What To Consider When Purchasing A Franchise

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Summary: To select the ideal franchise company to join, you should first find a company with a proven track record of success. A good franchisor will have been in business for at least two or three years and be able to demonstrate the growth potential of its products and services. The best way to do this is by looking at how many franchises they currently have in operation and are they profitable. A robust and growing network often indicates a successful brand.

10 Key Points To Consider When Purchasing A Franchise
Originally published in Forbes.

By Gary Occhiogrosso, Managing Partner Franchise Growth Solutions

If your goal is to purchase a franchise, choosing the right franchise brand to invest in is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a business owner. It’s not just about finding a company with a proven track record but also finding one that fits your personality and lifestyle. Your first step, is knowing what to look for when you’re evaluating potential franchises. Here are some key areas to consider:

Franchise Fees
Franchise fees are one-time payments made when purchasing a franchise. These fees can range from $10,000 to $100,000 and are used to pay for the rights to use the name, the procedures and any systems developed by the franchisor. It is also used to cover costs for training and opening support by the franchisor to assist the franchisee with the opening of their franchise. Franchisors usually charge their franchisees up-front fee when the franchise is granted. In addition, post Covid initial “turnkey” investments may be higher than in the past due to supply chain issues, inflation, and increased cost of equipment and leasehold improvements between brands.

Royalty Fees
Royalty fees are the amount of ongoing money (usually a percentage of gross sales) you pay to the franchisor for using their brand name and ongoing support such as marketing and developing new products or services for the franchisee. As a franchisee, you are required to pay royalties based on a portion of your sales. This percentage may be fixed or fluctuate on a sliding scale based on sales.

Term Length
Franchise term length can be a good indicator of how much the Franchisor invests in their franchisees.
On average, depending on the type of franchise, home based vs a retail location, franchise brands have terms that last ten years or less. This means there’s plenty of time for the franchisee and franchisor to work together and develop a solid relationship. Still, it also means that the franchisee may not be allowed to retain the business if something doesn’t work out. If a franchisee is underperforming, the franchisor may not renew the franchise agreement once it expires, or may seek to terminate the franchise prior to the full term. In such a case, the franchisee must exit the business. In many instances, there will be a contractual obligation that the franchisee cannot open a similar business for a period of time within a certain distance from their original location. This is called a non-compete clause.

Consider Your Lifestyle.
* Consider the lifestyle you will have while running the business.
* Look at the hours of operation. You don’t want to buy an 80 work week.
* Review flexibility of franchisor with respect to new products, relocation and other variables.
* See if the location makes sense for you. You will need to manage the location or develop a team to manage the day-to-day operation for you.
* Check out the type of work needed to run the franchisee. Make sure it fits your skill set and interests, including whether it’s something you’d enjoy doing as a full-time job.
Seeking the advice of a professional franchise consultant can be an extremely useful method when evaluating if a franchise is the right business model for you. Scott Milas, a Certified Franchise Executive (CFC) and Certified Franchise Consultant (CFC) with The International Franchise Professionals Group recommends you consider these questions: “What is your “Know” and “Why?” Understanding “why” you are interested in owning your own business, and “knowing” who you are, are critical steps in choosing the right opportunity. A self evaluation and clear picture of your skill sets and eventual end game- exit strategy, will help ensure that you invest in the right opportunity. Better to “know” now then after you made the wrong decision. “Why” now?
An experienced franchise consultant can assist you in answering those questions and choosing a brand that’s a good lifestyle fit as well as one that offers opportunities to meet your business goals

Look For An Experienced Franchisor
To select the ideal franchise company to join, you should first find a company with a proven track record of success. A good franchisor will have been in business for at least two or three years and be able to demonstrate the growth potential of its products and services. The best way to do this is by looking at how many franchises they currently have in operation and are they profitable. A robust and growing network often indicates a successful brand. In addition, it demonstrates that customers value its products or services enough to pay for them again through multiple businesses.
The second thing you should look for when choosing a franchise is reputation—how well does your chosen brand stand up against its competitors? While there may be other similar businesses out there with similar business models, does you selected band have points of difference to separate itself from the competition. It’s essential that you choose one that utilizes high-quality materials, produces consistent results, and provides excellent customer service while maintaining competitive prices at all times.”

Know Your Competition
One of the steps to building a successful franchise business is to know your competition. What brands already exist in the market, and how do they compare? What is their customer base, and what can you learn from them? How do your offerings differ from theirs, and how do these differences help or hinder you as a company?
Tom Scarda a former franchisee and now a franchise coach and consultant offering advice to franchise buyers regarding evaluating the competition and what it may mean to their success as a franchisee “It’s smart to think about a product or service that is needed in your area and consider bringing that sort of business to the town. However, just because there are no batting cages in your town and you think it would do great because there are kids everywhere, you may be right. However, will it make money? Is there some reason why there is no batting cages in the area? When starting a business, you must, must do a comprehensive business plan before anything else. Learn about competition in the area. Understand the local county laws and regulations around the business you’re considering. Be real about the cost to start and run the operation. These are just a few items to consider in a business plan.”

Once you’ve got a handle on who’s out there, it will be easier for you to see where there are gaps in the market—and then fill those gaps with your unique brand identity.

Carefully Review The Franchise Disclosure Document.
Read the legal franchise disclosure document and have it reviewed by a competent franchise attorney. Harold Kestenbaum, a noted franchise attorney with Spadea Law advises: “When considering the purchase of a franchise, I highly recommend retaining the services of an experienced franchisee attorney. Never contemplate purchasing a franchise without seeking the advice of an attorney who has reviewed FDD;s before. I also recommend that you do your due diligence. By that I mean that you should review Item 20 of the FDD and call all of the existing franchisees who are in your general area.”

