In any endeavor of importance in the life experience, Fear is a natural component of that experience. Consider, if you will, marriage, childbirth, dental or medical treatments, and major purchases (home, car, etc.). They all have a certain amount of fear associated with them. The same is true for going into business/becoming a Franchise owner.
You can anticipate the “Fear Factor” to increase the closer you get to having to make a definitive decision. Therefore, the question becomes will Fear be a motivator, causing you to be careful, cautious, and do appropriate due diligence? Or, will Fear be an inhibitor, paralyzing or stopping you from making appropriate decisions that could enhance your life?
If you choose to let Fear be an inhibitor, you choose to allow Fear to control your destiny. You abdicate the responsibility for your life to it. Indeed, your destiny will never reach its full potential, and your life experience will only manifest a small degree of what it could be.
How can you make Fear work in your favor, i.e., be your motivator ? The answer is KNOWLEDGE. When you strive to acquire a full spectrum of knowledge on any life endeavor, the paralyzing attributes of Fear are reduced and even eliminated.
Knowledge is power. It becomes the power to effect change, and to create positive change in your life. Change, in life, is inevitable, and it can be the seed for growth. But, growth is optional, and it is up to you. If you use knowledge to make Fear “your motivator, it becomes the engine for your positive growth. With knowledge, you significantly increase the probability of success in life. You will reach your life’s full potential. The choice is yours.
I think a quote from the late Steve Jobs is appropriate:
“The benefit of death is you know not to waste life living someone else’s choices. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Lee Thomas,
“Helping People into the RIGHT Franchise/Business for THEIR Success”
Franchise Paths to Success, a dba of
Integrity Business Ventures, Inc.
lee@myIBV.com 888 701-6413

What do successful people do differently than others?

What do successful people do differently than others?

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.
1. Get specific. When you set yourself a goal, try to be as specific as possible. “Lose 5 pounds” is a better goal than “lose some weight,” because it gives you a clear idea of what success looks like. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve keeps you motivated until you get there. Also, think about the specific actions that need to be taken to reach your goal. Just promising you’ll “eat less” or “sleep more” is too vague — be clear and precise. “I’ll be in bed by 10pm on weeknights” leaves no room for doubt about what you need to do, and whether or not you’ve actually done it.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals. Given how busy most of us are, and how many goals we are juggling at once, it’s not surprising that we routinely miss opportunities to act on a goal because we simply fail to notice them. Did you really have no time to work out today? No chance at any point to return that phone call? Achieving your goal means grabbing hold of these opportunities before they slip through your fingers.
To seize the moment, decide when and where you will take each action you want to take, in advance. Again, be as specific as possible (e.g., “If it’s Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, I’ll work out for 30 minutes before work.”) Studies show that this kind of planning will help your brain to detect and seize the opportunity when it arises, increasing your chances of success by roughly 300%.
3. Know exactly how far you have left to go. Achieving any goal also requires honest and regular monitoring of your progress — if not by others, then by you yourself. If you don’t know how well you are doing, you can’t adjust your behavior or your strategies accordingly. Check your progress frequently — weekly, or even daily, depending on the goal.

4. Be a realistic optimist. When you are setting a goal, by all means engage in lots of positive thinking about how likely you are to achieve it. Believing in your ability to succeed is enormously helpful for creating and sustaining your motivation. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate how difficult it will be to reach your goal. Most goals worth achieving require time, planning, effort, and persistence. Studies show that thinking things will come to you easily and effortlessly leaves you ill-prepared for the journey ahead, and significantly increases the odds of failure.

