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How I Recruited 19 People In 30 Days Into My Business 🔥

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How I Recruited 19 People In 30 Days Into My Business 🔥

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Entrepreneur Sarah Michelle Gellar Gives an Inside Look at How Foodstirs Started

The Foodstirs cofounders opened our Entrepreneur Live event with lessons for all entrepreneurs.

Finding the Right Financing Option for Your Dream Franchise

Franchise ownership is an ideal way to make the leap to being a business owner. The great thing about becoming part of a franchise system is that your leap comes with the support and guidance of an established business.

In fact, the International Franchise Association estimated the number of franchise businesses in the U.S. to increase by 1.6 percent in 2017 and contribute $426 billion dollars to the GDP across the many franchise categories: quick service restaurants, personal services, business services, commercial and residential services, retail products and services and more. 

If you are considering this route, you have to think about how to finance your dream. There are many financing avenues and many factors to evaluate to fully understand all of your options before you make a decision. One exciting thing about exploring franchise ownership is it’s often easier to obtain financing as a franchisee than as a new, independent business owner.

What are some of the financing options available to you as a potential franchisee?

Most bankroll their franchise through some form of self-financing. This can mean a home equity loan, a second mortgage, using money from savings or even withdrawing funds from your retirement account. Here is a quick overview of some of the most popular financing options.

  • Rollover for Business Startups (ROBS). ROBS allows you to use money in your retirement accounts (either a 401(k), traditional IRA or another eligible retirement account) and invest that money in your franchise. The advantage of this option is that you do not have to pay taxes or an early withdrawal penalty for removing these funds. With that said, it is not a process that is simple: You will need the help of an experienced attorney and CPA and will need to work with a company that specializes in ROBS transactions.

  • Small Business Administration Loans (SBA). SBA loans are government-guaranteed loans. They are a great choice for financing your franchise dream because they offer long repayment terms and low interest rates. However, qualifying for one of these loans requires a solid financial history, including a good credit score (something higher than 650) as well as collateral and a down payment of 10 to 20 percent of the loan amount.

  • Financing through the franchisor. One of the best places to seek out funds is via the franchisor itself. First, the franchisor may have relationships with lenders already. Because of these relationships, the preferred lenders may be more likely to offer financing in addition to the fact that they have a better understanding of the franchise’s business model. Also, taking this route puts you in a better position to negotiate the start-up and operating costs

  • Home equity loan or line of credit/second mortgage. This is an option for homeowners who have equity in their home. You can borrow against the equity to help finance your franchise. The rates for a home equity loan generally range from 2 to 7 percent, depending on your credit score. The catch is if you have issues repaying the loan, your home is on the line.

  • Family and friends. If you have family members or friends who are willing to invest in your franchise, this could be a fast (and low-interest) way to raise the necessary capital. Of course, the downside is that you are risking a loved one’s money, and there are potential pitfalls with this arrangement. Treat this arrangement as seriously as you would a loan from a bank by drawing up some sort of documentation so it is clear for all parties what the terms of repayment will be.

Now that you have an idea of what options are available to finance your dream of owning your own business, how do you decide which choice is best for you and your situation? Consider these five questions:

  1. What is the total cost of financing (including interest rates, fees to secure financing, etc.)?

  2. What, if any, of my assets are at risk as collateral?

  3. What are the terms and conditions if I default?

  4. How will the total and monthly repayment cost work into my current and expected cash flow?

  5. What is the amortization schedule of the debt? How long do I have to repay the loan? Will my monthly payments or interest rates change over time?

In addition, consider the start-up costs and ongoing fees. These can vary greatly from one franchise opportunity to the next. Make sure you have a clear picture of your total financial exposure, not just initial costs but what your responsibility will be month to month.

For the purposes of comparing one opportunity to another, it’s important to focus on two numbers:

  • Initial fees. The franchise fee is what you pay when you buy a franchise. You write this check to the franchisor when you sign a franchise agreement. It’s the cost of entering the franchise system and is typically a flat rate. The franchise fee is just a portion of what you will need to open your doors. Store build-out, computer equipment, office supplies and a vehicle are just some of the other items that may be a part of the initial fees.