There are additional factors to consider when reviewing the franchisor’s FDD. According to Richard Bayer, a Partner in the law firm Einbinder & Dunn LLP: “Purchasing a franchise for many first-time business owners will often be one of the top three expensive transactions the franchisee will ever go through in his/her lifetime. Given the severity of the investment, a franchisee must commit to doing due diligence. It starts with speaking with existing franchisees as well as those who left the system. Their contact information can be found in the FDD. The goals from these calls include gaining a better understanding of the economics of the franchise – is it profitable, when is break even reached, do costs (labor or otherwise) or revenues fluctuate significantly making it difficult to predict performance. Equally important is getting a sense of the franchisor’s temperament – is the franchisor supportive, does the franchisor go above and beyond legal obligations (imposed in the franchise agreement) to deliver for its franchisees, is the franchisor forward thinking and/or technology driven. The FDD is a great source of information about a system, but it is has gaps that can be filled in quite nicely by franchisees in the system and by those who left. Purchasing a franchise without speaking to as many franchisees as possible is a lost opportunity.”

Investigate The Franchisor’s Tenure And Track Record of Success
In addition to analyzing the franchisors’ financials, it’s also vital to examine their overall track record. While a strong balance sheet is an essential indicator of a business’s health and stability, it doesn’t tell you much about how they’ve fared over time. So, for example, if you’re looking at two franchises with similar books and financials, but one of them has been around for four years while the other has been operating since say, 1899, it would make sense to choose the latter in this case—even if everything else on paper looks the same.
This information can be gleaned from third-party sources such as Dun & Bradstreet or franchise trade magazines or by visiting the website of the International Franchise Association. Always go directly through your Franchisor before getting this data yourself so that they can confirm that everything is correct and up-to-date. In addition, it is vital that you speak with or meet as many existing franchisees as possible before you make your final decision.

What Are The Brand’s Training Programs And Support?
When you buy a franchise, you’re not just buying the rights to use its brand name. You also get access to training programs, mentoring, and support from the Franchisor. These must be proven and effective; otherwise, it can be challenging for your business to grow or stay profitable.
You want to ensure that your franchisor is committed to your success as a franchisee. That means offering in-person training (the better option) and or using phone or video calls if necessary. It also means regular advice on running your business and what strategies might help you reach more customers or increase revenue.

Review The Franchisor’s Marketing Plans.
A good franchisor will have a written marketing plan in place. The marketing plan should include a social media strategy and details about how the franchisor plans to use the funds provided through your advertising fees. If you ask for this document, they should be willing to share it with you.

Choosing The Right Franchise Brand Can Significantly Impact Your Success.
We’ve talked about screening potential franchise brands above. Still, there are some other factors that you should also consider when choosing where to invest your time and resources.
Tom Scarda goes on to say “We always hear the phrase, “If you love what you do you never work a day in your life.” That is true if you’re working a job. But a franchise is not a job. It’s a business that allows you to build a lifestyle. In the end, the service or product the business provides doesn’t matter. Of course, it must make sense for the community where you will operate and the concept must be something that you understand. However, you can be a vegetarian and own a burger joint. As the owner you are acting as the CEO and CFO, you’re not flippin’ burgers…well you shouldn’t be. If you are doing the tasks that the business requires then you bought yourself a job and your business will plateau and not be scalable. Scarda adds “Don’t buy a business because it has to do with your hobby. If you do, you will no longer have a hobby and you will probably resent the hobby if you’re trying to pay your mortgage with it. Instead, invest in a business that will give you the time and money to enjoy your hobby until your heart’s content.

Conclusion
It is important to consider all these factors when looking for a franchise brand. Some of them, like the fees and term length, are more straightforward than others. But, if you want to be successful in your franchise opportunity, it’s worth taking the time to research what makes each Franchisor unique thoroughly. A good franchisor will have invested in training programs and support systems that will help you understand how their business works.

Featured Franchise – HEALTH BENEFITS OF DANCE AND GYMNASTICS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

A Bundles of Tumbles class in action in New Jersey

Summary: Dance and gymnastics are both excellent activities for children to participate in. Both dance and gymnastics help to increase muscular strength, flexibility, and coordination. In addition, dance involves a great deal of physical activity that improves the cardiovascular system of your child by increasing their heart rate and strengthening their muscles.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF DANCE AND GYMNASTICS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
By: Marianne Ecanosti, Founder and President – Bundles of Tumbles

Introduction

We know that children need to be active and healthy to grow up well. But how do you get your kids off the couch and moving? Dance lessons are an excellent way for young children to get physically active. A study in the journal Pediatrics found that after only one week of dance lessons, children showed increased activity levels and improved their abilities at playing with others.

Research shows that children who participate in physical activity regularly are less likely to be obese and more likely to be healthier, fit, active, and self-confident.

Research shows that children who participate in physical activity regularly are less likely to be obese and more likely to be healthier, fit, active, and self-confident. Regular physical activity also helps reduce stress, promote good mental health and improve sleep quality.
And it’s not just about your child becoming healthy — it’s also great for you! Being active together can help you strengthen your bond with your child while staying fit at the same time.

The benefits of dance and gymnastics include increased muscular strength, flexibility, and coordination.

Dance and gymnastics are both excellent activities for children to participate in. Both dance and gymnastics help to increase muscular strength, flexibility, and coordination. In addition, dance involves a great deal of physical activity that improves the cardiovascular system of your child by increasing their heart rate and strengthening their muscles. In addition to these benefits, dance can also help with self-confidence as well as social skills development because it is an activity that encourages participation from others who may be performing alongside them.
Gymnastics teaches children how to control their bodies in motion, improving balance and coordination and overall health benefits such as increased bone density and muscle tone. In addition, gymnasts tend to have lower body fat levels than non-gymnasts due to the amount of exercise they do each week, which contributes towards an overall healthier lifestyle when combined with a balanced diet.

Learning rhythmic gymnastics movements can help children develop large muscle groups and learn spatial concepts.

Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport that combines dance, tumbling, and trampoline. This activity is excellent for improving your child’s balance, coordination and flexibility. It can also help improve their spatial awareness, control, and balance. These are all essential skills needed to perform well in school and sports like soccer or basketball.

Children enrolled in dance classes improve their spatial awareness, control and balance.

Dance and gymnastics classes are the most effective ways to improve your child’s spatial awareness, balance, and control. As a parent, you may be concerned that dance or gymnastics will make your child too hyperactive. However, research shows that children enrolled in a structured program of dance or gymnastics can lead to better self-esteem and lowered anxiety levels.
In addition to improving motor skills, these classes also help kids develop their sense of rhythm and timing. Many times when kids are dancing, they are also listening to music, so this helps them think about how the music makes them feel and how it affects their body movements and other people around them who might be dancing at the same time as well!

Children enrolled in dance lessons also have increased self-confidence, social skills, and awareness of their bodies.
This is very important in a child’s development.

• Increased self-confidence and self-esteem are significant benefits of dance lessons for young children. Dancing helps them grow into their bodies, learn about the world around them, and understand how to interact with others. By participating in classes that teach proper safety techniques (such as how to fall), they also learn about their physical limitations and boundaries for fearlessness.
A child’s confidence level can significantly affect their school experiences or extracurricular activities like dance classes. For example, the more confident a child feels about themselves, the more likely they are to try new things or speak up when they have an opinion on something important (like going out for recess!).

At Bundles of Tumbles, our mobile at-school program offers various classes that help with your child’s development through movement and music. Bundles Of Tumbles is here to help you achieve your goals with your children. Our training style is one on one, where we will work closely with you to create an individualized program for each child. We know that every child learns differently and will cater to each individual’s needs.
We offer classes for children as young as three years old, which include ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop dance, and gymnastics classes. Courses help children develop physically, emotionally, and socially in a fun environment while building self-esteem!

Conclusion

As you can see, dance and gymnastics classes are a great way to help your child develop physical skills and self-confidence. At Bundles of Tumbles, we offer a variety of classes that help with your child’s development through movement and music.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marianne Ecanosti is the Founder and President of Bundle of Tumbles, Franchising Group, LLC.. She has teaching dance and tumbling for more than 25 years. My areas of expertise include ballet, jazz, tap and tumbling. I have taught all age groups throughout my career from toddlers through adult, but prefer to focus on pre-school through grade 5. I truly have a passion for what I do! My company, Bundles of Tumbles, is an on-site preschool gymnastics and/or dance enrichment program. We also offer online classes. Franchise opportunities now available! Find out more at https://www.bundlesoftumbles.com/

Mindset Over Muscle – Building A Solid Business

Photo by Andreas Klassen on Unsplash

As you can see, the mindset will get you to the top. It’s not about the muscle. While you may need some physical strength to push through a rough patch, your mindset will ultimately determine whether or not you succeed.

Mindset Over Muscle – Building A Solid Business
By Dom Hemingway

The world is changing, and you should also change… But if you’re looking for a way to stay relevant, you first need to change how you think. It’s not enough to go with the flow anymore; that can get your business stuck. Instead, it’s time for you to take charge of your future and start thinking like an entrepreneur. This means learning to build a solid business from scratch by developing the right mindset and skillset. This blog post will explore how changing your mindset can help grow your business by overcoming challenges and taking charge of your destiny as an entrepreneur!

The Growth Mindset
Mindset is the driving force behind your success. So if you want to build a solid business, you need to be able to think in ways that will help you succeed.
A strong belief that you can develop your mindset through dedication and mindset practice is called the “Growth Mindset” and is based on three core ideas:

* Your talents and intelligence can grow with effort

* You can develop skills through practice and instruction.

* The brain is like a muscle; it gets stronger with use.

The best way to improve is to stretch yourself and work on challenges slightly beyond your current abilities. The Growth Mindset is about continually expanding your capacity to be more effective in whatever you do and achieve more of the desired results.

Mental Mastery
Mental Mastery is the ability to control your thoughts and emotions. It’s the key to success in any area of life because it allows you to remain calm and focused. Mental Mastery works even when things don’t go your way, or others are trying to distract you from your goals.

The more you practice Mental Mastery, the better you will become at it—and there are many ways to do so: meditation, affirmations, reading self-help books, and journaling. But here’s a straightforward exercise you can do anywhere. First, close your eyes and imagine yourself having already achieved whatever you want (e.g., being a successful entrepreneur). Then describe what it looks like in as much detail as possible (i.e., how does your business look? How do you feel about yourself?).
This exercise will help you visualize your future and activate the Law of Attraction. Plus, it’s fun!

Mental Mastery is the ability to control your thoughts and emotions. It’s the key to success in any area of life. Mental Mastery allows you to remain calm and focused, even when things don’t go your way or when others are trying to distract you from your goals. The more you practice Mental Mastery, the better you will become at it—and there are many ways to do so: meditation, affirmations, reading self-help books, and journaling. Here’s a straightforward exercise you can do: close your eyes and imagine yourself having already achieved whatever you want (e.g., being a successful entrepreneur). Then describe what that looks like in as much detail as possible. Selling is an Attitude, Not a Skill Selling is an attitude, not a skill.
The more you sell, the better you will get.

I remember sitting in my office on my first work day at a small company. I was nervous but excited to start my new career as a salesperson! I remember thinking: “If they only knew how bad I was at selling!” However, it didn’t matter how good or bad a salesperson you were; what mattered was whether or not your attitude towards selling was positive or negative. It is all about mindset and being determined to succeed no matter what obstacles appear in front of you along the way!

The first day of work was a little nerve-wracking. I was very nervous and had no idea what to expect. I remember walking into the office that morning and being introduced to my manager and other salespeople in my territory. Everyone seemed much older than me, making me feel a little out of place at first. But after talking with them for some time, I realized that we had more in common than not—we all liked sports, cars, travel, and meeting new people!

