Franchise Opportunities for Entrepreneurs: Day Care & Preschool

For many people, particularly those who love children, a daycare franchise is an ideal and rewarding community-based business venture. Not only will it expand an entrepreneur’s income, it will also give him or her the satisfaction of knowing a valuable service is being provided to working parents.

day care center 2In the late 1990’s, more preschool franchise opportunities starting becoming available and many new child care facilities were opened. Since then, the demand has steadily increased and this trend will likely continue in the future. Before the 21st century, the limited availability of quality child care for working parents was an impediment to mothers who wanted to re-enter the workforce after starting a family. Now, many companies even sponsor child care centers close to their establishments to make it easier for them to recruit working parents to their business.

Advancements in the digital world have also given a boost to the popularity of daycare centers. For example, technology in many child care centers allows for parents establish an instant video connection and see what their child is up to. Enhanced safety measures of this kind have allowed more parents than ever before to participate in child daycare programs.

These and other factors have caused a steady demand fr daycare operators and has resulted in more preschool franchise opportunities than ever before. For this reason, it is a great choice for those who are interested in running their own business, rather than working for a traditional company.

Additionally, parents themselves have the opportunity to oversee the formative years of their own children’s lives, as they can enroll them at the childcare franchise they run.

Important Considerations

Opening a daycare center requires a significant amount of thought, as one must choose the best franchise for brand name recognition. The person must also consider a broad range of other factors before making a final decision, such as the size of the daycare they wish to run and how to appropriately set fees in order to be competitive, but still make a profit. Although starting any new business can be a challenging endeavor, most individuals are very pleased with the outcome of running a child care franchise.

Steps to Success

When the decision has been made to seek preschool franchise opportunities, prospective business owners should consider following the steps outline below to make the process a bit less daunting.

Developing a Business Plan

Those interested in opening a child care franchise should create a business plan that highlights his or her goals for the establishment. The business plan should guide all future decisions concerning the center. A business analyst can offer expert advice regarding such matters.

Size and Location

Prospective franchise owners must also determine the size of the center they wish to run. Leasing commercial space is a wise course of action if the person plans to open a large day care center. Similarly, a home-based childcare franchise is best if the person is planning n a small or modest size establishment.

Researching State Laws

Before opening a daycare franchise, it is essential to inquire about state laws regarding licensing and current regulations. Such laws vary considerably from state to state, with some allowing home-based day care centers to be managed by one person, while requiring commercial based centers to employ a more expansive staff.

Targeting the Appropriate Audience

As with any new business, it is important for day care entrepreneurs to target the correct audience for their establishment. The person must decide if he or she prefers children in a specific age bracket. One may also wish to target employees for a particular company where parents struggle with child care needs. The person may even wish to lease a building near specific businesses for which no day care center exists close by. If there is a need in the community for a child care center for youngsters with special needs, the prospective business owner can create such a facility and hire several employees with specific experience to help fill this need.

Outlining Policies and Procedures

Creating a policies and procedures manual is essential as well, as this will give potential clients concrete information concerning all aspects of the daycare franchise operation. This includes payment policies and rates, as well as a daily schedule for the children including playtime activities and curriculum.

Although it takes a significant amount of time and effort to launch a new business, the rewards almost always outweigh the initial time and effort necessary to launch such a facility. Those who love children and need to boost their income should give serious thought to opening a daycare franchise.

What You Need to Know About the Franchise Disclosure Document

franchise opportunityAccording to figures published by the International Franchise Association (IFA), the U.S. franchise sector accounts for about 3% of the country’s annual GDP. In addition, job opportunities in this sector grew by an average of 2.5% annually from 2011 to 2015. It’s worth noting that the franchise business model covers almost every business niche. But no matter what industry the business belongs to, if you are considering buying a franchise, you need to first familiarize yourself with the Franchise Disclosure Document, also known as the FDD.

