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Franchising 101: Things To Consider

The franchise industry is a $2.3 trillion industry, with one out of every six jobs relating to franchising. Statistically speaking, therefore, a franchise has a better chance of succeeding than most small business start-ups, due to the support and name recognition. If you are considering getting involved in a franchise, now is an excellent opportunity, but there are also things to consider before you take the leap.

What is a Franchise?

Before we take a look at whether a franchise might be right for you, let’s examine what one is and how common they are. Drive down any main street in America and you will see a Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, McDonald’s, a UPS Store, and a CVS. See, you didn’t have to go far to find a franchise, did you? Franchises are an extremely common way of doing business.

A franchise is a type of license granted by an initial business owner (the franchiser) to other business hopefuls (the franchisee). The license is sold to others who will continue to use the name, logo, and business model.

Things to Consider:

Is a franchise the right fit for me?

Franchising is not for everyone. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, “Some see it as a way to venture out and become their own boss, but at the same time have the safety net a franchisor provides. While as a franchisee you will be the boss, you’ll still have the franchisor to deal with – so, you won’t be totally independent of oversight.” Most people who join a franchise do not want to change the system of work but rather believe in the business model that is already there and want to become a part of that system.

How hard do you want to work?

If you are choosing to work within a franchise, don’t go into it with the mental idea that the work will be easier because the company is already formed and a blueprint for success is already there. That would be a big mistake. Any new franchise still requires long hours and dedication. Don’t confuse a system that is already set with coasting into your own franchising success.

What is the risk?

Before you sign on the dotted line, do some research. What is the failure rate for this particular franchise? What do you know about the community you will be working in? What is that community’s turnover rate for this type of business? Do your homework before you jump at the opportunity to franchise.

Do you have questions about franchising? Check out our event, “Is Franchising Right for You?” on June 4 from 8:30-10:30 am. See our website for more details.

 

Bookkeeping for Small Businesses

Who keeps the books for your business? You know the dreaded invoicing, receiving, payables, reconciling, filing, general ledgers, liabilities, budgets, and reports. Many small businesses do not have a dedicated accountant or financial manager to take care of these tasks, which means that, often times, the job falls to a business leader or owner.

Chances are, if you are an entrepreneur, you have some grasp of handling the books and have been doing some aspect of it while your business has been growing. As your business evolves, however, the job of balancing the books and taking care of the bills or payroll gets more complicated.

That’s why Enterprise Center is offering Business Owners and Startups a seminar entitled “Bookkeeping Fundamentals for Small Business.” Every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-9pm, from May 21 to June 6, you can learn the basic steps of setting up and keeping track of your money in a simple, accurate manner that works for you.  

Bookkeeping doesn’t need to be the dreaded chore that keeps your sheltered in your office well into the evening. There are some fantastic apps that can help keep you organized and are fairly intuitive to use. Our advice is to do a bit of research before you download any software, as each app offers something a little different. Your business’s unique needs can be met with one of them.

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a name that you probably recognize as it is one of the most popular small business accounting software programs out there. People love it because it has multiple tailored versions and top-of-the-line features. QuickBooks is meant for people who are not accounting experts. They put all the information in one, easy-to-use location.

Xero

Xero is great for businesses that are on-the-go and need something a little more mobile. Xero is a mobile app for accounting specifically geared for business leaders who need to do their bookkeeping remotely or while on the road. This is also great in case a client needs a quick update and you want to bring up the numbers on your phone. Xero has served over 1.2 million subscribers around the world.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is yet another top accounting software that specializes in small business accounting. That means that it is geared for your company in mind, not the larger corporations. Each of the three versions of FreshBooks: Lite, Plus, and Premium, is tailored toward the specific needs of small businesses within a wide range of sizes and structures.

Have questions about keeping the books for your company or need a change in the app that you are currently using? Check out our seminar “Bookkeeping Fundamentals for Small Business” and register today.

