Starting a Franchise: Buy New or Established?

If you’re looking for a great launch pad to owning a small business, a franchise can be an ideal place to blast off. We’ll help you reduce the hemming and hawing over whether to buy a new or existing franchise.

Becoming a franchisee can be a great path to entrepreneurship. Franchisees leverage the strength of an established brand and a tried and true business model while the franchisor serves as a source of capital—an asset that is particularly welcome in today’s tight fiscal atmosphere. So how should you become a franchisee? Should you start fresh or set the quick trajectory of buying an business from a seasoned franchise entrepreneur?

Opting to Buy an Existing Franchise

There is a general sense among buyers that investing in an existing franchise location is easier. That may or may not be the case,
depending on the specifics of the location, but it’s true that there are several pluses of investing in an existing franchise as you chart the steps to purchasing a franchise: 

1. History

An existing franchise opportunity can be a turnkey business acquisition. It’s already been in operation so the seller can demonstrate a performance history showing profitability as well as concrete numbers that will help you figure out it’s cash flow and make project future performance. These are two key elements in assessing value. 

2. Flexibility

There my very well be a set fee structure for new franchise locations, which will impinge on the buyer’s ability to negotiate on terms or price. But buying a franchise business for sale puts you right across the table from the seller with more ability to negotiate the terms and maximize the return on your investment.

3. Client Base

An established and loyal client base is a massive benefit for a franchise entrepreneur. Existing franchise business for sale strikes a quick route for new owners to take advantage of an established customer since the franchise brand gives customers a sense of consistency, tapping into memories of positive experiences with the franchise brand. 

Reasons to go with a New Franchise

With a new franchise location, you take on higher risks along with higher rewards. While every franchise business opportunity is different, new franchisees often find out that building a new location provides merits that simply aren’t available with an existing operation: 

1. Lower Purchase Price

New franchise companies for sale are often a better deal because you aren’t buying existing cash flow from an established customer base and you aren’t paying for “goodwill” value often expected by sellers of existing franchises. If the new franchise is successful, you’ll reap the financial benefits of the franchise history, not the seller.

2. Tabula Rasa

A new business offers a fresh start to buyers; a franchise business opportunity unaffected by the habits, preferences and/or flaws of a previous owner. Although you’ll have to put your nose to the grindstone to forge your business in an untried community, you don’t have to worry about skeletons popping out from closets of previous businesses.  

3. Pristine Infrastructure

When you buy a new franchise, it’s likely that your equipment and facilities will also be new or at least newer than they would be if you bought an existing franchise. Out of date equipment isn’t always a deal-breaker, but in some sectors it’s important to ensure that the business has reliable machines and current designs.

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.

Franchisee Technology Wish List

Even the most technology resistant among us are coming to realize, through constant bombardment by its bombs of influence, that the explosion of technology has become one of the most important factors to success in business. Franchisees will benefit greatly from association with a franchisor who leverages technology to maximum effect.

Here’s are several franchise-crucial web and other technologies:

1. Training

The primary value to be gained from a franchise is access to the unique ideas and processes which constitute the core of the service or product that it sells. And the most direct and effective way of gaining access to and quick experience with that value is thorough, experience-based franchise training. Hands-on training gives franchisees what they need to “hit the ground running,” drastically reducing startup time and delays in earning first dollars.

Staff Training

2. Websites

An impressive web site sits at the core of franchisee online marketing efforts. Social media, email campaigns, pay-per-click campaigns, and paid advertising will likely be focused on getting people to visit the company web site where they can be monetized through sales channels. Prospective local customers need to be able to easily find local franchisees on the main corporate site.

 Franchise Locations

 

3.  Online knowledge platform

An information-packed private intranet is the go-to place for all franchisees, new and old. Technology how-to’s, operations manuals and more can be found on a system like this, saving lots of time for both franchisees and franchisors. Franchisees won’t need to call or email the franchise’s corporate office for every issue they’re experiencing, which can free up the franchisor’s support staff for the big stuff.

Intranet – Resource Center

4.  Social media marketing

It’s important that visitors to your web site have access to the remarkable phenomenon of social media through “share” buttons which allow them to easily post on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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.


Franchisee Screen Sharing with join.me

A free tool has emerged that can be used for a wide range of franchise communcations, including rich interactions for marketing support and technology support. Join.me is compatible with all recent versions on Mac and Windows platforms.

Up to 10 participants can join a franchise or franchisee hosted conference held on any users computer using the Request Control feature. Participants logging in to the host or “client” computer will see real time displays of programs in use just as if they are sitting at that computer. As you can imagine, this opens up a bunch of possiblilites for brainstorming, presentations, and problem solving to foster improved support and communication for your entire franchise system.

Here are the steps to get started:

1) Download/install/launch applet on computer to be joined or “client” computer

2) Connect with another computer or “remote” computer To do this, you simply go to join.me and enter the number displayed on the join.me program on the client computer. (see below)

 

3) View documents and features of the client computer from the remote computer, or use the Meeting Tools menu to Request Control of the the client. (see below)

 

4) The client allows remote control (see below).