  • Ongoing fees. Recurring and occasional fees, including royalties, are required by nearly all franchisors in return for their ongoing support. Typically, royalty fees are a percentage of sales. Some companies, though, charge a flat fee on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.

Also, pay close attention to the information contained in the Franchise Disclosure Document. Don’t hesitate to have the franchisor clear up any figures that you don’t understand and, as always, talk to other franchisees to get firsthand accounts.      

For those with an entrepreneurial drive, owning your own business represents the opportunity to control your own destiny and financial future. Those dreams don’t have to be exclusive to the well-heeled and experienced business people. Franchising opens a world of possibilities for all manner of people to pursue their dreams. It’s just a matter of finding the right opportunity for you.

Xero HQ Apps Now Available to Small Business Accounting Companies in US

Xero HQ Apps Now Available to Small Business Accounting Companies in US

Xero (NZE:XRO) just announced the general availability of Xero HQ apps in the Americas. The release of the new apps corresponds with a growth of 43 percent in Xero’s business domestically. Ten apps have been launched in collaboration with the company’s partners to improve the Xero online accounting software for small businesses.

The 10 apps have been selected to provide a comprehensive set of services already needed by accounting or bookkeeping firm. These include real-time visibility and insights into customer data with a suite of tools designed to improve the efficiency of digital practices in the industry.

The new apps are important to small businesses in several ways. First, a large number of CPAs and bookkeepers already using Xero software to provide their services are small businesses themselves. Second, most of the clients these firms serve are small businesses as well — from a variety of other industries. The new apps Xero has announced will small accounting and bookkeeping firms the ability to interact with greater ease with their clients and deliver more personalized services further setting them apart from larger competitors.

Herman Man, Vice President of Products and Partnerships for Xero Americas, in a release announcing the new apps explained, “By combining partner apps in one central place, Xero advisors get the power of a richer practice management experience, enabling them to become more efficient. These integrations provide accountants and bookkeepers with an even more robust set of tools to build a growing digital practice and make an important step in the journey from traditional accounting to client advisory.”

Xero HQ Apps

Here the 10 integrated apps in Xero HQ include:

  • Boma, providing self-driven marketing features,
  • Datamolino, offering status updates about client paperwork,
  • Expensify, providing real-time expense reporting,
  • Fathom, creating custom management reports,
  • FUTRLI, providing future insights for a business,
  • Hubdoc, automating financial documents,
  • Practice Ignition, assisting with client proposals and onboarding,
  • Receipt Bank, assisting with more efficient bookkeeping,
  • SuiteFiles, bringing all client data and files into one place,
  • Spotlight Reporting, enabling accountants and bookkeepers to see how clients are performing in a single view.

More about Xero

Xero is an online software client accounting for small business available anywhere, anytime, and on all devices. It connects businesses to their advisors and other service providers, such as accountants and bookkeepers. The platform has been designed so small businesses owners can use it easily. But it is also comprehensive and powerful enough to provide CPAs and other financial service providers with the tools they need to run their practices.

The company said it has grown by 52 percent internationally in the past year, and the global subscriber base now exceeds the 1 million mark.

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The Benefit of Full Visibility

When a small business uses Xero, the information the company generates is designed to be easily visible to accountants, bookkeepers, and others. This type of visibility makes it easier to identify issues before they become a much bigger problem as well as solve urgent needs of the client.

As a cloud-based platform, Xero allows its users to view their financial records from anywhere. Service providers can also use the technology to deliver real-time services to their client knowing they can access the information anytime on any device.

Availability

Xero is available in more than 181 countries around the world with a free trial for the three different tiers it offers. The Starter, Standard, and Premium versions will run you $20, $30, and $40 respectively per month. A mobile app is also available for Android and iOS.

