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‘Unretirement’ Fuels Growth of Small Business, Creates Jobs

February 27, 2013

Baby Boomers — nearly 80 million of them in the U.S. – will redefine traditional retirement. The first boomers turned 65 in 2011, and year after year for the next 18 years, masses of them will choose to work beyond the ages of 62 to 65, the range long thought of as retirement time.

There’s been a lot of conversation lately about boomers and the ‘unretirement’ movement. In fact, AARP predicts that a whopping 80% of boomers will have to work into their retirement years. The vast majority of them will move away from high-pressure corporate positions to reshape their professional lives as small business owners, consultants, part-time workers or “giving back” careers such as teaching or non-profit management.

And what we’re seeing right now is the tip of the iceberg. The baby boomers are fueling the movement as many live longer, fuller, happier lives — and are seeking ways to make their investments last with them. Armed with a career’s worth of business experience, one of the options some boomers are turning to is self-employment through business ownership. That’s not only good for the boomers, but also good for a still-struggling economy. (more…)

Keep your current job, start a business!

January 29, 2013

Let’s be honest.  Walking away from a job with benefits and regular pay doesn’t seem like the greatest idea right now with the economy the way it is.  But think about this ideal situation: keep your current job while you start a business on the side.  This is commonly called “absentee” or “semi-absentee” business. Many people look would love this scenario, but don’t realize understand exactly what it means. Before you get started, here are four helpful tips as you search for that perfect absentee opportunity:

1. IN EMPLOYEES I TRUST: You will have to learn how to really “let go” and trust others.  Absentee businesses require employees. While you’re working at your regular job, you’ll need someone who can run the shop. There has to be at least a few trusted workers on site to operate the business, and it can be a challenge to find them. As a new business owner, you’ll learn quickly the importance of acquiring the face of your business – your employees.

2. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Learn it, love it, live by it.  It will become your mantra.  In general, you can’t run an absentee business from your home office. You need to have a place where customers and clients go so they can purchase your product or service. As an absentee business owner, finding the right location to do business will be one of the most important aspects of your business. (more…)

Down Economy? Start a Business Targeting Essential Needs

December 18, 2012

It’s no secret that the economy continues to struggle to recover from the Great Recession of the last several years.  Many feel it’s a dangerous time to start a business of their own due to the economic climate, but if you look for businesses and industries that cater more to “essential needs,” your chance of business success should increase.

Here are four targets to keep in mind as you explore business ownership.

Baby Boomers Are Living Longer: The largest generation in our country’s history is retiring, but they’re living longer and looking for products and services that they can use.  As these boomers age, many are choosing to stay in their homes as long as possible rather than move to an assisted-living facility or in with their adult children.  Businesses that cater to home healthcare services or that help seniors live safely in their homes through home modifications should do well. Common modifications include automatic door openers, ramps, safety bars, bathroom transfer systems, stair lifts, and specialized tubs/showers. (more…)

Financing Strategies for Multi-Unit Operators

December 5, 2012

How to maximize your funding strategy in multi-unit development 

More and more entrepreneurs are looking to develop a funding strategy that will allow them to develop multiple units. The most common scenario is the desire for a “three-pack” over a two to three year window. Funding multi-unit development may have been difficult in the past, but since the credit crisis in 2008, financing a multi-unit strategy is even more challenging than ever.

While every entrepreneur’s needs and situation are different, one thing is universal; how an entrepreneur funds the first unit affects his ability to fund the future units. In other words, if arranging financing for the first unit without considering how it is going to affect his ability to get additional financing, he may find himself without any options to fund the second and third units. With that in mind, let’s look at a few different scenarios and some possible strategies to successfully obtain the funding needed to become a multi-unit franchisee. (more…)

Four Business-killing Mistakes to Avoid

October 25, 2012

Franchise businesses are a wonderful way for professionals to build thriving small businesses, but there are some icebergs out there potential franchise owners need to avoid.

Here are four:

Failure to absorb the FDD

It’s baffling to think that a franchisee would invest thousands of dollars in a business venture without knowing what he or she was getting into — especially when the law requires franchisors to disclose detailed information about operations, costs, earning potential and legal requirements.

But it happens. People get so excited about their business venture that they don’t read the Franchise Disclosure Document, or just read the Item 7 expenditures and Item 19 earnings information and skip over the rest. Then they’re caught by surprise later when it’s too late. (more…)