The Law of Abundance
The Law of Abundance says that the universe is abundant and infinite, and you are a part of it. The energy of your thoughts creates your reality. The more you think about money, the more likely you will attract more money into your life.
The Law of Abundance works because when we focus on what we want in life (for example, wealth), we put ourselves in a positive mindset. It attracts things like opportunities, good luck, or others who share similar goals. So if you want to attract abundance into your life, start thinking about everything related to making money!

The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction is a theory that states you attract circumstances, events, and relationships into your life based on your thoughts. This isn’t new information, but it has gained popularity in recent years thanks to the book The Voice of Your Soul.
It’s not magic. It doesn’t mean that if you wish for something hard enough and it happens without any work on your part (other than wishing), then it’s The Secret at work. There are still steps to take for your wish to come true!

The Voice of Your Soul teaches us three steps:
1. Ask – Ask yourself what you want. What do I need? Think about what would improve my life and long-term goals that could benefit me now or down the road.
2. Next, believe – Believe that this will happen or already has happened, even though there may be no evidence.
3. Finally, receive – Be patient while waiting for the manifestation of what we asked for–it may take a while depending on how big of an issue we’re dealing with–and celebrate when something finally happens!

The Secret is a great way to interpret what is happening in your life. If you’re not getting what you want, ask yourself how you can change your thoughts to attract the right circumstances into your life. It may take some time before anything happens, but if it doesn’t, change your wish one more time until you get exactly what you want!
mindset, leadership, the law of attraction, entrepreneur Mindset, leadership, and the law of attraction are three things every successful entrepreneur has in common. These elements can be learned and mastered by anyone. Understanding these concepts will help you to build a solid franchise business.

The challenge for most people is that their minds have been programmed for years by teachers, parents, friends, or society. For example: “Don’t think about it too much; just do it!” “Be practical! You can’t change the world!” Or my favorite one: “How could you possibly make money doing what you’re doing? It’s not realistic!”

These messages may seem harmless enough, but they keep us stuck and prevent us from taking action on our goals because they make us feel like we cannot achieve them. They also create fear around our capabilities which stops us from trying new things and having fun in life – all potent tools for success!

If this sounds familiar, then take some time today to create new beliefs around your ability to achieve whatever goals you set yourself this year. Whether they’re small or big, you must start somewhere.
You can do it! Take one step at a time, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Follow your dream, and don’t allow anyone to steal it!

Conclusion
As you can see, the mindset will get you to the top. It’s not about the muscle. While you may need some physical strength to push through a rough patch, your mindset will ultimately determine whether or not you succeed.

FRANCHISORS AND FRANCHISEES MUST LEARN TO DEAL WITH CHANGE

Franchisors and Franchisees Must Learn to Deal with Change

By Ed Teixeira

FRANCHISING,
Ed Teixeira is Chief Operating Officer of Franchise Grade and was the founder and President of FranchiseKnowHow, L.L.C. a franchise consulting firm.

If there is one thing that the Pandemic taught us, especially those in the franchise industry, is that certain events both large and small require change. It is a given that the recent Pandemic represents extraordinary change having last occurred 100 years ago. Franchise brands face frequent challenges requiring change including, a formidable new competitor, franchisee resistance to certain promotional programs, declining franchise system growth or a public relations problem like when the Subway Foot Long Sub, was found by a customer to be less than a foot long. When these situations arise, franchisors and franchisees must be equipped to implement change to meet the challenge.

Expect that franchisors will be required to implement changes to their franchise program from time to time some minor and some major. When a franchisor wants to make a change, based upon the magnitude of the change, it should be communicated to the franchisees before the change is implemented providing advance notice.

* Using the franchise advisory council as a sounding board

* Giving franchisees the courtesy of knowing about the change

* Providing the franchisee community an opportunity to respond

* Enlist select franchisees to help mold the change and avoid a confrontation

Some changes are routine in nature and can be implemented as per an existing policy. For example, a revision or clarification to a procedure in the franchise operations manual. Major changes that may have a direct impact on franchisees demand special attention. In certain cases, the change may not be that significant, but rather the perception by franchisees is that the change is the beginning of “more to come.”

Examples of Important Changes Include:

1.Changes to franchise agreements that significantly revamp contract terms, including renewal terms, royalty fees and default conditions. These changes may cause particular concern among franchisees that will be looking to renew their franchise agreement.

2. Changes in marketing or advertising programs which would represent a major departure from the current program.

3. Changes in the direction of the franchise strategy that involve applying resources to a new venture or business.

One of the most effective methods to establish and implement a major change is to involve the Franchise Advisory Council or marketing committee which includes franchisee and company representatives. These committees allow for a dialogue between the franchisor and representative franchisees which can help to foster positive franchise relations and establish a buy-in from existing franchisees.

When franchisors implement a major change that lacks franchisee involvement or advance notice it can be a recipe for trouble. To maintain positive franchise relations before implementing an important change the franchisor should gauge how the change could affect franchisees by obtaining feedback from franchisor field staff and select franchisees.

If feedback indicates a strong resistance to the change, the franchisor should consider the situation, and avoid unnecessary confrontations by being flexible. Change is an important aspect of all relationships especially in the world of franchising. It is important that the franchisor and franchisees conduct business within a climate of change that is positive and considers the needs and objectives of both parties.
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About the Author: Ed Teixeira
Ed Teixeira is a recognized franchise expert
with over 35 years experience in the franchise industry. He has served as a corporate executive for franchise firms in the retail, manufacturing, healthcare and technology industries and was a franchisee of a multi-million dollar home healthcare franchise. Ed is the author of Franchising From the Inside Out and The Franchise Buyers Manual. He has participated in the CEO Magazine Roundtable Meetings with business leaders from around the country and spoke at a number of venues including the International Franchise Expo and the Chinese Franchise Association in Shanghai, China. Over the course of his career, Ed has been involved with over 1,000 franchise locations and launched franchise concepts from existing business models. Ed can be contacted at 631-246-5782 or [email protected]
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FRANCHISE YOUR BUSINESS: www.franchisegrowthsolutions.com

franchise, royalties, profits, expansion
Click Here To Learn About Franchising Your Business

DO YOU NEED A TAX ID? HOW TO OBTAIN AN EIN

After four years of life in the outlaw motorcycle subculture in NYC, Tom got a haircut, took a shower and landed a respectable job in the New York Subway system. After more than 13 years in the subway Tom became frustrated with the bureaucracy and politics.