Image: Xero

This article, “Xero HQ Apps Now Available to Small Business Accounting Companies in US” was first published on Small Business Trends

How to Get Your App Ready for the Holidays

For anyone with an app, the holiday season is the biggest time for consumption and spending.

Phoenix Real Estate: Effective Internet Marketing

Gabriel Hernandez , Realtor focuses on quality of service and excellent performance with each and every client. Your dream house is out there just waiting for you. With the mix …

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Should You make $300,000 with E commerce or Affiliate Marketing Info Product 🔑🔑

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Hakim Vlog #4 – Olahraga dan Internet Marketing

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How I Recruited 19 People In 30 Days Into My Business 🔥

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How I Recruited 19 People In 30 Days Into My Business 🔥

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How I Recruited 19 People In 30 Days Into My Business 🔥

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Spotlight: Fattmerchant Offers Subscription-based Payment Processing for Business

Spotlight: Fattmerchant Brings a New Model to Payment Processing - Flat Rate Credit Card Processing

Subscription businesses have made an impact on nearly every industry, from music to beauty supplies. And now, the idea is coming to payment processing, thanks to Fattmerchant.

You can read more about the business and its unique way of serving merchants in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Provides payment processing services.

Suneera Madhani, CEO and Founder of Fattmerchant told Small Business Trends, “Fattmerchant is a subscription-based merchant services provider. We offer payment processing solutions for businesses of all shapes and sizes.”

Business Niche

Affordable rates for quality service.

Madhani says, “We like to say our customers come for the savings and stay for our technology and service. We offer zero percent markup for all our clients, and our statements are completely transparent. The payment processing industry is pretty archaic and traditional with its methods. At this point, most business owners just expect to be confused by their monthly invoice, and they often don’t understand why they’re being charged. Our clients know us for our transparency in an industry that usually keeps them in the dark.”

How the Business Got Started

To overhaul the payment processing business.

Madhani admired companies like Netflix and Birchbox and wanted to bring the monthly subscription-based model to payment processing. However, when she brought the idea to the bosses at her last job, they laughed at the idea. So she left to start Fattmerchant on her own.

Madhani explains, “It all started with the idea that merchants deserve better, and we work hard every day to make sure that’s exactly what they get.”

Spotlight: Fattmerchant Brings a New Model to Payment Processing - Flat Rate Credit Card Processing

Biggest Win

Being featured in a major article.

Madhani says, “We’ve had a lot of wins but our biggest (and first) was being featured in Fast Company. The article was title “Meet the woman who is trying to change the credit card industry” and as soon as it published our phones were ringing off the hook. It was our first real proof of concept and that was the moment we knew we really had something.”

Biggest Risk

Investing in the platform early on.

Madhani says, “The biggest risk we’ve taken was to invest in heavy R&D and technology dollars. You don’t get a direct ROI right away. However, it was the best decision yet. Our platform is now the heart of our business and the heart of our customers’ businesses.”

Lesson Learned

Preparation is important.

Madhani explains, “Being prepared is a difficult thing to do, but it’s the one thing we would advise every small business owner to prioritize. Set up a team of mentors to help you along the way, and stay as practical as possible.?”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Investing in a referral program.

Madhani says, “If we had an extra $100,000 that we could do ANYTHING with — we would spend it on our customer referral checks. We’re also looking for ways to give more back to our members as well as how we can encourage our members be our biggest advocates. Putting dollars towards our referral program would be the ultimate win-win.”

Spotlight: Fattmerchant Brings a New Model to Payment Processing - Flat Rate Credit Card Processing

Company Mascot

Benji the Pig.

Madhani says, “For our Fattmerchant and our members it’s ‘All about the Benjamins’ — this is where Benji got his name! “

* * * * *

Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: Fattmerchant, Suneera Madhani

This article, “Spotlight: Fattmerchant Offers Subscription-based Payment Processing for Business” was first published on Small Business Trends

To Foster Workplace Collaboration in the 21st Century, Heed the General

Knowing that your decision-making processes align with those of Zappos and Alphabet is flattering. Realizing you share the same management style as al-Qaida? That’s disconcerting — until you learn that American military forces in Iraq did, too.

