Ask Entrepreneur - Franchises

Franchises

Should I Use Personal Funds to Start a Franchise?

I’ve been doing a lot of research lately about franchises and I'm assessing the financial state I should be in to buy a franchise. How much of my personal funds should I use to start a franchise? Should the majority come from loans or investors? How much money should I put aside after buying the franchise?
Jeff Elgin
Starting a Business

Should I Bring a Mentor into the Business?

I'm building a startup and because I have no experience other than a great idea, I enlisted the help of a mentor. Since then, I've been working with him and paying him by the hour. Now that I'm getting ready to hire a team, the mentor offered to come on board as the CEO and wants a certain percent of the company. Until I raise enough money, he said he'd work on a part-time basis at a reduced rate. What ownership percentage is normal to offer? I really need his help, but should I find someone else to be CEO?
Tim Berry
Finance

What's the Best Way to Find Startup Money?

I am working on a deal with the largest distributor in the world of sporting goods to sell a product I've come up with. This company has already offered a payoff of my patent with a 3 percent royalty. However, my business plan isn't finished and I need more money. I know this is a really good problem for me and my company, but I'm wondering: Should I seek an investor? What's the best way, and why?
Tim Berry
Franchises

Are Franchise Fees Negotiable?

When looking at options for a franchise to buy, is the cost of the franchise and what’s included in the franchise fee usually flexible? Can I negotiate these? If so, what should I keep in mind? If not, what factors are negotiable?
Jeff Elgin
Marketing

How Can I Market to Decision-Makers?

I am developing a mobile advertising service -- a coupon iPhone app -- for brick-and-mortar stores in Australia. My direct customers are businesses such as cafes, retail stores and gyms, among others. How do I reach decision-makers in industries such as hospitality or retail considering they're often away or busy?
Michael Kaleikini
Starting a Business

Do I Need a Permit to Have a Sample Sale?

I am having a sample sale of new items outside my home -- similar to a garage sale. The only way for me to get the info out is to put out flyers, but I am concerned since these are new products that I will get in trouble without a permit or license. This will not be a regular thing, it is not my main source of income. I only plan on doing it once or twice, until I sell all the products. Will I get in trouble without a permit? Are there other legal issues I should consider moving forward?
Nina Kaufman
Starting a Business

What Ownership Stake Should a Departing Partner Keep?

I co-invented a line of products with a friend. We own 100 percent of the company, in equal parts, so I own 50 percent. I need to leave the company due to personal reasons and my partner needs to bring on another partner. My business partner believes I need to give up 40 percent of my share of the company in order to bring on another partner. Is this standard practice? Is 10 percent too low for a co-inventor?
Tim Berry

How Should I Value My Business?

I'm a business owner of a small hotel. After eight years of running it successfully, I want to sell 40 percent shares. How do I value the shares to determine a price that must be paid? Or, is there another avenue you'd suggest?
Tim Berry
Starting a Business

How Can I Use Social Media to Market My Business?

I own a a fashion-based direct sales business. I know social media is a good way to invite people to my trunk shows, where I present my merchandise. But how else can I use social media to advertise?
Michael Kaleikini
Marketing

How Do I Launch a Promotional Product?

I patented an advertising medium that's used as a promotional product. How can I reach out to airlines, big companies launching new products, health care providers, insurance companies and others about it? Do these companies have agencies promoting their products and services?
Michael Kaleikini
Marketing

How Do I Build an Inside Sales Team?

We're building an inside sales team to align with field sales in our business. What is the best way to get field sales on board?
Michael Kaleikini
Starting a Business

Does a Home-Based Business Need a License?

I am a freelance graphic designer but I also design wedding invitations and make them. I do it all from my home and have no other source of income. What type of business license do I need? Are there other legal considerations I need to explore?
Nina Kaufman
Starting a Business

How Do I Have a Prototype Built?

I want to build a prototype of my idea, which would resemble an Apple iPod or Microsoft Zune. I'd like to speak with a manufacturer about my idea and have them create a prototype in my vision. How can I find the right manufacturer? What do I need to keep in mind?
Brad Sugars
Finance

How Much Should I Charge for My Service?

I want to start an information consultancy firm in a relatively new market -- meaning I have not seen any other business like this for the advertising industry. Given this, how can I determine how much money I should charge clients to look for information for them? Obviously I don't want to over-charge them but I also don't want to under-pay myself. Any advice?
Brad Sugars
Starting a Business

How Do I Start a Personal Training Business?

I would like to create a Pennsylvania-based personal training business where I would come to the client's home to train him or her. I have a nationally-accredited personal trainer certification as well as liability insurance. What other legal steps do I need to take before starting up? Do I need any specific license or pay certain taxes?
Nina Kaufman