How to Buy a Franchise

Investing in your own business can be one of the most critical decisions one will ever make. The challenges are enormous physically and emotionally. Even finalizing a decision to own one’s own business is daunting in itself. Many budding entrepreneurs cop out early into the decision making process.

Usually individuals wanting to strike out on their own were never responsible overall for: sales, marketing, human resources, customer service, quality assurance, operations, legal compliance, accounting, and much more. When owning a business, including a franchise ALL of those roles will often be carried out on a daily basis.

In principle owning a franchise will reduce the risk of not having conducted many of those roles for those brave individuals who ultimately decide to become a franchisee. The foundation of business format franchising is that the franchisor has developed a system, which has been proven successful, which can be duplicated by others …being franchisees.

When a business, whether it be associated with food, automobiles, building, or consulting (there are 75 franchise industries) decides to grow by franchising vs. a product or service distribution scheme, that business must develop documented systems which have contributed to that business’ prior success, and which can be replicated by its future franchisees. The new franchisee will be trained and provided with, or access, to manuals covering the mission critical functions referred to earlier.

Selecting the franchise in itself is a serious and time-consuming process. While many new franchisees select a franchise after having a personal experience at a franchise outlet, most use the Internet to search for a franchise to buy. Since the beginning of the new millennium online franchise directory web sites have proliferated. While many are just bulletin boards, other web sites like Franchise.com more full information on each franchise opportunity and its requirements. When interested in one or more franchises of interest, one simply completes a request for further information form with their personal information on how to be contacted by the franchisor.

While some companies want only basic information, others will want the candidate to provide much more since they do not want to waste their time. Some companies receive literally hundreds of leads daily from seemingly interested prospects, many of which are not qualified to own their franchise. Expect to receive a phone call from the franchisor, and if you are genuinely interested in becoming a serious candidate, then it is imperative that you respond, in order to be considered a genuine contact.

There are SO many franchises to consider how can you choose which one may be best for you? First have some knowledge of your financial capability. Do you have capital available to invest? Don’t forget the possibility of obtaining additional capital for the investment from a loved one or a friendly investor.

Next, think about what you like to do, and what you do not like to do, and choose accordingly. If you don’t like working with the public, then a retail business should not be considered. If you like working with children, animals, crafts, or involvement in sports, then target a franchise in that matching category.

After you speak with the franchise representative, if you are still interested, and if the franchise is interested in you, then you will be requested to complete a formal franchise application, which will involve typically a credit check and sometimes a background check. If you meet the franchisors guidelines, then to move forward then by law the franchisor is required to send or provide to you a disclosure document, known as a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC).

Read the UFOC carefully since it will include a vast amount of information on the franchise such as: history of franchise and its key principals, financial statements, litigation, franchise openings/closings/terminations, franchisee contacts, franchise agreement, requirements, and more.

One of your key questions to the franchise representative early on may be “how much can I make”. By law a franchise salesperson cannot provide you with an Earnings Claim, unless it is included in the disclosure document. There is no legal requirement that the franchisor must provide you with an Earnings Claim, however some franchisors do provide it. If the franchisor has chosen not to provide it, then it remains important to contact other franchisees listed in the disclosure document. Other franchisees can answer many of your questions. Many franchisors will also require you to visit their headquarters before signing the agreement, so that you can both get to know each other better. This is known as Discovery Day.

Ultimately your new business’ profit or loss will be determined by such factors as your franchise territory, site location (if not home based), and your individual efforts and commitment to following the system. While you will be your own boss, when owning a franchise you will not be “on your own”. The franchisor will have also committed to fulfill their promises to you as stated in the franchise agreement.

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How to Get More Space in the Garage

It doesn’t seem to matter how big your garage is: you can always fill it up with stuff.  Sure, you can hire some professional organizer to come help you clear a path to the car doors, but that costs money.  How about I just give you some tips instead?  You don’t even need to pay me $100 an hour, or whatever it is de-clutter-ganizers are making these days.  So, without further ado, here are five ways to clear up space in the garage:

1. Hang things from the ceiling.

Garages usually have plenty of headroom, so that leaves many cubic feet of space you can exploit.  Is your family full of sports fanatics?  You can buy ceiling-mounted racks designed specifically for outdoor recreational equipment, everything from snowboards and bicycles to canoes and kayaks.  You can also get platforms that go up and down with a crank of a lever.  These allow you to tuck hundreds of pounds of junk–er, valuable family heirlooms–up amongst the rafters.