 

QuickBooks Online vs. Desktop Edition

Having trouble deciding between when to use QuickBooks Online and when to use Quickbooks Desktop? Did you even know that the two exist and that there are differences? Quickbooks Online is better for service-based businesses, whereas QuickBooks Desktop Edition is recommended for businesses that sell products. Desktop has more features, but Online is continuously adding new features. Desktop has been around since the ‘90s, and you have to download and install software and periodic updates. Although it is equipped with fewer features, the Online version of QuickBooks is a more contemporary version of the software; all you need is an Internet connection, no downloading and installing updates on software that takes up space on your hard drive.

As previously stated, the Online version is geared more toward businesses which provide a service and which do not incorporate inventory tracking.

The Online version has many advantages:

  • Your accountant and others may access your  Online account via a user I.D. and password you provide them.

 

  • Conduct transactions using a Mac, PC, or other mobile device.

 

  • Automatic Updates – Online automatically saves any changes you make, similar to the auto-save feature in Google Drive.

If yours is a product-based business, then Desktop may be a better choice for your business’ financial needs and responsibilities. The Desktop version offers the following features and many more:

  • Two Options for Tracking Inventory – Average Cost Method & FIFO (First In First Out), whereas the Online version only offers the FIFO Method.

 

  • Batch Invoicing – Send the same invoice to multiple clients for whom you performed the same service at the same price.

 

  • Industry-Specific Versions – For businesses that are one of the following: General Business, Contractor, Retail & Nonprofit, Professional Services, or Manufacturing & Wholesale, the Desktop version offers certain features depending on the category of business from the above-mentioned list.

 

Whatever the case, be sure to choose the right version of QuickBooks for your business.

BLS Provider CPR (1-day Initial or Renewal Course, multiple sessions available)

(Initial or Renewal Course based on the 2015 AHA Guidelines)
Basic Life Support (BLS) is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest. This course teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in both in-facility and prehospital settings. This course is designed for healthcare professionals and other personnel who need to know how to perform CPR and other basic cardiovascular life support skills.

In addition, BLS training can be appropriate for first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, as well as for laypeople whose work brings them into contact with members of the public, such as school, fitness center, or hotel and restaurant employees.

Students must pass a written exam and skills test in order to qualify for a BLS Course Completion Card.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a completion cad valid for 2 years.

Conveniently scheduled on Saturday, please choose the session that works best for you.

REGISTER NOW!

Gaining Access to Capital

images-38According to the Small Business Association, one of the biggest issues facing small businesses is the inability to access sufficient credit and capital.   According to numbers from just a year ago almost 8 million small businesses are strapped for cash and may be unable to hire new employees, take on new clients, or sadly, even keep their doors open. Lack of capital is one of the primary reasons that businesses flounder.   What are the options then for small businesses when it comes to gaining access to capital in today’s economy.  Let’s explore the various channels for achieving access to capital.

  • Small Business Administration -SBA The SBA is a government agency that collaborates with private lenders to create (and guarantee) business loans. “Guarantee,” in this case, means the federal government will back up to 90% of a loan. The Office of Capital Access within the SBA mission is to help make capital available through banks and other lending partners to small businesses. They sponsor loans that offer more favorable terms and interest rates.  They are accessible to more businesses, and are open to fixed assets and operating capital.  They also attempt to streamline lending through an automated process that encourages faster decisions and reduces lender underwriting time.
  • Conventional Loans –In contrast with SBA loans, conventional loans are private and are not guaranteed by the federal government. As such, they normally carry higher rates. Conventional loans examine your businesses credit history, your monthly expenses, and your overall business pattern.  Some conventional loans would include: Commercial Loans, Equipment and Vehicle Loans, Business Line of Credit, or  General Business Loans.
  • Crowd Funding – An alternative access to capital that has really taken off in the past few years.  Crowdfunding is by definition, “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.”  (Forbes) There are numerous crowdfunding platforms where consumers can safely ask for or donate money such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, RocketHub, and Onevest.
  • Venture Capital – Venture Capital is money provided by investors to startup firms and small businesses with perceived long-term growth potential. This is a very important source of funding for startups that do not have access to capital markets. It typically entails high risk for the investor, but it has the potential for above-average returns. (Investopedia) This type of access is great for start ups and tends to heavily favor the technology industry.