An Overview of the Franchising Disclosure Document

The FDD is essentially a legal document that every franchisor is required by the FTC to provide to prospective franchise buyers (franchisees). Prior to revisions made by the FTC in 2007, the FDD was called the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC). Franchisors must provide franchisees with the FDD at least 14 days before signing any contract or executing financial transactions. In general, the FDD contains useful information that aspiring franchisees can use to make the right investment decisions. Some of the items that the FTC requires franchisors to cover in the FDD include:

  • Litigation
  • Initial franchise fee
  • Trademarks
  • Financing
  • Franchisee’s obligations
  • Patents, proprietary information, and copyrights
  • Contracts
  • Franchisor’s obligations
  • Territory
  • Termination, renewal, transfer and dispute resolution

Some of the key items to focus on include:

1. Franchisor background

This section contains detailed information on the franchisor’s business experience, operating history, and business model. As such, franchisors should expoound on legal requirements that franchisees must fulfills, such as acquiring special permits and licenses. In general, this section should cover both positive and negative information related to the franchisor.

2. Litigation disclosure

The FDD should also contain information about the franchisor’s litigation history over the last 10 years. This includes suits filed against the franchisor as well as suits the franchisor has filed against others, including franchisees. At the same time, franchisors should disclose lawsuits, crimes, or fraudulent convictions related to top executives.

3. Start-up and ongoing costs

The FDD should contain detailed information on the fees, start-up costs, and royalties that aspiring franchisees are required to pay. Although these costs vary from one franchise to the next, they can be broken down into two main categories: initial and ongoing investments.

  • Initial investment
    In most cases, franchisors require franchisees to pay start-up fees that may or may not be refundable. These fees cover the cost of initial inventory, leases, signage, and equipment. As such, you should ensure that this section clearly explains your financial obligations.
  • Ongoing investment
    Besides start-up fees, franchisees are usually required to make ongoing investments related to product and service supply expenses, insurance coverage payments, replacement of faulty or old equipment, regular staff training and appraisal, and rental costs.

4. Product sourcing restrictions

Go through this section with a fine-toothed comb to understand the franchisor’s restrictions in relation to purchasing inventory, liaising with suppliers, or sourcing services from non-franchise-approved vendors. In turn, the FTC requires franchisors to reveal any financial interests or relationships that they may have with any of their approved vendors in the FDD.

5. Training

Training is important because it determines the ability of a franchise to maintain consistency across the board. As such, evaluate the training section to determine the nature and quality of training offered to franchisees. The gold standard across all franchise categories is inviting new franchisees to training programs conducted by industry professionals with years of practical experience. The FDD should also contain information on scope, costs (if any), and duration of training program.

6. Territory/protected area

The territorial exclusivity of some franchises is a major reason they attract investors. For this reason, find out the nature of territory protections that a franchisor offers franchisees. Furthermore, find out if a franchisee has the right and freedom to select a business site or if such a decision would require franchisor guidance and approval. These aspects are important, considering that franchise investments can range from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of dollars.


Selecting the right franchise opportunity can help an entrepreneur grow his/her investment by up to 6% annually, according to data from IHS Economics. To achieve this goal, prospective franchise-buyers must carefully evaluate the Franchise Disclosure Document. Key sections of the FDD include the franchisor background, litigation disclosure, start-up and ongoing costs, product sourcing restrictions, training, and territories. For more information and guidance on purchasing a franchise, speak with a franchise consultant at FranNet for a free consultation.

Sell Your Business With A Business Broker

Whether the market for new businesses is strong or weak, selling yours isn’t an easy task. You will face several hurdles and plenty of uncertainty. A business broker can help you to overcome those hurdles including maintaining discretion, understanding legalities, and performing background checks.

Business Selling Jargon

As a business owner, you already know there are legalities involved in legitimizing your company name and insuring yourself against liability. Real estate, however, is another legal minefield. When you sell your business, there is a lot to learn and perhaps not a lot of time to learn it. You could make a mistake that throws the whole process back several months or causes you to lose money. A business broker knows the legal terminology and can walk you through the process.

Promise of Discretion

You want to keep working and concentrating on the job at hand without clients backing out because they know you are about to sell. This changes attitudes among clients and would-be consumers: will you give your all to a job when it’s your intention to sell the firm? A business broker mediates the sale while maintaining confidentiality and discretion.

Handling Negotiations

This is your business for sale and you want the best price possible for it. That being said, negotiation is a skill which a broker has acquired through experience and training. The broker will treat your firm like his own and do the best job possible to achieve a price both sides can live with. That also takes some of the nervousness out of a process that might be daunting when the owner of a small firm is selling to a larger corporation more accustomed to exchanges of these types.