2. Make use of wall space.

You’ve probably got at least one pegboard in the tool area of your garage, but there’s no reason to limit yourself.  You can attach your own homemade brackets, nails, and pegboards, or you can buy special panels designed to support hooks, baskets, and shelves.

3. Cabinets are for garages too.

Most garages have enough room on the sides or in the back to accommodate banks of cabinets, while still leaving enough space to get in and out of the car.  Even if there’s only enough room for 12″ deep cabinets, that’s still a lot of extra storage if you run them from floor to ceiling.  Also, cabinets look nice–all your clutter gets hidden behind the doors, where you don’t have to look at it every time you drive inside.

4. If you have too many vehicles, try a car lift.

You’ve got a good 10-12 feet of height in your garage, right?  And the average car is less than five feet high, right?  Well, there are systems out there that let you stack them.  Granted, these are pricey, and raising and lowering the top car can be a hassle if the vehicle is driven every day, but if there’s a car you don’t drive that often but that takes up space, it might be something to look into.  Car lifts can make a lot of sense in houses with one-car garages.

5. Think garage sale.

If you’ve tried your hardest to find storage space for everything, but you’re still tripping over stuff, it may be time to clean the garage out.  Chances are you have toys, boxes, tools, etc. that you bought many moons ago (and which your family probably hasn’t used in almost as many moons) that you don’t need to keep around.  So, clean it out and throw it out, or better yet, have a garage sale.  At least then you make some money and are rewarded for your efforts.

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How to impress on first date

After hours of deliberate preparation, sweaty fingers you have managed to hold your nerves and prevent your tongue from slipping to ask your dream girl for a date. Now she has agreed….. Here is some advice for you how to impress on first date.

Remember first impression is the best impression. By putting your best forward you gain confidence in yourself.  Don’t keep yourself idle before the date. This is because you must not look desperate at any point of time. Sit with your play station, watch a ball game just do anything that keeps you occupied. Wear a dress that is comfortable and make sure it’s the one in which you look good. Do not go to every shop in the mall buying something new. Because it’s new you can never really tell if it’s good on you. If you have a specific genre of dresses which you are very sure would suit your personality go ahead. Do not forget to wear clean underwear.

Keep a list of conversation starters and make them general questions. Ask about their life but don’t get too personal. All women are turned on by wit so be witty and humorous. Don’t act weird or like a lunatic in the process of trying to be different it’s ticket to disaster. Don’t brag on how big your biceps are or how you were a star in your school or how you won the prize for making the best lemonade in boy scout camp. Actuate your plus points in a subtle manner. It will be more effective in reaching her. Take her to a place that is unique, where she would not have gone before. Say an orchard or a flower field which can be rented, or a boat in the local lake or to a Chinese trapeze artist show or an Indian music show. Make it an interesting and memorable place, something she would not forget for a long time.

Look into the eyes of your date, it means you are showing interest in her. If you can’t look into her eyes look at forehead they can’t find out the difference. And don’t keep on yapping. Allow her to talk. When she is talking listen to her. Don’t ogle at the girl in next chair or be savoring your pasta. Don’t be cheesy or behave like a tramp.

Appreciate her in a honest manner even if it’s a blatant lie, that would make the devils teeth to chatter, do it without any guilty feelings for it’s the results that matter not the path taken. When you drop her home, study her closely and end the date with a kiss preferably on the cheeks the first time or maybe a peck on the lips if she allows to. Before you kiss shift the conversation to a romantic topic and make the kiss a memorable one.

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How to Get Better Fuel Economy

Poor fuel economy can put a costly damper on any summer vacation taken in the family vehicle. But there are a few simple things you can do to enhance your fuel economy no matter what type of vehicle you drive, which means you’ll buy less gas and have more money to enjoy the summer.

Let’s go through a few ideas that are proven to improve your fuel economy.