DO YOU NEED A TAX ID? HOW TO OBTAIN AN EIN
By TOM SCARDA, CFE Founder of FRANCHISE ACADEMY
🔑Education 🔑 insight 🔑 inspiration – Have you been working from home and don’t want to go back to your office? Have you tasted freedom and want out of the corporate rat race? We should talk. No Sales, No Kidding.

After you incorporate or form an LLC, the IRS will issue a federal tax ID to your small business. This tax ID is also known as an employer identification number, or EIN.

What is an EIN? Let’s take a closer look at this federal tax ID, key areas where having an EIN may benefit your business, and how to obtain an EIN if you were not already issued this tax ID.

What’s an EIN?

An EIN is essentially a social security number (SSN) for a small business.

This tax ID is nine digits long, similar to that of an SSN, with a primary purpose of legally identifying your business. Entrepreneurs may use their SSN or an EIN on paperwork pertaining to their company. Some entity formations, like sole proprietors, use their SSN for business tax purposes. Incorporated formations, like limited liability companies (LLCs), have the choice to use their SSN or an EIN.

More often than not, incorporated businesses will use their EIN. This is because an EIN is slightly less sensitive than an SSN. As such, business owners may choose to use an EIN in lieu of an SSN. Choosing this tax ID acts as a safeguard to ensure the safety of their personal identity. It also helps to keep entrepreneurs in compliance with U.S. tax laws.

How Do I Know I Need an EIN?

There are several aspects of small business where it’s necessary to file for an EIN. Here’s where this tax ID can benefit your company.

Opening a business bank account. Having a business bank account allows small business owners to keep their personal and professional finances separate. Most U.S. financial institutions require a certified copy of an EIN prior to opening a business bank account. An EIN also makes it easier to establish a business credit profile, separate from the owner, and build business credit.
Forming an LLC. If you have already formed an LLC, then you were issued an EIN — and may skip ahead in reading. However, if you are planning to form an LLC keep in mind that the IRS will issue you an EIN. You will also need to obtain an EIN if you choose to incorporate as another entity formation, such as incorporating as a corporation or forming a partnership.
Hiring employees. Here’s where an EIN benefits both employees and the business owner. If your business plans to hire employees, it is a requirement to obtain an EIN. This allows the IRS to track your business and ensure it collects payroll tax. On the flip side of the coin, once a business has been incorporated the business owner is technically considered an employee. As such, you will need to obtain this tax ID — for future employees within the business as well as your own status within an incorporated business.
Besides the aforementioned three bullet points, EINs may benefit businesses in even more ways. You will need to obtain an EIN to establish pension, profit sharing, and retirement plans. This tax ID may also be used when filing annual tax returns. In the event you decide to change your organization type, filing Form 8832 Entity Classification Election will ensure your entity is able to retain its EIN, even if its legal structure has changed.

How Can I Obtain an EIN?

Obtaining an EIN is a fairly straightforward process. You can apply for an EIN online, through the mail, by fax, or even over the telephone with the help of MyCorporation’s trusted team of professionals.

Before you begin the filing process, however, please note that you must determine if your business is eligible for an EIN. The principal business must be located in the United States or its U.S. territories. The true principal officer or general partner must also possess a valid tax ID. This may be an SSN, an EIN, or an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). Finally, if your small business is not already incorporated or formed as an LLC then it must file to incorporate as a legal formation for their organization.

The Value of Having an EIN

Having a tax ID allows you to take your business to new, exciting heights while remaining in compliance with tax laws. As an added bonus, once you obtain an EIN you have it forever because EINs do not expire.

Conduct your due diligence prior to filing for an EIN and reach out to a legal professional prior to filing if you have any questions. Once you obtain your EIN, remember to treat it similar to that of an SSN. Keep this ID in a safe place to protect it and use it in areas required by your business.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com which provides online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent services, DBAs, and trademark and copyright filing services. You can find MyCorporation on Twitter at @MyCorporation.

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About Tom Scarda:

Tom is now a nationally recognized small business and Certified Franchise Expert (CFE), motivator and dynamic speaker. Tom has authored three books: Franchise Savvy, The Road to Franchise Freedom and The Magic of Choosing Uncertainty: How to Manage Change, Embrace Fear and Live a Fulfilled Life.

30 years ago, searching for his inner drive, Tom left college and submerged himself in the motorcycle underworld in lower Manhattan. This made his mother worry. It was the first time Tom chose uncertainty over the status quo.

After four years of life in the outlaw motorcycle subculture in NYC, Tom got a haircut, took a shower and landed a respectable job in the New York Subway system. After more than 13 years in the subway Tom became frustrated with the bureaucracy and politics. So he quit his job and left his pension behind to pursue his dreams of business ownership. This also made his mother worry.

In 2000, he purchased a smoothie franchise, which he built into three units and sold five years later for a considerable profit. He was the #1 franchisee of the year in Maui Wowi Smoothies in 2002. He purchased a second franchise in 2006 called Super Suppers and failed miserably in that franchise concept. The lessons he learned from failure is what makes him such an expert. Tom has owned and operated both franchised and non-franchised businesses and has years of knowledge and wisdom to share with you.

