But instead of sitting back and waiting for things to get better, many franchisors are actively seeking out new franchisees and finding creative ways to help them get started. Here's a rundown of what a few franchisors are doing to encourage and aid prospective franchisees:
This might be because entrepreneurs who have made it through the low point earlier this year have come out stronger. They're "battle-tested," to use a great adjective I recently heard used to describe small business owners.
The big news at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference, as expected, was the unveiling of a new iPhone. This one's called the 3G S and, among its more advanced features, it has the ability to record video.
The 3G S is also said to be twice as fast for data as the current 3G model, which Apple is putting on sale for as low as $99. The 3G S will start at $199 for a 16-gigabyte model. It comes with a three-megapixel camera. And new software will allow users to plug into MMS technology that allows the sending of pictures via text message.
The buzz at Apple's Worldwide Developer's Conference in San Francisco continues to be apps, apps and more apps - for the iPhone of course. Those little programs that do everything from find friends to provide a virtual mug of beer are the hottest topic at the confab.
The New York Times is live-blogging the event while the Los Angeles Times is checking in with updates via Twitter. While there is much speculation about a possible new hardware version of the iPhone, so far the big news is about new apps that, for example, will allow iPhone users to get turn-by-turn map directions from TomTom.
"Silicon Valley's unique ecosystem of collaborating agents has an unmatched ability to spawn entrepreneurial firms that create new products, services, and even entire industries,
while sustaining major high-tech anchor firms that remain at the leading edge of innovation in their industries," states the Milken report (PDF). The top 10:
Normally, special deals on select menu items pay off because customers will buy high-markup add-ons like drinks and fries. Lately, though, penny-pinching consumers are purchasing just the discounted items, leaving franchisees with little profit.
Some reasons to check it out:
- Articles and columns from Steve Strauss, a renowned small-business expert and author.
- Weekly videos featuring products and services designed for small business.
- A free resource center with news and information.
- Smart tips and strategies for everything from greening your office to computer networking.
H.R. 2568 would update the definition of a small business in the Small Business Act by barring publicly traded companies. It would also allow individuals to file complaints regarding small-business-focused federal contracts.
According to Jurisich, a good name demonstrates your brand and your values. A bad name forces you to resort to explaining and advertising. In the Igor Naming Guide, Jurisich breaks down naming pros and cons in four broad categories, showing why some are powerful and others are just plain yawn-inducing.
That's what happened last week, as NBC announced that it would bring back the struggling but beloved action-comedy series Chuck-- with a little help from franchise heavyweight Subway.
Cash-flow concerns and lower business development spending contributed to a 10-point drop in the Discover Small Business Watch index, which fell to 78.1 for the month of May.
Okay, so maybe that's not exactly how it went. But it does ring true. One of the big selling points of joining a franchise is that you get to reap the benefits of a well-known brand with a built-in reputation. Unfortunately, the corollary to that is that if something happens to hurt that reputation--fairly or not--you reap the damages, too.
The Generating Reinvestment Opportunities With (GROW) America's Small Businesses Act of 2009 would allow the deferral to go unpaid for up to two years, with taxes due optionally spread out over installments if needed. The representative's office described the proposal as "interest-free, short-term loans" that "would strengthen small businesses at a minimal cost to the federal government."
In a speech Monday, SBA head Karen Mills announced that the agency would back loans of up to $35,000 administered through the America's Recovery Capital (ARC) program, which was authorized in February'sAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus bill). The program's purpose is to assist businesses with good track records facing "immediate financial hardship." Business owners would have five years to repay the loan, with the first payment not due for 12 months.
The three-day event is staged at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where entrepreneurs are being honored for their accomplishments as the nation's leading small businesses.
Apparently, this week also means legislators on Capitol Hill are turning their attention toward the importance of entrepreneurship in rebuilding our sagging economy.