not hits to a website. Not awards. Not sales records. Not any metric you can name. That fifth broad stroke is profits, what’s left over after you’ve deducted the cost of everything else in your business. No matter how glowing the other numbers in your business may be, it’s the profits that should glow, that keep you in business, that enable you to grow your business, that attract investors, that entice buyers of companies, and that ought to be the prime reason you went into business.

It’s your job to grow healthy profits every year. You owe that to yourself, your employees, your family, and your future. That’s why profits best reflect your success. Profits are elusive. Profits are honest. Profits are hard-earned. But profits are not complicated.

They are the fifth of the five broad strokes of success, and they are crucial to your company’s health. But earning them is not a winding road. Instead it is a straight road, possibly uphill, but always leading to exactly where you envision going.

To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.

High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.