New World, New Business: 5 Ways Small Businesses Are Adapting To COVID

“The unexpected has forced many to reevaluate plans, practices and procedures,” notes Andrea Forstadt on USChamber.com. “Yet one of the advantages of being a small business is the ability to more easily lean in to, embrace and adapt to change.

New world, new business: 5 ways small businesses are adapting to COVID

BY Brandpoint with permission.

(BPT) – COVID-19 has irrevocably altered the way that we do business. Some small businesses have floundered, while others have completely reinvented themselves.

In a recent survey by SCORE, just 34% of U.S. small business owners now categorize their companies as profitable, compared to 55% in 2019. As a result, they’re working hard to adapt — reconfiguring their offerings to boost revenues and planning such new strategies.

“The unexpected has forced many to reevaluate plans, practices and procedures,” notes Andrea Forstadt on USChamber.com. “Yet one of the advantages of being a small business is the ability to more easily lean in to, embrace and adapt to change. For many, the short-term alternate plans or adjustments are fast becoming the realities of the foreseeable future.”

Here are five trends that have impacted small business this year.

Freelancing has surged. As people rely on contract work to replace lost jobs, the number of freelancers in the U.S. is growing steadily. NPR reports that two million more Americans began freelancing between September of 2019 and September of 2020, boosting the freelance portion of the U.S. workforce to 26%. Studies also show that women lost jobs at a faster rate than men during the past year; and are more likely to pursue full-time freelance careers due to autonomy and flexible schedules.

Cashless commerce is growing. To reduce person-to-person contact, businesses of all kinds are discouraging or completely eliminating cash payment options in favor of card or digital payments. “Ongoing shifts toward e-commerce, digital payments (including contactless), instant payments and cash displacement have all been significantly boosted in the past six months,” confirms an October McKinsey report. In one example, the raw volume of invoices sent on Invoice2go, which saw more than $24 billion in invoicing volume in 2019, has risen from 58 million to 78 million invoices sent per month — a boost of about 30%. As consumers seek efficiency and convenience, Invoice2go also has seen a 50% boost in digital payments via its payment platform — a crucial assist to help small businesses stay competitive.

Demand is up for digital tools. As small businesses lean more on online business functions and/or e-commerce during social isolation, they’re calling for leading-edge tools that can help them navigate the logistics. Women-owned businesses are often primary customers for financial management tools — studies show they’re 43% more likely than male business owners to be concerned that limited access to funds could hurt their businesses. Around 43% of U.S. small businesses plan to expand their businesses through digital and related technology as a response to COVID-19, according to the Verizon Business Survey. In fact, 30% of these businesses have already added ways to deliver products and services digitally. To meet this demand, Invoice2go has recently added “Reviews” and “Profiles” features — prompting a star-based review after each transaction and enabling creation of an auto-generated website to help small businesses get discovered and build credibility. This is especially crucial for solopreneurs (37% of the platform’s users), who can’t always devote valuable time for customer follow-up and encourage the word-of-mouth that generates future business.

Businesses are diversifying. Many small businesses have devised new offerings as previous income streams dwindled. For example, hotels are now offering day-rate rooms for people who need to work remotely, distilleries are producing hand sanitizer in addition to spirits and restaurants are offering better, easier take-out options. “Difficult times often lead to changes in the way the world operates,” says Wade Thomas in Forbes. His advice to business owners is, “Develop products and services that not only solve today’s challenges, but will also thrive in the new, post-difficult-times world.”

Virtual experiences are expanding. Companies have transformed in-person events into digital experiences. From virtual happy hours, to podcast product releases, to YouTube customers videos, everything is going online. “The real opportunity is to somehow provide the experience and connectivity of former live events to a virtual one that actually can sustain itself over time, even after the end of the pandemic,” explains Bernhard Schroeder in Forbes.

Need a suite of effective digital tools that will help you run your small business smoothly and efficiently? Invoice2go offers user-friendly products that can streamline your day-to-day workflow so you can focus on your business. Functions include estimates, expenses, invoices, payments, appointments, ratings and reviews. It’s going above and beyond for passionate small business owners and freelancers looking to improve and streamline processes in the new year. Learn more at Invoice2go.com.

THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY AT THE PANDEMIC’S ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY – WHAT NOW?

We thought that the last twelve months of performance for individual restaurant stocks might give us a hint as to where to focus going forward. Since some of the obviously large stock gains have taken place among those with the heaviest short position, we have focused on the “short interest ratio”, the number of shares sold short divided by the average daily trading volume.

THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY AT THE PANDEMIC’S ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY – WHAT NOW?
restaurant, COVID-19, Roger Lipton, Franchise Money Maker

By Roger Lipton with permission

The last twelve months have been unprecedented, not only from a business/health standpoint, but from a fiscal/monetary standpoint. There has been more governmental stimulus as well as monetary accommodation than ever before, which has floated all kinds of boats. The Dow Industrial Average hit an all time high just this morning, and, though the NASDAQ index has retreated the last month or so, stocks from Apple to Tesla to Gamestop have written a new book in terms of valuation.

Based upon the new $1.9 trillion Covid bill, the likelihood of a new multi-trillion dollar infrastructure bill, as well as the Federal Reserve’s ongoing willingness to buy at least $120B of Treasury securities every month, there is every indication that the above trends will continue.

We thought that the last twelve months of performance for individual restaurant stocks might give us a hint as to where to focus going forward. Since some of the obviously large stock gains have taken place among those with the heaviest short position, we have focused on the “short interest ratio”, the number of shares sold short divided by the average daily trading volume. The table just below provides that tabulation, ranked from the highest to lowest current short interest ratio.

From a broad brush, it is shocking to see how large the moves have been from March 8, 2020 until now. It is interesting that several of the best performing “pandemic plays”, namely Domino’s, Wingstop and Papa John’s, which made very big moves over six to nine months, have retraced and are up more modestly now (zero, 56% and 47%, espectively).