Negotiations might go deeper, discussing whether to retain certain employees or go through wholesale lay-offs. This could be a deal-breaker for a business person who is intent on ensuring his loyal staff members don’t lose their jobs. Small firms are especially vulnerable in these cases.

Background Checks

Offers can come from unexpected directions, but just because you are selling doesn’t mean any buyer is okay. You might have strict ideas about whom you would like to see taking over the company. Their ethics need to be in line with your own, especially if your firm has been dedicated to fair trade, environmental responsibility, and treating employees with dignity and fairness. It is also possible that proposals are coming from individuals or firms that do not really have the money to see their offer through. They might be preparing to engage you in negotiations prior to revealing their tightened circumstances and the inability to pay their full original offering price. By this time, you are so far into the deal that you will feel tempted to take this lower offer rather than go through the whole process over again.

A business broker will pre-screen potential buyers of your business for sale. He will uncover the background of a buyer and which direction he might take the business once he owns it. His job will involve checking finances to ensure a company really does have the funds to follow through with a purchase.

Hire a Broker

Select a broker with experience handling sales of firms like yours; businesses of much the same size and composition. Choose someone with confidence, dedication, and experience. He will take away a lot of the stress associated with your sale.

How to Improve Your Search Engine Rankings for Your Business

search enginesEspecially for local businesses, ranking high on Google for product or service-related keywords can be extremely valuable. Directing consumers to websites that offer goods or services that they are already interested in, and then converting them into customers forms the foundation of online marketing. Think about it — if you were unsure of where to eat in your neighborhood, maybe you’d do a quick Google search. You might pop into the search bar: “restaurants richmond” or “restaurants in richmond va.” You’d then, ideally, receive a list of nearby restaurants in Richmond. But how does Google decide who gets that first spot, the second, third, or who doesn’t quite make the cut and falls onto the second page? Well, if you’re familiar with Google at all, you know that the answer isn’t quite clear, and there isn’t one clearcut formula to get your website to reach that coveted #1 spot. But through trial and error, people who specialize in search engine optimization (SEO) have discovered several elements that will certainly help your website to rank higher organically.

Title Tags

The title tag refers to the first line of text that appears for a result/listing on a Google search result page. For most browsers, the title tag also appears in the tab for the specific webpage. The title tag is arguably one of the most important elements of search engine optimization. Best practices for optimizing title tags is ensuring that each webpage has its own, unique tag — no duplicates. Characters should be limited to 60 (including spaces). Include relevant keywords pertaining to the page’s content that you think potential consumers are searching for; and as Google reads from left to right, the most important keywords should be written first, and less important ones should come toward the end. Separate keyword phrases with a pipe ( | ).

Good, Relevant Content

Though title tags, meta descriptions, and valuable backlinks are all important for SEO, making sure that your website contains sufficient, relevant content is equally important. A significant amount of content that users find relevant and valuable, while also containing your target keywords (without overuse) will help to improve your ranking. Conversely, too little content, duplicate content, and spamming your site with the same keywords over and over again will all hurt your rankings.

Avoid Unethical Linkbuilding Practices

Links are also valuable for your website’s SEO, as they count as “votes” and authority for your website. However, obtaining links by paying for them or building a link farm (a website which only includes thousands of links and no content) is considered to be “black hat” SEO and will consequently have a negative effect on your rankings.

Google Analytics

Analytics may not directly improve your SEO, but it is great tool to use when developing your online marketing strategy. Google Analytics can be used to see where your site’s visitors are coming from, if they’re using mobile devices, how long they spend on each page, and more.

Social Media

At the moment, Facebook and Twitter posts have little impact on SEO, but it’s speculated that this will change in the near future. That being said, it’s still a good marketing strategy to post regularly on social media in order to get consumers engaged with your business and drawn to your website.

Although there are few clearcut answers for search engine optimization, we do know that Google places a premium on user experience. If you’re unsure of what the best thing to do for your SEO, always consider what the user would find more interesting and relevant.

Financing Your New Car

Take Your Time Researching Your Options

One important financial decision you will make in life is what type of car you are going to buy and how to finance it.

Why Purchase a Used Car?