As General Stanley McChrystal revealed in “Team of Teams,” a book I discovered through an HR trends report, al-Qaida proved to be tougher to defeat than suspected. Like swarms of bees, its teams completed missions, dissolved and then reformed again. Although they had fewer resources, they upped their efficiency by bucking the traditional chain-of-command model. So McChrystal did likewise, ultimately batting back al-Qaida in the region.

Before I read “Team of Teams,” I’d created a similar system among my staff. Although we’ve never faced a life-or-death struggle, our small team must do more with less to stay atop changing regulations across the country and globe.

To create additional capacity, I scrapped our hierarchical structure in favor of a network of teams, just like McChrystal’s troops in Iraq. This structural shift has turned us into an organization capable of outmaneuvering larger competitors through sheer efficiency and a shared consciousness.

A ‘Team of Teams’ transformation

Before we became a “team of teams,” important issues regularly stopped at my desk, bottlenecking progress. I realized the process was unsustainable, so I empowered my team to make and implement decisions without me. On their own, members of my team began meeting in groups to address problems, later notifying me of results.

Like Innovative Employee Solutions, most small and mid-sized businesses have more challenges than they have time or teams to face. But few of them have plans in place to pick up the pace. According to CA Technologies, just 12 percent of businesses have implemented agility improvement initiatives. With cross-functional teams, SMB leaders can boost productivity and increase collaboration.

Following McChrystal’s advice has another key benefit: new opportunities for employee growth. Seventy percent of surveyed workers are dissatisfied with their company’s career development efforts, citing it as the top reason to resign. But in teams — which can be created without massive funds for education and training — individuals who aren’t official managers or supervisors can practice leadership skills including delegation, negotiation, and influencing others.

If McChrystal’s approach resonates with you, take these four steps toward a nimbler, more team-driven workplace.

1. Identify existing cross-functional teams.

You might already have some cross-functional teams addressing strategic initiatives. We have a data breach team, for example, that reviews our plan for such incidents annually, conducts drills, and meets to discuss suspected breaches, which can happen to small companies if they can happen to sophisticated corporations such as Equifax and Target.

With this small but mighty team, we learned how greatly a “team of teams” approach can extend our abilities. Put your own existing cross-functional teams under the microscope to gather data and determine which company problems additional teams could tackle.

2. Learn about the culture and operations of current teams.

After identifying internal teams, dig into their operations. When and why were they formed? How often do they meet? How do they make decisions? What is their reporting process? How do they resolve challenges? The insights you gather will help you set up future teams for success.

At Zappos, CEO Tony Hsieh announced a move to what he termed “holacracy” – a “team of teams” management style – via email and without previous discussion. Unfortunately, the abrupt change frustrated Zappos employees, many of whom left the organization. Jumping blindly into a new management structure is a recipe for chaos, not collaboration.

3. Secure buy-in and solicit volunteers.

Before switching to a “team of teams” management style, secure buy-in from leadership and everyday employees. Provide an overview of the new mission, and allow employees to volunteer to join teams. For such a radical change to succeed, the whole company must be on board. 

We prepared to introduce the shift by first presenting a business case to leadership. We used teams already in place as case studies and created a name and logo for the initiative. Afterward, we unveiled the “team of teams” approach at an all-staff meeting.

4. Seek feedback and monitor performance.

The only path to improvement is through regular feedback. Take complaints seriously but in stride. Openly speak with teams about their accomplishments and sticking points. Track productivity metrics, like “jobs completed,” and relay them to the leadership team. 

Tracking progress toward goals makes them more likely to come to fruition, according to a long-term analysis by the American Psychological Association. The analysis discovered that people who monitored progress toward a personal objective increased their likelihood of attaining that objective.

You needn’t adopt a military mindset to realize the benefits of a “team of teams” approach. In fact, your teams might already be in place; you simply need to acknowledge and empower them. Take a page from McChrystal, and you’ll discover just how much ground your small team can cover.