This industry, by no stretch of anybody’s imagination is generally in a place that makes these companies “worth” from 50% to 90% more today than they were before the pandemic. There is somewhat less independent competition, and some companies may have learned how to serve off-premise diners better than before, but there are also a great many uncertainties. These include (1) the cost of labor with a new mix of in-store vs. off-premise (2) commodity inflation (3) other expenses to meet health requirements (4) unpredictable consumer spending (5) still substantial competition (6) ongoing high occupancy expenses, especially for new sites. There is also, in many cases, new debt to service.

Fundamentals aside: the stocks have done the following, ranked by today’s short interest ratio.
stocks, restaurant, franchise

What do we see? The average gain among the fourteen stocks with the highest short interest ratio is 90%. The bottom fourteen stocks went up by 57%. Without our focus on individual company fundamentals, readers can scan the list and conclude for themselves which stock performance is most removed from the fundamental outlook.

Where do we go from here?

Before considering the above noted $1.9 trillion Covid bill and trillions more for infrastructure, the Treasury is sitting on $1.44 trillion (to be reduced to $500B by June 30th) that was returned from the Fed last year and the Fed is currently creating $120 billion per month. This means that almost $1.5 trillion of accommodation will be provided to the economy and the markets by June 30th, before the effect of the new $1.9 trillion. This also means that equities, including restaurant stocks, may well go a lot higher in the short term. There is just too much liquidity in the capital markets.

THE BOTTOM LINE

For investors: Other things equal, we would focus on the top portion of the table above. 90% is better than 57%

For companies: In almost all cases, we would sell company stock. Pay down debt and/or build your cash balance. It may be a long time before you see these valuations again.

For management: Lighten up. You can always grant yourselves some more stock options.

Roger Lipton

Click here to visit Roger’s website: https://www.liptonfinancialservices.com/2021/03/the-restaurant-industry-at-the-pandemics-one-year-anniversary-what-now/

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About Roger Lipton
Roger is an investment professional with over 4 decades of experience
specializing in chain restaurants and retailers, as well as macro-economic and monetary developments. After earning a BSME from R.P.I. and MBA from Harvard, and working as an auditor with Price, Waterhouse, he began following the restaurant industry as well as the gold mining industry. While he originally followed companies such as Church’s Fried Chicken, Morrison’s Cafeterias and others, over the years he invested in companies such as Panera Bread and shorted companies such as Boston Chicken (as described in Chain Leader Magazine to the left) .

He also invested in gold mining stocks and studied the work of Harry Browne, the world famous author and economist, who predicted the 2000% move in the price of gold in the 1970s. In this regard, Roger has republished the world famous first book of Harry Browne, and offers it free with each subscription to this website.

Workplace Reopening? 5 Ways To Put Employee Safety First

Even with shared workstations, having dedicated sets of sanitizing tools is highly effective. Post or share clear instructions on how to sanitize and the necessary frequency. Particularly for shared workstations, it’s advisable for employees to sanitize before and after every shift.

Workplace reopening? 5 ways to put employee safety first

By (BPT) with permission.

Of all the milestones in our nation’s COVID-19 recovery, workplaces reopening is one of the biggest. As millions of people start returning to offices, classrooms and more, the hope of progress is tempered by concerns for safety. Everyone deserves to feel safe at work. How can employers help make that happen?

The key is planning ahead, says Christopher Gill, vice president of EnviroPro Solutions. “Having enough supplies, the right equipment and clear information — all of these are important. They do more than just keep the workplace safe and sanitized. They help employees feel confident about returning.”

Here are 5 easy steps employers can take to help build trust and stay safe.

Pick up plenty of PPE. The bare minimum should include disposable masks and hand sanitizer. Depending on the sanitizing steps your business is taking, gloves and goggles may also be necessary. Designate a clear responsible party who will be in charge of tracking supplies and re-ordering.

Post or share information on the supplies available, where employees can access them and who to report any shortages or concerns to.

Re-assess restrooms. Restrooms should always be well-stocked with soap, hot water and paper towels. Increase the frequency at which restrooms are checked for supplies and sanitized. This is even more important if your facility’s restrooms are open to the public.

For large restrooms, consider closing off some stalls and sinks to limit the areas that require frequent sanitizing. Placing out-of-order signs can help deter use. Post clear instructions for handwashing — it should be done for at least 30 seconds with hot water and soap.

Scale back shared spaces. Shared spaces may mean break rooms, employee kitchens, copy rooms, lobbies, supply closets or more. If any of these spaces aren’t strictly necessary, consider closing them off. This will discourage congregating and limit the areas that need frequent sanitization. For shared spaces that stay open, limit furniture and supplies to the absolute essentials. This may mean reducing seating and tables, or removing communal dishware.

It’s also vital to establish clear expectations for sanitizing shared spaces before and after every use. Prominently post and share sanitizing guidelines with all staff. Include information on where sanitizing equipment will be stored and how it can be accessed and used. To help ensure everyone follows guidelines, look for a sanitizing solution that’s fast and easy-to-use, like electrostatic sprayers from enviroprosolutions.com, made by Victory or Graco.

Sick? Stay home. Wherever possible, encourage employees to stay home or work from home if:

  • They are experiencing any symptoms of illness.
  • They suspect they may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • They have just returned from traveling.
  • There have been any changes to their household, such as a child returning from college.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides guidelines for length of self-quarantines and more in their Guidance for Businesses & Employees page.

Provide proper equipment. Empowering employees is the best strategy for building trust. When it comes to sanitization, providing individual sanitizing tools is a terrific way to empower. Some companies offer kits to keep multiple employees in-stock at once, such as the Millennium Q Viral Disinfecting Kit. When every employee has their own set of supplies, they can take full responsibility for the safety of their workspace.

Even with shared workstations, having dedicated sets of sanitizing tools is highly effective. Post or share clear instructions on how to sanitize and the necessary frequency. Particularly for shared workstations, it’s advisable for employees to sanitize before and after every shift.