 

5) After the client authorizes the control request, you can use all of the features of the client from the remote computer.

6) Now you can send files and interact with up to 10 participants using the free version

Note: apps are available for iPad and iPhone (see below).

 

Here’s a summary of features for the free and pro versions:

join.me Free

• up to 10 meeting participants

• screen sharing

• internet calling

• share control

• multi-monitor

• chat

• send files

viewer: iPad/iPhone or Android

 

join.me Pro

all the goodies in the free version, plus:

• up to 250 meeting participants

• annotation

• unified audio & international conference lines

• presenter swap

• pro desktop app

• personal link & background

• meeting scheduler

• meeting lock

• user management & reporting

• window sharing presenter: iPad

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.

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 Must of Social Marketing

Playing Along

Like it or not, the web is a world of appearance and trends wielding enormous and growing influence on what we consume, with social marketing riding the crest of this wave. The way to set your franchise business apart from competing interests is not to stay home. Join the pack and get in the game!

Skyrocket Web Visits with Viral Messaging and Imaging Channels

Though enigmatic in its routes of influence, communities of interconnected friends and business relations leverage the viral force of billions of followers, friends, and contacts. Blog articles, viral videos, compelling photo albums, and targeted messaging have an uncanny, if somewhat nebulously motivated, ability to generate thousands of visits every month to franchise sales vehicles. Each social media property becomes a spoke in an influential wheel of interconnected web traffic, each spoke amplifying the effectiveness of every other spoke and driving consumers to the hub of the wheel: a franchisee’s main web site.

Case Study: a handful of blog posts which have gone viral by being posted and shared on Pinterest have multiplied visits to ScienceMadeFun.net tenfold. This increase, startling in its initial explosion 8 months ago, has not dropped off since then.

Here’s an article which will help franchises develop viral messaging strategies by learning what types of content are most likely to be successful: Hard Thoughts About SEO & Link Bait.

To Search Is To Find

Since one of the largest factors determining your franchise site’s Google rank is the number of links from other sites, social media’s ability to automatically blanket the web with links is an invaluable tool helping your site to achieve placement on page 1 of search results. Every site has a Google rank—a relative number from 1 to 5 determining its importance. And the keywords on every web page have an aggregate content bias which, when linked to your pages, reinforces your content’s topical relevance. Since Google’s bread and butter is revealing the most relevant content for a given search, strong linking and strong content relevance mean higher listing position. To explore the reasons for this behavior, read How to Improve Site Credibility Through Search and Social Media.

Today in America there are nearly 1,000,000 franchises covering over 3,000 industries. A third of those markets, or 1,000, have appeared in the last ten years. That means new and successful franchises are being started in new industries every day. The ht2 business model has bred successful businesses since 1992 using novel concepts matching the trend of service-oriented franchise growth.

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.

Should I Use A Franchise Broker?

As an entrepreneur looking to purchase a franchise, it can be overwhelming to wade through the sheer number of franchise opportunities eager to welcome you into their system. Where do you start? How much will it cost? Which one do you pick? If you are traveling this road alone, you’ll be challenged to answer these questions on your own. An alternative to scouring through all that information by yourself could be to engage the services of a franchise broker/consultant to help you along the way.

What is a franchise broker/consultant?
A franchise broker (also known as a franchise consultant) is an individual who acts as an intermediary between the franchisor and an individual interested in buying a franchise. In most cases a franchise broker is not directly employed by the franchisor and represents many different franchises. There is no fee incurred by the individual interested in buying a franchise. The franchise brokers are paid a commission by the franchisor.

How can a franchise consultant help me?
There are an estimated 3000+ franchises available in the United States today. A franchise broker can help you select among these various franchise options. Typically, a broker will review the amount of money you have to invest and steer you toward opportunities that match with your interests and resources. They may also help you complete applications and the paperwork necessary to complete the franchise sale.

What should I know about franchise brokers?
There is a lot of debate in the franchise industry about the pluses and minuses of using a franchise broker. If you are thinking of using a franchise broker, here are a few tips to consider:
• Have a clear understanding of their services including their compensation
• Ask a lot of questions regarding their experience
• Be comfortable with their approach

A good broker will have a number of different options available and be well informed on the business model and type of candidate the franchisor is looking for in a franchisee. Also, remember that a franchise broker is only part of the process. You will also want to work closely with your accountant and a qualified attorney to help you navigate the financial and legal aspects that are critical to your success.

Beware!

Some brokers may claim that the franchises they represent have been screened and meet certain standards; however, some brokers will represent any franchisor willing to pay them a commission regardless of the performance of that franchise system.

Some brokers may steer you toward a more costly franchise to beef up their own commission.