Get the junk out of the trunk. I own an auto-repair facility, and you’d be amazed at the amount of stuff I find in trunks of cars these days. I’ve seen junk in the trunk of cars equivalent to a full-size man. Why haul the dead weight? Remove unnecessary winter supplies such as bags of salt and tire chains from the trunk of your vehicle. Get that bag of old newspapers to the recycling bin. Your vehicle will require less energy to move without the dead weight. So ask yourself if you really need to be transporting around that card table, set of golf clubs or storage container, and unload any unnecessary items from your trunk.

Keep air in your tires. Remember what it was like riding your bike as a child with half-flat tires? It was hard to get the bike moving. Once you inflated the tires, your bike was like a new sports car; it went faster with far less effort. Your car feels the same pain when the tires are at, say, 28 psi instead of the recommended 35 psi. (Just to be clear: Not every tire should be inflated to 35 psi. Look for the recommended psi rating on a label on your driver’s door or in the glove box.)

Use the right motor oil for your vehicle. I can’t overstate the importance of using good motor oil. To illustrate what I mean, try a little exercise. Take your hands and place them together with palms touching. Then rub the palms against each other quickly. Feel that warmth generated by friction? That’s exactly what is happening inside your engine. If you rubbed your hands together like that for an hour, you’d probably do some damage to your hands (which means you can stop rubbing your palms together now). And you’d also have to work much harder to rub your hands together.

Now you know why motor oil is so important to the efficient performance of your engine. If you put motor oil between those two sliding surfaces, a lot of that friction goes away, and the engine doesn’t have to work as hard. As a result, your engine is more fuel efficient.

But not every motor oil is created equal. Some last longer than others. While certain motor oils may lose their effectiveness after a few thousand miles, others are designed to last for a very long time. ExxonMobil makes an oil, Mobil 1 Extended Performance, that is actually guaranteed to protect and perform for up to 15,000 miles.

Keep your vehicle clean. Believe it or not, that layer of dirt on your exterior creates drag that, over long distances, hurts your miles-per-gallon count. Keeping your vehicle washed and waxed will improve your vehicle’s aerodynamics, improving your fuel economy. And you’ll feel good about driving around in a clean vehicle.

Consider the best option for ventilation. Conventional wisdom says that cars are always more fuel-efficient when the air conditioner is off. On long trips or highway driving, however, using the air conditioner is actually more fuel efficient than rolling down the windows. When driving fast, open windows create a drag that forces the engine to work harder to maintain speed. If you’re driving on short trips or in city traffic, roll down the windows and enjoy the breeze, but on the highway, turn on the air.

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How To Make A Rubber Band Gun

Back in the days when kids made a lot of their toys, some devious little mind came up with a way to fire rubber bands off more than their own thumbs. Thus was born the rubber band gun. Today, they’re enjoying such a resurgence of popularity, that you can even buy guns carved from wood, that replicate actual weapons such as repeating rifles, pistols and more.

But for a simply weapon to give your friends a snapping good time, try this. Gather up a piece of wood, such as a short section of 1×2″ lumber, a wooden clothespin, some Crazy Glue, a nail and a hammer.

You’re going to want to glue the clothespin at the rear of the 1″ side, which should be on top. But first, take a nail no more than 2″ long, and 1/8″ thick, and cut the flat head off, and file it down. Mark on the piece of wood, where the end of the clothespin will be, and drive the nail into the wood, sharp end down, about 1/3″ from where the mark is. Leave about 3/4″ of the nail sticking up.

Now drill a hole through the end of the clothespin, with a bit that is slightly larger than the width of the nail. Make sure you drill through both sides of the pin. Apply glue to one narrow side of the clothespin, from the open end, down to the drilled hole. Don’t get glue in the hole. Now place the clothespin on the piece of 1×2″, making sure it’s got the nail fitted through the hole. You might want to try the fit, before applying the glue.

Cut a notch in the end of your wood, just below the top, so you can hook one end of the rubber band there. Now pull it back, and hook the other end over the protruding nail. To fire, just open the clothespin. There should be enough motion to allow the upper part of the pin, to push the rubber band off.

For more zing to your gun, cut a second shorter piece of wood and glue it underneath at a 90-degree angle, to approximate the shape of a pistol. Insert your nail and glue your clothespin to the back of the “grip”. This will make for a longer stretch to the band, and more snap when you fire.