After more than a year at home for some workers, returning to the workplace is an enormous step. Emotions may be running high, and it’s up to employers to set a positive example and tone. Making your dedication to safety clear and tangible will boost employee confidence, all while keeping your workforce healthy.

10 Tips To Support Small Businesses

“Small businesses are the heart of our country and Ball® home canning products business,” says Kris Malkoski, CEO of the Food Business Unit at Newell Brands. “We have been moved by the love our small business customers have shown their communities this past year. Still many small businesses are facing hardships and they need our support now more than ever.”

10 tips to support small businesses


By BrandPoint

(BPT) – The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult on small businesses. Whether it’s a local eatery, service provider, retail store or another type of business, when you shop small, you’re supporting a real person who is striving to keep his or her entrepreneurial dream alive.

“Small businesses are the heart of our country and Ball® home canning products business,” says Kris Malkoski, CEO of the Food Business Unit at Newell Brands. “We have been moved by the love our small business customers have shown their communities this past year. Still many small businesses are facing hardships and they need our support now more than ever.”

You can personally help make a difference by considering 10 simple ways to support small businesses:

Shop now: No need to wait for a sale or special event. By shopping now you’re putting much-needed funds into a small business that is depending on income each month to make ends meet and keep doors open.

Reverse shopping: Rather than thinking of the recipient and then where to shop for a gift, think of the shop first and then the recipients that would most like items from that particular business.

Go online: For small businesses that offer e-commerce options, be sure to consider online orders that ship directly to your home. This is a safe and convenient way to support your favorite businesses.

Shop in person: For businesses with physical locations, visit shops in person if you can use proper safety measures. If you know what you want, many businesses let you order ahead and opt for curbside or doorway pickup as well.

Consider gift cards: Not sure what to buy? Gift cards are always one of the most desired gifts, so if you need to send a little love to a loved one, wrap up a gift certificate in a beautiful card and feel good about your present choice.

Leave reviews: Online reviews can make a big difference for small businesses in expanding clientele. Go online and leave rave reviews for your favorite stores and why others should support them as well to help spread the word.

Be vocal: In addition to online reviews, talk up your favorite small businesses among friends. From independent restaurants to local service providers, use your voice as a powerful tool to build their reputation and support growth.

Partnerships: Look for small businesses who partner together to offer products or services that complement each other in packages, such as a gift basket bundle featuring your favorite local treats. You’ll support multiple businesses at once and often get a discount compared to buying separately.

Double up: For businesses like independent coffee shops or bakeries, consider a larger order. For example, go with that grande latte and order two dozen cookies to share with your neighbors.

Be patient: Small businesses are dealing with a multitude of challenges these days, from supply chain holdups to sluggish shipping and beyond. Your kindness is valued and your patience is crucial during these times.

“Actions big and small will help make a difference,” says Malkoski. “This is our time to give back to the businesses that help build our culture and communities, and we at Newell Brands want to give back too.”

WHAT’S YOUR SUPERPOWER?

A superpower should be super. It should be something that very few other people can match. For example, a lot of people can play a guitar pretty well. But Eddie Van Halen can coax sounds from the instrument like few others.

WHAT’S YOUR SUPERPOWER?
By Jeff Morrill

Superman can fly, Wonder Woman can deflect bullets, Spider-Man can sense danger. Real people can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, but we can develop special abilities that form the backbone of our success over a lifetime.

It usually takes a few superpowers to make a superhero, because even a monumental talent will not, by itself, guarantee success. For example, towering athletic ability won’t get you very far unless you also have the long-term discipline to sharpen your skills and match your competition. I use the term “superpower skill set” to describe a cluster of a few exceptional strengths that add up to a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Imagine a person with unusually high levels of manual dexterity, stamina, and intellect—those qualities would combine to make very good surgeon, or a pilot. The set of faculties work together to create quite a competency.

When identifying your superpowers, keep these things in mind:

There’s a difference between the things you want to be good at and things you actually are good at. As a boy I wanted to be a great baseball player. I persisted through my little league years on modest talent, hoping that that my genetics would eventually deliver me the physique necessary for real success (you know—big butt, powerful upper body). It was not to be. I made it to six feet but never to even 140 pounds. I permanently abandoned my efforts on the diamond after I failed to make the Blacksburg High School junior varsity team.

A superpower should be super. It should be something that very few other people can match. For example, a lot of people can play a guitar pretty well. But Eddie Van Halen can coax sounds from the instrument like few others. You probably do a lot of things well. But what do you do really well? What’s easy for you but hard for others? That’s where you can really make things happen.

In my case, I have always been freakishly organized, I have a feral risk tolerance, and I can remain intensely focused on goals for years on end. This skill set is ideal for entrepreneurship. I have depended upon those qualities my whole life, and they have helped me compensate for many deficiencies in other areas.

Be respectful of your superpowers. Use them for good, to make the world better for you and everybody else. Don’t waste them, because they don’t necessarily last forever. There might come a time in your life when you regret screwing around with your prime years instead of discovering the frontier of your potential.

What are the handful of special abilities that comprise your superpower skill set? Have you developed each to its full potential? Are you making the highest and best use of your overall capability?

About the Author:
Jeff Morrill co-founded Planet Subaru, “your undealership,” in 1998, and built it into one of the most successful privately-held car dealerships in the United States. He later started other businesses in automotive retail, real estate, telecommunications, and insurance that generate over $100,000,000 in annual revenue. His achievements in building profitable and ethical companies have been featured in a variety of national media including USA Today, Entrepreneur Magazine, Automotive News, The Boston Globe, and others.

Jeff is a strict vegetarian, even though people tell him it’s a big missed steak to eat that way. However, he does like his puns well done. Jeff lives with his wife, Julie, outside Charlottesville, Virginia, on a mountain he refers to as “The Morrill High Ground.”