Some brokers may make certain representations about income. Earnings claims may not be true or can be misleading. Note that many franchisors prohibit their sales representatives from making earnings representations.

And run away from the broker that….
– speaks poorly of franchises not in his/her portfolio
– promotes franchise brokering as your best franchise opportunity
– uses heavy-handed and high pressure sales tactics

While a good franchise broker can help you make a more informed decision, it’s important that you are comfortable with both their knowledge and approach. Ultimately, the choice is yours to make. If you choose to work with a franchise broker, it is important to work with one who has YOUR best interests in mind. You have to trust that this individual will guide you toward the franchise opportunity that most closely meets your personal and professional goals.

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.

7 Tips for Starting Your Own Business

1.Be Clear on Why You want to Start a Business
While the idea of starting a business may be daunting, the fatigue of looking for a job may be even greater. Taking control of your working life by venturing out on your own may be scary, but doing nothing can be worse. That said, don’t start a business because you’ve run out of options. If you’re truly interested in doing your own thing and you’re ready to go for it with gusto, then small business ownership can be the most frustrating and the most freeing avenue—with the possibility of the greatest financial security. A great business to start and do your own thing, is working with children. Within this industry, one franchise stands out, High Touch High Tech.

Business Opportunity & Demand

2.Determine Your Business Type
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The best idea for you may be tried and true with your personal twist. Look into franchising. It’s a great way to start a business with the help,  leadership and experience of the franchisor. Franchisees are people just like you, that found a franchise they could relate to and get passionate about. This leads to lots of satisfaction with your business.

Meet Our Franchisees

3.Create a Simple Business Plan
Most new aspiring businesses owners think they’re supposed to sit down and write a detailed and lengthy business plan, making all sorts of wild assumptions about how much money you’ll make in five years, and so on. Some people worry so much about dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” until their plan is just perfect, they never start their business. For a basic business, I favor a one-page business plan that covers what you offer, who you’re targeting, how much you’ll charge and what you’ll do to make it happen. It’s a fluid process that will change once you dive in, so keep it simple at the start. If you consider a franchise, you learn the successful business plan from the franchisor, during your training.

Curriculum

4.Nail Your Target Customer
Determine exactly who your customers are with great specificity. If you’re creating a skin cream, don’t say “all women” or “everyone with skin” could buy from you. Is it targeted to women who visit a dermatologist for monthly facials or to women who grab anything from the drug store aisles? Your ingredients, process, packaging and pricing will all determine who the customer is. Be specific: I’m going to provide bookkeeping services for restaurants; I’m going to create social media campaigns for self-published authors. The more you can pinpoint your targeted client, the more focused your marketing efforts will be to reach them. You’ll be able to ask for the right referrals and you’ll know who and what to search for on the Internet.

Marketing

5.Perfect Your Pricing
Your pricing shouldn’t just cover your costs; it must also generate a profit for your business. Don’t undervalue your time and talent, which is a classic mistake. One option is to work the numbers from the top down: What are you looking to make annually? How does that break down monthly and weekly? How many products must you sell or how many clients will you need to bring in to meet those numbers? What are all of the costs associated with delivering that product or service? None of this requires fancy charts or advanced accounting skills. Play around with the numbers so you know what’s realistic as you get going—and revisit your numbers monthly. Pricing however, is not the only path to success. It turns out it matters what you do. Try to help people in some way.  A business that helps children is very rewarding.

Why High Touch High Tech

6.How to Find Start-Up Money
Until you start bringing in sales, you must keep costs down. Think creatively: it would be great to rent a fancy commercial kitchen to bake those cupcakes, but use a cheap or free church or community kitchen in off-hours instead. I worked with a woman to launch a series of art classes for kids, but she didn’t have money for supplies. The solution: she required parents to purchases the supplies and pay for the courses upfront. Forget hiring a full staff; ask friends for help and train interns. Barter for key services.

If tapping personal savings isn’t an option or if you need a more creative financing option, one of the fastest growing now is crowdfunding, which allows your network of friends and family to contribute to your start up costs if they like you and want to support your small business idea.

Another avenue is franchising. Many franchisors have their own financing that you can arrange with them. This financing is really helpful, and you pay the loan back with your profits!

Financing

7.Go Out and Get Customers
This is where the magic happens. Nothing else matters if you don’t have customers. The majority of your time and effort must focus on sales. Having a smart marketing plan to attract interested people, and then convert them to customers is your number one priority. Don’t get overwhelmed about how to dive in: just start where you are. Create a list of 50 potential prospects that you’ll go after and begin making calls one by one. Build a serious social media presence for your business where you can engage directly with your target market.

Dreaming about how fabulous your business can be is good; but doing something to get it there is sensational. It’s all about the hustle: the decisions you make and the actions you take each and every day – that’ll get you where you want to go. Take that dream and look at all your options with franchises. Does any of these franchise opportunities resonate with you? Try to find a franchise opportunity that you can be passionate about. This is the path to success.

Mission Statement

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.