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Believing you have the ability to reach your goals is important, but so is believing you can get the ability. Many of us believe that our intelligence, our personality, and our physical aptitudes are fixed — that no matter what we do, we won’t improve. As a result, we focus on goals that are all about proving ourselves, rather than developing and acquiring new skills.
Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

6. Have grit. Grit is a willingness to commit to long-term goals, and to persist in the face of difficulty. Studies show that gritty people obtain more education in their lifetime, and earn higher college GPAs. Grit predicts which cadets will stick out their first grueling year at West Point. In fact, grit even predicts which round contestants will make it to at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
The good news is, if you aren’t particularly gritty now, there is something you can do about it. People who lack grit more often than not believe that they just don’t have the innate abilities successful people have. If that describes your own thinking …. well, there’s no way to put this nicely: you are wrong. As I mentioned earlier, effort, planning, persistence, and good strategies are what it really takes to succeed. Embracing this knowledge will not only help you see yourself and your goals more accurately, but also do wonders for your grit.
7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control “muscle” is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn’t get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.
To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you’d honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don’t. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur (“If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.”) It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that’s the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.
8. Don’t tempt fate. No matter how strong your willpower muscle becomes, it’s important to always respect the fact that it is limited, and if you overtax it you will temporarily run out of steam. Don’t try to take on two challenging tasks at once, if you can help it (like quitting smoking and dieting at the same time). And don’t put yourself in harm’s way — many people are overly-confident in their ability to resist temptation, and as a result they put themselves in situations where temptations abound. Successful people know not to make reaching a goal harder than it already is.

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do. Do you want to successfully lose weight, quit smoking, or put a lid on your bad temper? Then plan how you will replace bad habits with good ones, rather than focusing only on the bad habits themselves. Research on thought suppression (e.g., “Don’t think about white bears!”) has shown that trying to avoid a thought makes it even more active in your mind. The same holds true when it comes to behavior — by trying not to engage in a bad habit, our habits get strengthened rather than broken.
If you want change your ways, ask yourself, What will I do instead? For example, if you are trying to gain control of your temper and stop flying off the handle, you might make a plan like “If I am starting to feel angry, then I will take three deep breaths to calm down.” By using deep breathing as a replacement for giving in to your anger, your bad habit will get worn away over time until it disappears completely.
It is my hope that, after reading about the nine things successful people do differently, you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along. Even more important, I hope are able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you, and use that knowledge to your advantage from now on. Remember, you don’t need to become a different person to become a more successful one. It’s never what you are, but what you do.
By Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorsen, http://heidigranthalvorson.com/.
Provided by:
Lee Thomas,
Helping People into the RIGHT Franchise for Their SUCCESS
Franchise Paths to Success
888 701-6413 lee@myfpts.com

Two Basic Types of Franchises: Is One Right For You?

It is important to understand the basics of franchising. There are two basic types of franchises, product distribution and business format. Product distribution franchises simply sell the franchise’s products. Business format franchises are the most common and include assistance with the complete business model including marketing and operation manuals.
A franchise can reduce some of the unknowns when starting a business, however it does limit the amount of independence you have as a business owner. In the June issue of Entrepreneur, the top 101 home-based franchises are listed from the Entrepreneur’s 2011 Franchise 500.
Here are a few of the franchises mentioned in the article. Commercial cleaning services franchises such as Vanguard Cleaning Systems, Stratus Building Solutions, Bonus Building Care and CleanNet USA Inc. Other franchises listed include Fast-teks On-site Computer Services, The Utility Company and Computer Troubleshooters that offer computer and technology services.
There are also franchises for pet sitting services, home management and staging services, along with home-care services. According to the article, almost all of the franchises listed can be started for less than $50,000.
An example of a successful larger franchisee is Avery Walker from College Station. Walker moved from Austin to open Volvo Rents, a franchise that rents and sells heavy equipment to construction companies and other businesses. Walker’s business hit $1.1 million in revenues in 2008 her first year and $4 million last year. Walker said, “I definitely work more than I did in a corporate job, but I have more control over our financial decisions.”
If you decide a franchise is the right approach for your business idea, you have to do your homework. Research the franchise and the business model. If possible, talk with others who purchased the franchise to learn more about how the franchise works, and how much support you receive from the franchise company. It will be absolutely necessary for you to determine the business’s potential sales, expenses and profits, just like any other business model.
Not all franchises work in every market. Ask the franchise company to help you with a feasibility study in your market. Many franchises will have a company representative in the area to help you.
Look for a franchise company that offers training and possibly a mentor program. The benefit of a franchise is the support and training you would not have available if you go it alone.
If you are considering a franchise, research your options. Keep in mind the upfront costs for a franchise do not include a guarantee of success. A good resource for prospective franchising is the International Franchise Association. There are also state regulatory agencies and several online resources for franchise companies and franchisees.
Lee Thomas,
Helping People into the RIGHT Franchise for Their SUCCESS
Franchise Paths to Success
888 701-6413 lee@myfpts.com

