Business Opportunity Sellers, Franchisors, and Home Based Business Offerers Beware of Success!

The other day, I got a very interesting contact from an individual who claimed to want to learn about how to start a certain type of business, and it happened to be in a sector that I had previously spent some 27-years in prior to retirement. You see, in retirement I do spend a heck of a lot of my personal time assisting other business people with information, advice, and knowledge. He indicated that he wanted to be “Successful” and inquired how I might help him start his business intelligently and make it a success.

Well, that word “success” can get folks into a lot of trouble in the real world. In fact, just using that word on a website is against most of the registration states guidelines for selling franchises or business opportunities. Indeed, the FTC doesn’t like it either, as it is inadvertently implying a quasi-guarantee. This why I titled this article the way I did, you see, Business Opportunity Sellers, Franchisors, and Home Based Business Offerers must beware in using the word “success” and even though such words are used in natural conversation, you must be very careful, and you’d be wise to NEVER use the word actually.

Yes, that does go against “free-speech” and it is getting rather politically correct, but that is the world our regulators and lawyers have created, so you as a business entrepreneur must deal with it. Anyway, my acquaintance tells me; “I think you’re over analyzing the word success.” Am I, or is he just being na├»ve? I suggested he try reading some of the state guidelines for franchises, or the FTC’s take on the use of that word. It’s a serious legal issue, it’s not some kind of game.

The SEC is all over this stuff when it comes to financial investments too. It is just the way it is, even if 75% of the websites out there which sell online don’t follow the rules, you can bet you’d better, especially if you actually become successful yourself, as the lawsuits will come in, and the regulators will come calling.

My acquaintance did “agree that success can mean different things to different people and would therefore require further refining as to what constitutes success in each every situation.” However, he goes onto say that; “I’ve never been sued over the use of the word success in the course of bantering and since we’re not under contract I have no idea what you are talking about with that comment.”

Okay but he is missing the point, because it is in the initial conversations, marketing, advertising where folks make their decision to buy or opt not to, thus, the bantering of that word is not wise. Additionally, a company could easily be sued for that, it happens every day. It’s also an entrapment trick of regulators. And a purchaser who keeps such emails, records, or conversations can later break the contract if you use that word, even if they were “playing you” getting you to agree to their use of the word.

That’s how our laws are set up.


Life Blood of Business Often Stems From Business Loans, But the Source Is Your Customers

Business loans are often called the life blood of any business. Businesses of any size may need and have business loans; the only differences depend upon the scale of the loans required.

If you are a small business, you may be new to the area of business finance and therefore are looking for pointers on what to do and just as importantly, what not to do in securing a business loan. Here we may be of help.

We owned and ran a small business for many years. As our business grew our need for capital increased significantly so we were required to find sources of financing from time to time. Some of the things we learned may be of help to you.

First and foremost, you will want to find a bank with which you are comfortable. If you can do this prior to actually seeking funds, you can take your time because there is no pressure. With so much banking done online these days, you can find a bank with internet options which really work for you. You know what kind of hours you keep and how many hours you put into your business, so an online bank may work better for you, at least in the beginning. There is always time to put a face to the voice if needed. Even though we lived in the southeastern part of the US, we did most of our banking out of New York. Most of the paper work and the details were done over the internet or by fax; once in a while, we used a carrier to hand carry important papers if we could not get away from the business. I would suggest to you, do not get that tied to your business – you can always find time to do some traveling with your partner, for business or for fun. (I met a woman not long ago who had traveled extensively through Europe and China on business. She took people from her office with her but her husband never traveled with her.)

Once you have established your business and your cash flow, you will find that banks are often more willing to talk. When you are looking to secure a loan, there are certain things that you will need in hand to make any financial institution interested in doing business with you. You must have a business plan, drawn out and down on paper. Money people like to see figures in black and white. You should present your plan with a certain amount of confidence. Do not be shy about your plans. You do not want to be overly aggressive with the figures but do be optimistic about growth and cash flow.

Be realistic about your profit margin as this is how the lender’s investment will be returned with interest. They will be particularly interested in what your market is, your plans to reach that market, your projected growth and how you will increase your profit margin.

One thing you must guard is your product quality, whether your product is physical or service based. Accounting people are only interested in the bottom line and you as the owner must guard and maintain the market value of the product. After all, it is the product or products that you provide, that drive your business. Business loans will help your business grow and become strong but it is the relationship between you, your customers and your products that is the life blood of your business.

Greening Your Construction Business

Save money and attract conscientious customers when you choose to make your construction business more sustainable.

As the world continues to come to terms with the potential effects of global warming, more and more businesses are looking for ways to green their operations and minimise their environmental impact. If you’re hoping to do the same for your construction business but don’t know where to start, don’t worry. There are plenty of things you can do that will mean you can start making a difference to your business – and the planet.

Greening your business not only makes sense when it comes to the environment, it can also have a number of other advantages too. From power saving initiatives that can help cut your electricity spend to improved environmental credentials which will help you appeal to today’s climate savvy customers, you could find that making an effort to cut your business’s emissions could benefit you in more ways than one.

Making sure your construction business becomes a little greener is sure to mean a number of changes to the way you source your products and service. However, many of these changes are likely to prove to be for the better in the long run, making the initial disturbance more than worth it.

Searching for sustainable materials is likely to be one of your first ports of call, and the good news is that there are a number of suppliers out there who are also realising the benefit of providing goods and services that have minimal impact on the environment. From reconstituted stone walling products to alternative carpeting options, there are a number of suppliers who are currently making the kind of building materials you could use to really differentiate yourselves in what is a sometimes difficult marketplace.

You could also find that you can maintain a good stream of work by offering to help individuals and businesses make their buildings and premises more environmentally friendly. There are a significant number of people who are willing to make an investment in their building for the benefit of the planet, and many are further encouraged to make the change due to the likelihood they will be able to save on things like energy costs if they have their properties fitted with, for example, doors and windows offering a high thermal performance.

If you often make use of diesel generators, you could consider switching to gas. Gas generators typically have a much lower Sulphur, NOx and Greenhouse gas emission content than their diesel counterparts, and are suitable for many of the same tasks. You’ll also find that gas generators are ideal for generating cost efficient electricity, making it possible for you to save on costs too. Cut your emissions by choosing your generator rental company carefully, and you could find this is one of the easiest ways for you to improve your company’s green credentials.

Greening your construction business may seem like a mammoth task, but there are many ways you can make a difference – and the process can be a gradual one if that works best for your company.