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How To Train For A Marathon

Training for a marathon is a process that takes a lot of time. To get yourself into peak condition for a long distance run, you will need to gradually ease your body into the kind of intense endurance challenge that a marathon provides. It is a good idea to set up a running plan at least a few months ahead of your chosen marathon event so that you can safely progress to the kinds of lengths and speeds you need to reach while staying safe and protecting your muscles from damage.

You should plan on running at least five or six days per week throughout the training process. It is much better for your muscles to run shorter distances often than to overdo it with one or two very intense days of exercise per week. By pushing yourself a little bit farther each day, you are giving your muscles time to recuperate every night from the small amount of muscle trauma that is a necessary part of gaining power. This allows you to go into every workout with more strength than you had when you started the day before.

It is a good idea to start with six short runs per week, and then gradually lengthen your route on a few days so that you are eventually running two long distances and four shorter ones each week.Your longer runs should be spaced equally through the week, so that you are running long distances on, say, Sunday and Wednesday. This kind of schedule will give you ample time to recover from the exertion of your long runs so that you don’t injure yourself. Your short runs don’t need to be very long, as merely three to six miles will be enough to keep you fit between endurance runs. Work your way up to your goals over the course of a few months, and by two or three weeks before your event, you should be able to start concentrating on speed rather than distance.

This kind of rigorous training schedule can seem like a lot more hard work than it is fun. To stay motivated, it is often a good idea to take the time to appreciate how much progress you are making. If you are training with a big goal in sight, it can sometimes feel like you will never get there. However, it is crucial that you don’t try to rush your training process, as a large number of running injuries are likely to happen in precisely that kind of scenario. It is important to be good to your body by taking your time, but it is also important to be good to your mind by appreciating how far you have come. As a part of your training schedule, plan to reward yourself at several points along the way with a massage, or with a lovely and healthful meal in a nice restaurant. This will help you continue to feel enthusiastic about your training process, even when the going gets tough.

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How To Improve Your Cheerleading Skills

If you are interested in cheerleading, you may wonder how to improve your skills on your own. If you’re not on a squad, drilling and practicing at home can help you prepare to wow your judges at cheerleading tryouts someday in the future. If you’re already a member of a cheerleading team, improving a few key aspects of your technique on your own can help you excel at meets and during routines. Gaining mastery of cheerleading techniques can help you build confidence and skills that will translate into success in other arenas of life as well, and if you have the time and inclination, practicing some cheerleading techniques solo can help you take your cheering to the next level. There are three things that you can improve on your own that will strengthen your cheerleading. These are your muscles, your voice, and your mind.

Practicing some gentle stretches, pilates, or strength training can help you to gain flexibility and resilience that will allow you to tackle increasingly advanced athletic feats on the field. From effortless splits to attention getting aerial moves, the better shape you are in the more successful you will be in achieving your goals. You can increase your athletic prowess by spending just twenty or thirty minutes a day stretching in the privacy of your own home. Using the skills you’ve built later, during a game, can help your squad get the crowd excited and the sports teams you are supporting are certain to appreciate your extra effort.

Although cheerleading is highly visual and depends greatly on athletic feats, the heart of any cheerleading squad is the cheering. Upping your vocal power can help you to reach the sports fans way in the back of the stadium. Learning how to breathe deeply and how to improve your annunciation and vocal control can help you get your message out there without shouting yourself hoarse. For a comprehensive guide to vocal technique, check out any book by Cicely Berry, a theatrical vocal coach renowned for her ability to get the most power and resonance out of any actor’s throat.

Last but not least, you can train your mind to make you a better cheerleader. Many cheerleaders enjoy the excitement of cheering for huge crowds, but along with that excitement nerves and tension usually show up before a big game or a competitive cheerleading meet. Psychological tension often translates into physical tension, which can spell problems for a cheerleader who needs to stay relaxed and keep muscles loose in order to execute the sport’s demanding moves. The job that cheerleaders do is just as stressful as the job that any athlete does, so it is important to take care of your spirit the same way that an Olympian does. Practicing relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing can help you to make sure that when you step onto the field, you are at your peak no matter how many people are watching.

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