The Pet Care Business is Still Doing Well

The economy may be struggling, but many Americans won’t skimp when it comes to the care of their pets.
Many non-veterinary pet care companies in the St. Louis area report booming demand for such services as grooming and pet sitting, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( http://bit.ly/pGHgOw ).
“People care about their pets like family and don’t like the idea of their pet being home alone all day or, if boarded, locked up,” said Carol Mees, owner and operator of St. Louis Pet Sitters, whose business is increasing by 35 to 40 pets per year.
The American Pet Products Association reports that U.S. households will likely spend more than $50 billion on pets in 2011, up 23 percent from $41.2 billion in 2007. About $4 billion of that total is expected to be spent this year on services like boarding and grooming.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of non-veterinary pet care firms that opened in the St. Louis area rose from 84 in 1999 to 152 in 2009. That didn’t include home-based businesses or sole proprietors.
Pet service work has traditionally been done by family friends, neighbors and their children. That has changed recently as franchises have grown rapidly in the industry.
Randy Ring began a Fetch! Pet Care franchise in St. Louis in 2005. Revenue has increased by 10 percent in each of the past two years. Fetch!, based in California, has more than 150 franchisees who work as sort of a broker for pet sitters and owners, pairing them up to provide in-home care for pets.
At first Ring was his own employee and had only a handful of clients, but he now has 15 part-time contractors – students, stay-at-home parents and retirees who have been vetted by the company – and serves more than 700 clients in the St. Louis area.
Pet care isn’t entirely impervious to the tough economic climate. Janet McCann, owner of Pet Sitters Inc. in St. Louis, said that in nearly 30 years of business, last summer was the worst. Bookings are up this year, though still not to pre-recession levels.
Lee Thomas,
Placing People in the RIGHT Franchise for Their SUCCESS
Franchise Paths to Success
888 701-6413 lee@myfpts.com

Take Control of Your Future with a Franchise

Take Control of Your Future with a Franchise
As redundancies start affecting people with white-collar backgrounds, the demand for management franchises has never been higher.
Of all the franchise opportunities available, the management sector probably has the widest variety, as it contains everything from home improvement and domestic cleaning opportunities to freight forwarding and commercial investigations.

What they all have in common is that the franchise owner doesn’t have to do the actual work themselves, whether it is carrying out installations or meeting clients on site. Instead, owners of management franchises oversee a team by using skills they have acquired from a previous office-based or an executive position.

Gary Clere, who founded freight forwarding franchise Cargocall says: “Management franchises obviously don’t suit everyone. If you are looking for a ‘hobby’ franchise or a part-time franchise, then management franchises wouldn’t normally suit you.

“However, if you are looking for a full-time franchise with higher earning potential, management franchises will tend to offer this. Overheads on such franchises are often less too. For instance at Cargocall the only direct overheads are the cost of running a small office with the associated IT and telecoms equipment.”

As with all franchise opportunities, no matter what the sector, there are a number of priorities to consider before you make your investment, explains Andy Goodson, founder of lettings and estate agency franchise Northwood.

“You need to see if the franchise sets itself apart from the competition, how long it has been established and if the early franchise owners have renewed their franchise,” he adds. “You should also look at the professionalism of the people running the franchise and the strength of the brand.”

Gary Clere echoed Andy’s views about longevity of the franchise: “At Cargocall we have successfully and profitably operated the business model for over 14 years. Our directors remain involved with actual franchise operations and the support package we offer is second to none.”