When you opt for a used car, you do forfeit some of the benefits you get when purchasing new- such as a warrantee and that new car smell.  However, there are many used cars for sale that will provide you with most of what a new car can offer for a much lower price—if you can forgo that new car smell.  Here are a few reasons why you should consider a used car as your new car.

Used Cars are More Reliable than Ever

Each year, more and more used cars come on the market, and many of them are only a few years old. In recent decades, the quality and safety standards of vehicles have gone up.  This means that the used cars hitting the market are more reliable and safer than they have ever been.  You can read the studies or even test this theory for yourself; browse some used cars for sale online and check their ratings.  You will find that they are pretty impressive.

Less Depreciation

You have no doubt heard it before—when you purchase a vehicle, it loses value the moment you drive it off the lot.  The drop in value over just the first few years is significant.  When you buy used, you purchase it are the already depreciated price.  This means that if you sell it later on, you take a smaller hit than if you purchased new.

Lower Interest Rates on Loans

Should you find a used car for sale that interests you but you need a loan to purchase it, you will find that the interest rates are lower when you purchase a used car.  This will mean even bigger savings in the long run.  If you work with the right dealership, you are even more likely to find great financing options. Click here for a used car dealership that will work with you no matter what your credit score is to help find a plan that you can manage.

Top Franchise Picks of 2014

If you are looking for new ways to earn money, a franchise might be right for you. These unique kinds of business give you the opportunity to be your own boss and see uncapped earning potential. So many people spend their whole lives trying to dream up a unique product or service idea that they can turn into a business. Even if you have a new idea that has real value in the current marketplace, without the proper experience in finance, marketing, management, and logistics, your new business can be unprofitable and end up sending you into debt.

That’s why franchises businesses are so great. You get a proven, successful service model with all the assets and brand recognition of an established entity. You completely skip the step where you are having to manually pass out flyers, harass your friends and family, and post to embarrassingly small social media audiences. The buzz is already in the air when people here a new branch of a popular franchise its opening its doors just down the street from them.

Here a few of our favorite franchises that you may or may not have heard about.

Drama Kids Franchise Franchise Business OpportunitiesNot all of these types of business are fast food chains. Drama Kids gives you the resources to offer acting classes to children of all ages. You partner with local schools and recreational centers to build a thriving program.

Chick-fil-A – Not all franchises are food related, but some of them sure are. This restaurant is dwarfing the preexisting chicken champion, KFC, in sales per sq ft of retail space. Truth be told, Chick-fil-A is a hybrid franchise and corporate owned structure. Apply online to become a restaurant owner/operator.

Anytime Fitness – Rated the #1 Franchise in America by , Anytime fitness clubs are open to their customers around the clock. Labor is kept low with security systems that ensure safety even when the building is not staffed. Start-up costs are relatively low comparative to other industries. Expect to invest up to $300,000, pay an initial franchise fee of $25,000 and an ongoing royalty fee of $500/month.



How to Get a Mortgage

Buying a house is no small decision. It is a serious financial move and can create a sense of permanency to the city you have chosen to settle in. It is also, if done correctly, a type of investment vehicle that is money much better spent than renting apartments for all of your days. So you first time home buyers might be asking yourselves “where do I start?”

Before we go any further, I want to remind you that there are two ways people get rich in this world. The first is peopHome Mortgagesle inherit money, invent something, or attain a position that provides them with an astronomical level of income. The second and more controllable way is by people living humbly below their means. That means not buying the absolute flashiest car, TV, and home that you can physically afford without filing bankruptcy. The beauty of a mortgage loan is that you can borrow against your future purchasing power much like a credit card allows you to do in the short term. It is true that you want to live in a place that feels nice, but imagine the comfort you will have in life if you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck and have the flexibility to go on vacations to Europe of the Bahamas from time to time.

That ties into the first step in buying a home, examine your finances. Understand what you can afford, not just how big of a loan you can get. If we have learned anything from the past decade in the financial sector, it’s that the banks don’t always have your best interest in mind. Create a monthly budget, if you don’t already have one, and make sure the monthly mortgage payments are well within your ability to meet.

Next, shop for a loan. There are many financial institutions available. Mortgage lenders have capital to directly lend to you, while mortgage brokers are very familiar with a number of lenders and can shop for a loan that suits your needs. Brokers will also take a piece of the pie for their services, though.

