More often than not we get nowhere because we lack the knowledge we need to take action. When I started my first business over 15 years ago I had very little knowledge on how to run a business and it turned out a failure.  At the time I felt like a failure and after that experience I did not think I’d go down that road again, but I did. I started working for myself again a few years ago and will not change anything in the world. I love it. Its helped me to rediscover my true potential and my purpose and its helped me grow as a person.

Starting or running a business is not the easiest of things to do and it’s certainly not for the faint hearted. You need to have lots of patience and determination and a willingness to adapt and change. For the most part, especially in the early days,  there are times when you want to give up, and other times when you are flying high as a kite, and still other times where you will wonder what on earth were you thinking!

 

So where do you start if you have that passion and drive to start your own business or buy into an existing one?

When you empower yourself with information it becomes easier to make important and difficult decisions especially when you are looking at buying a business like a franchise. This may initially cost you a fair amount of money and, to back your investment, you’ll need to get yourself connected, educated and immersed in the industry. In other words, master your craft and you will succeed.

 

Start at ground level

The best way to know whether you can, for instance, run a takeaway for the rest of your life, is to get in at ground level and work at the franchise business you wish to own.   Work at the starting level this will give you an opportunity to engage with others in the same industry and learn more about running the business you’re interested in. Use it as your training ground to prepare you for running your own franchise one day. Listen to what staff say, look at how the business is run and get close to management so that you can gain an insight into the business.

 

Educate yourself

The more you get educated the easier it is. Attend workshops and seminars on business, franchising, all topics related to helping you succeed.  Buy books on franchising, watch videos and connect with other franchisees. Whenever my husband wants to make a purchase or use someone’s services, he buys all the books.  Watches all the videos. Speaks to all relevant people to collect the information he needs.  When he has what he needs he will then make a purchase or decide who is the best person for the job.  I’m very similar that way in my work. I’ve been operating in my industry for a number of years now and I still attend workshops, sign up to webinars, read articles and study my trade so I can deliver the best service.  Attending an event like the franchise expo every year helps me to see a different perspective from a franchising point of view.  7 New habits of highly successful people.

 

Attend the Franchise Expo

Whether you’re new to the game – or an established franchisee – the Expo holds new insights, opportunities and exciting ideas. It’s also a good place to start for those who are feeling insecure about starting a business and a good place for those who are looking to invest in a business to see what opportunities are out there.   Expos are great for information, support and motivation.

I suggest you make it a two-day event. The first day you need to spend familiarising yourself with all possible opportunities available. Speak to the franchise business owners of businesses you’re interested in and ask questions on what you need to do to become a franchise owner. Also speak to franchise businesses you’re not so interested in to find out what opportunities they have, because often the less known franchise opportunities are far cheaper and may prove useful as a springboard. Not only that, but there are always questions we don’t really want to be asking our potential future business partners – so speaking to other people in the business may give you the information you are looking for.

On the second day, I suggest you attend a workshop that would help you gain more knowledge about your preferred industry and how it works.

 

Networking

Lastly, THE most valuable marketing tool is networking. Nothing beats networking when it comes to businesses that succeed. Networking is so much more than merely exchanging cards.

Attending the convention and the franchise expo is a perfect opportunity to get your network underway. Get to know the people at the stands, what they are marketing and how they got started, listen to their sales talk and how they handle queries. This is fertile ground for establishing future networking. Talk and make friends, find out how you can meet up again – what business functions and groups they personally attend and recommend.

The key-point here is to also establish digital contact with your initial networking group. Make sure you can follow them on Twitter, Google, Facebook, etc. Get email addresses where you can, as a way to keep up contact and have a support system where you can ask questions and get feedback. Be honest, be enthusiastic, be engaging – and people will be keen to help you. Let them get to know you before you let them know about your business. This way you’ll be setting up your business with an already established contact network who will know who you are and value your connection with them as much as you will value theirs with you.

And if you’re already a franchise owner, there’s no time to rest on your laurels. The Franchise Expo will also present you with innovative ideas for your own industry and help you expand your own network. It provides you with the opportunity to connect and share ideas with other franchisees in your field, and to spy out the competition – and also, of course, to investigate other franchises that may well complement what you already have on offer and provide exciting opportunity for new venture.

Whichever way you look at it, whether for the business-minded person with a business in mind or an established business owner looking for new ideas and expansion trails, you can’t do better than attend the Franchise Expo for inspiration, greater knowledge and the power of networking!

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Romany Thresher is an online presence brand strategist, trend spotter and mentor specialising in creating a unified brand identity online for people and businesses using their website and social media presence. Romany works with you to align with your true talents and core value offering and shows you how to present and position yourself online for best return on investment. Romany's intuitive abilities equips you knowledge and solutions that catapult both you and your business into success.  
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