Jo Minkler, Managing Director of driving school franchise, 5Day, also has some useful pointers for those researching management franchises.

“A prospective franchise owner should look to see if the franchise has an easily replicated model, good training, support and advice backup,” she says. “Our franchise has the added bonuses of not being area specific, a continuously growing market worldwide and low staffing costs. It is an ideal management franchise as the core work is literally managing customers and instructors on a daily basis.”

Although, management franchises may sound like they require large initial investments to cover staff wages and premises, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Bill Owen, Franchise Manager at cost management consultancy opportunity, Expense Reduction Analysts, explains: “You don’t always need a large investment. However, when you have to grow a business from scratch like our consultancy service, it is crucial that the business is not under funded. A strategic business plan is necessary to demonstrate where you should be at a particular point in time along with the correct amount of working capital.”

Jo Minkler continues: “Franchise fees vary throughout different industries, let alone different sectors. Therefore, the fees charged are relevant to the individual package and the support/training supplied.” Andy Goodson states that the expense of a separate office is not necessary to run a successful business, adding: “Some management franchises can be run from home but a general rule is that the bigger the investment then the possible greater returns.”

Dream Doors is an example of a management franchise that does require a larger investment, says its Managing Director Troy Tappenden.

“Our franchise owners need to invest in a showroom, marketing, vehicle leases and staff wages and, as such, the total start up costs are between £70,000 and £80,000,” he adds

An important part of any franchise package will be the training, which is a vital component in the success of franchise owners, especially if they have no prior experience in the field. “Although prior white-collar experience may be an advantage, in reality, the most important characteristics found in the most successful management franchise owners are hard work, resilience and good people skills, explains Bill Owen. “If you have them you can be taught to do anything and be successful.”

Jo Minkler agrees: “With the 5Day franchise it is not essential to have had previous experience in the driving industry/tuition sectors. As our franchise owners’ core teams are Government trained instructors, any person with skills in managing personnel can run a franchise, as you are not giving the tuition; your job is managing pupils, their expectations and organizing your instructors.” One of the greatest advantages of a management franchise that there are less restrictive limits to how large a franchise owner can grow their business.

Gary Clere says: “I think it is fair to say all franchises have a limit to the size they can grow if such franchises are territory or location based. Obviously there is the opportunity to buy other territories but the very definition of franchising means you are buying a share of a market offered by the franchisors brand.

“The key question for those looking to buy a management franchise is: ‘How big will the territory/market share be?’ At Cargocall we’re not looking to recruit hundreds of franchise owners – we’re looking for a select few who can operate relatively large regional territories with a view to achieving turnover in excess of £1million per annum. Our largest franchise owner territory incorporates five entire postcode areas.

Andy Goodson also states that limits such as an adjacent franchise territory being already sold, should not have a major impact on franchise owners wishing to expand their business.

“People are normally limited by the distance the franchise is away from their home – most people not only invest in Northwood for money but also to improve the quality of their working life. A franchise owner in a rural area may have an enormous geographical territory, while a franchise owner in a large city may have a relatively small area but hopefully the opportunity to build a successful business will be the same.”

Troy Tappenden states that business growth usually depends on the franchise model. “In Dream Doors case, our areas are exclusive and based on postcode areas with a population of between 300,000 and 500,000 and a good percentage of those that fit the demographic of our typical customer. In fact, our most successful franchise owner has a territory of just 280,000 people, and we have some with double that who turnover just half of what they do. That is down to the people, and their work ethic!”
Lee Thomas,
Placing People in the RIGHT Franchise for Their SUCCESS
Franchise Paths to Success
888 701-6413 lee@myfpts.com

Some Facts About Franchise Agreements

All good Franchise systems will require that Franchise Agreements are the same for all Franchisees. As a consequence, they will generally make the statement that the Franchise Agreement is a non-negotiable instrument. If a Franchise system allows for the negotiation of the various clauses contained within its Agreement that should be an indication that their own belief in their system is not as strong as you might think. Yet the system is what a Franchisee will be investing in, so…

That’s not to say that Franchise Agreements don’t evolve over time to consider current business practices and opportunities. However, in any short-term time window, the Agreement will be the same for all Franchisees joining the system. If you think about that premise, that’s really what Franchising is all about.