Finally, apply for a loan. You will need to provide a number of documents to accurately present your financial situation to the lender. Be prepared to share W-2 forms from employers, credit ratings, investments, and assets like cars.

Insure Your Purchase with Customer Service

Whether it is a car or laptop for personal use or a printer of copier for your business, it can take a lot of time and research to buy a high ticket item. One thing that will help the process go more smoothly is to look into making your purchase from a company who will assist you, giving accurate information and provide strong customer service.

First, look for places that are known to have salespeople who care about their customers. Ever heard someone complain about how the saleslady upsold them on an item that would have been half the price at a different store? Don’t fall into this trap. Look to see if anyone else has had a negative experience with a company or felt pressure to buy higher priced items.

Then, look for a place that offers guarantees, warrantees, and service or repairs beyond the sale. These companies are confident that their products will function properly, or else they would be spending way too many resources fixing issues.

After you have established these factors, look for a place that has high quality inventory. Do they have the brands of laptops you are looking for, and are you looking for a brand that will serve your needs? Click here for a company who provides excellent customer service selling office equipment.

In order to gauge the quality of products and service and find out more about companies, use online review sites. These will help you quickly determine where you should go to make your purchase.

What is Collision and Liability?

If you are shopping around for auto insurance then it would be a great idea to know which companies to receive a quote from in order to receive the best deal possible. I just recently purchased a newer used car and it was my very first time with having to deal with auto insurance companies by myself. I had always been on my parent’s policy and never had a thought about it. If you are buying a used car that is more than ten years old then you will purchase a different type of policy than if you purchased a newer car. I had not understood what each part of the policy entailed until I contacted Insurance Doctor of Hampton and talked with a gentleman that called himself Jay.

Jay was extremely friendly and walked me through the insurance purchasing process. I wanted to share the information that I learned through the process with the readers of Insurance Buzzer. When purchasing auto insurance for a newer car you need to have liability and collision. The higher amount of coverage that you have will increase your premium and monthly payments.

Liability is the amount that you are covered for if you are in or cause an accident. If you are found guilty of causing and auto incident then you are in charge of paying to replace the other person’s car and medical bills. I am 23 years old and the standard amount for my age is around $250,000 worth of liability insurance. Liability takes care of any damage as a result of anything you did to create the accident.

Collision is the amount of money that you are covered for repair your car from any type of accident. If a tree falls on your car then you would pay your premium and the insurance company will pay the rest of the cost. Depending on the amount of coverage you would like depends on the amount of your premium charge – the more coverage you have the higher the cost. Jay was very nice in helping me understand auto insurance policies and was very nice I would recommend Insurance Doctor of Hampton for any types of drivers.

Electrical Wiring Basics for Homeowners

Wiring and electrical issues can leave you at risk for potentially dangerous and expensive repairs down the road. That’s why we want to give you the basic facts you need to know to better understand the inside of your home’s electrical system. First thing you should know is the electrical service panel. Every switch and outlet is connected to the home’s main circuit breaker. If future problems arise it may be beneficial to know which outlet lines up with each circuit. This can better help you to identify wiring and connection problems and the correct course of action to repair those issues. It’s hard to solve a problem when you can’t identify the source of the problem.

Electricians Huntsville ALNext, try to identify the end of run outlet. If there is only one cable entering the outlet box, this means that outlet is the last on the electrical circuit. Along the black hot wire, power leaves the electrical panel and enters into the outlets and switches through the neutral white wire. When attaching the black and white wires remember that white connects to silver and black connects to brass terminals.

Lastly, identify the middle-of-run outlet. If there are two cables on an outlet this outlet is identified as the middle circuit.  The black wire is retrieving power from the electrical panel and a second black wire sends current into another circuit. Electricity passes through the white neutral wires and is rerouted back to the electrical panel. A possible third electrical wire you may encounter is a ground wire. Ground wires can be plain or green colored and they return electricity back to the service panel.

Remember when it comes to electrical repairs safety is the most important factor to consider. Contact your local electrician for any repairs that you are not comfortable with. Your Huntsville electrical contractor will know the entire protocol for electrical safety. However, some basic safety procedures to keep in mind when conducting electrical repairs, always wear rubber-soled shoes, avoid wet floors, use rubber gripped tools, never use metallic ladders, and stay up-to-date on electrical code standards.