The Franchisor offers a consistent system of value to all its Franchisees, including a uniform support system, branding strategies, operating systems, and administration systems. That’s a primary reason for Franchisees to invest in becoming a Franchise within the system – because those things all deliver a great value as opposed to starting from scratch.

Therefore it is imperative that the Agreement between a Franchisor and each Franchisee is the same so that everyone knows the playing field is even. The Agreement is really a description of the business systems, and the rules of engagement for that system. Each Franchisee should review that Agreement to ensure that those systems and those rules of operation make sense for them. Each Franchise Candidate should make the decision that ‘yes, this makes sense to me, and I can prosper in this relationship, control my own outcomes, and build an asset for the future’.

However, as stated in a prior discussion about Franchise Fees, the relationship is not one of parity. As mentioned, ‘If it were a relationship of parity, the Franchisee would take on a great deal more responsibility, and of course, liability and risk as well. So the relationship is not one of actual partnership in the legal sense. Therefore the Agreement is not a Partnership Agreement in the legal sense either. However, good Franchise systems will generally recognize their Franchisees as Strategic-Partners, meaning they are in a partnership of sorts that is aimed at achieving unified goals, but not one of legal partnership or equity.’

Consequently, the Franchise Agreement will describe the details of operation and the methods of protecting the system. After all, each Franchisee wants to be sure that the Franchisor has the right, and the clout, to deal with any Franchisee that causes detriment to the system – the very system in which they are investing. Each Franchisee should want to know that the Franchisor will have the ability to protect their investment, and evolve the business to increase in value on their behalf. In order to provide for those protections, the Agreement will seem to be slanted in the favor of the Franchisor. Actually, it’s slanted in the favor of the system.

One of the more expensive errors a Franchise Candidate can make is to simply take the Agreement to an advisor that is not familiar with Franchising. I have seen legal bills for thousands of dollars where the lawyer wanted to negotiate every clause of the Agreement as if it were a normal Partnership Agreement. Those dollars end up being wasted because the Agreement is not negotiable, regardless of the basic business tenet that everything is negotiable. In this case, the lawyer should be trying to help the Franchisee to understand that the system operates in a certain way, and to determine if the Franchisee is comfortable operating the Franchisors system in their own market under the terms described in the Agreement.

It’s akin to going into McDonalds and ordering three Big Macs and a hot dog. McDonalds doesn’t sell hot dogs. They have a proven formula that works for their Franchisees, and in their case, that doesn’t include hot dogs. So if someone wants to sell Big Macs, they can become a McDonalds Franchisee. If they want to sell burgers and dogs, then they will have to start ‘Joe’s Burgers & Dogs’.

In a more general sense, the Franchisor has certain disclosure requirements in both Canada and the United States. In certain States, the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC) has to be registered before Franchises can be offered. It is incumbent upon the Franchisor to ensure that the Agreement that is signed with its Franchisees is consistent with the Agreement included in Disclosure Documents. Therefore, if the Franchisor negotiates the various clauses of its Agreements, then they will be inconsistent with their Disclosure Documents.

In summary, the main reasons that Franchise Agreements are non-negotiable include:
• The requirement and desire for consistency among all Franchisees
• The need for a strong Agreement that can consistently deal with any problems that may arise in order to protect the system for all Franchisees on an ongoing basis
• The strong belief in the value of the system, which makes that system so valuable to each participant, extends to the Agreements among all parties
• The need for consistency with Disclosure Documents

Lee Thomas,
Placing People in the RIGHT Franchise for Their SUCCESS
Franchise Paths to Success
888 701-6413 lee@myfpts.com